Monthly Archives

September 2021

Week Four: Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Tour Concludes with Stops in Colorado, Arizona, California, and Nevada

U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO), U.S. Representatives Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) and Katie Porter (D-CA-54) joined State and Local Elected Officials to Headline “Lower Costs, Better Care” Events in Four States

Washington, DC — On the fourth and final week of Protect Our Care’s 8,600-mile, 36-event, 19-state “Lower Costs, Better Care” bus tour, “Care Force One” made stops in four states to demonstrate the urgent need to lower health costs including for drugs and insurance premiums, expand coverage, and reduce racial disparities in care. During each stop, national and local elected officials, including U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO), U.S. Representatives Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) and Katie Porter (D-CA-54), headlined events alongside local lawmakers, health care advocates and storytellers promoting the work of President Biden and their Democratic colleagues who are leading the charge to advance American health care. 

Watch All Bus Tour Stops Here

DENVER, COLORADO:

Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO), State Senator Julie Gonzales, State Representative Iman Jodeh, cancer survivor and health care advocate Laura Packard, and local resident Mariah Zebrowski, at the Colorado State Capitol. 

Coverage: 

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA:

At Heritage Square, Protect Our Care held a press conference with Congressional District Director Keith Brekhus, Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy, and health care advocate Laura Packard.

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA:

Protect Our Care was joined by Charlotte City Councilman Malcolm Graham, Action NC Executive Director Pat McCoy, DonnaMarie Woodson, Little Lobbyists Community Engagement Director Stacy Staggs, and Laura Packard for a press conference. 

Coverage:

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

TUCSON, ARIZONA:

Protect Our Care held a press conference with State Senator Kirsten Engel and health care advocate Laura Packard. 

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA:

Protect Our Care was joined by Representative Sara Jacobs, Serving Seniors CEO Paul Downey, West Health’s Tim Lash, and health care advocate Laura Packard at a press conference. 

Coverage:

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA:

In Tustin, Protect Our Care was joined by Representative Katie Porter, Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan, health care access organizer Bryant Miramontes, and Laura Packard for a press conference. 

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA:

State Representative Fabian Donate, State Assemblyman Edgar Flores, and Laura Packard joined Protect Our Care in Las Vegas for a press conference. 

Watch the event here. | Read Event Release here.

For more information on the Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour visit https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.

New Jersey Mayors Pen Letter to President Biden and Congressional Leadership, Calling for Prescription Drug Reform and Health Care Expansion

Elected Officials Urge Congress to Stand Up to Big Pharma and Give Medicare the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices

This week, five New Jersey mayors sent a letter urging lawmakers to prioritize ensuring all Americans access to affordable, high-quality health care by including prescription drug pricing reform in the upcoming budget reconciliation language. These elected officials acknowledge Big Pharma’s grip on Washington and its attempts to protect its massive profits while Americans pay three times more for their prescriptions than people in other countries. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices would save patients more than $150 billion at the pharmacy counter and create $500 billion in savings for the federal government that could be reinvested in closing the Medicaid coverage gap, expanding Medicare benefits to include hearing, dental, and vision, and reducing health care premiums for Americans purchasing coverage on their own. Today’s coverage illustrates that support from local officials is essential in the fight to rein in prescription drug costs, expand coverage and reduce health care disparities. 

HEADLINES

TAPInto Morristown: Morristown Mayor and Others Urge Biden, Congress to Pass Prescription Drug Reform with Medicare Negotiations. “In a letter sent to President Joe Biden and the congressional leadership, the five mayors urged the passing of a bold prescription drug reform that gives Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for consumers. President Biden and the Democratic congressional leadership have already proposed giving Medicare such powers as part of the president’s Build Back Better agenda that Congress will be considering this fall. Local mayors and local elected officials are asking leaders in Washington to overcome the opposition of pharmaceutical companies to put the health of everyday people first.” [TAPInto Morristown, 9/1/21

Hudson County View: Bhalla, Davis Join 3 Other N.J. Mayors Calling on Biden, Congress to Pass Prescription Drug Reform. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to finally bring down drug prices for American families. The anxiety of not being able to afford health care felt by American families across the country has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and there has never been a more urgent time to improve the health and well-being of American families. The time to act is now.” [The Hudson County View, 9/1/21]

 

TODAY: Reps. Jacobs and Porter to Headline Care Force One Stops in California Calling for Lower Costs and Better Care For All Americans

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2***

Representatives Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) and Katie Porter (D-CA-45) Will Headline Protect Our Care’s Nationwide “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour Stops in San Diego and Tustin on Thursday

California — U.S. Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) will join health care advocates and experts for Protect Our Care’s “Lower Costs, Better Care” bus tour stop in San Diego, California. Then, U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-CA-45) and Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan will headline Tustin’s bus tour stop. Both events are part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour to call for lowering health costs, expanding coverage, and reducing racial disparities in care. Protect Our Care is fighting to ensure critical health care measures supported by President Biden remain in upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. At today’s event, speakers will convey the urgency to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. 

Watch All Bus Tour Stops Live Here

SAN DIEGO 

WHO: 

Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53)

Tim Lash, President of West Health Policy Center

Paul Downey, CEO of Serving Seniors

Dr. Karen Becerra, CEO of Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center

Laura Packard

WHERE: Care Force One, at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, 1525 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

WHEN: Thursday, September 2 at 10AM PT

TUSTIN 

WHO: 

Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA-45) 

Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan

Bryant Miramontes, Sr. Campaign Organizer, Health Access

Susan Meyer, Southern California Organizer, CARA

Laura Packard

WHERE: Care Force One, Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S C. St. Tustin, CA 92780

WHEN: Thursday, September 2 at 4PM PT

For more information on the Protect Our Care “Lower Costs, Better Care” Bus Tour visit https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.

Momentum Grows: Health Experts, Patient Advocates, and Lawmakers Call For Action to Lower Prescription Drug Costs & Expand Access to Health Care

Even as Big Pharma Ramps Up Its Campaign to Force Americans to Continue to Pay More for Drugs Than Consumers in Other Countries, Advocates, Patients and Elected Officials Are Unbowed 

Across the country, health care experts, lawmakers, and advocates are calling on Congress to include transformative measures to lower health costs and improve care in upcoming budget reconciliation legislation. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are fighting to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, close the Medicaid gap, expand Medicare benefits to include hearing, dental, and vision, and reduce health care premiums for millions of Americans purchasing coverage on their own. Giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices would save patients more than $150 billion at the pharmacy counter and create $500 billion in savings for the federal government that could be reinvested in other measures to strengthen health care for American families. There has never been a more urgent time to improve health care access, and these op-eds demonstrate that any lawmaker that tries to stand in the way is rejecting the will of the American people. 

HEADLINES

(DE) Lucretia Young, State Director For AARP Delaware, In Delaware Online: Allow Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Prescription Drug Prices. “Allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. An AARP survey shows that 87% of registered voters 50 plus support allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies…It’s not fair that Americans are stuck paying the highest prices in the world for our prescription drugs. These prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford to take them.” [Delaware Online, 8/19/21]

(NJ) Dr. Aakash Shah, Bergen County Emergency Medicine Physician, In North Jersey: Prescription Drug Reform Is Long Overdue. “As many as 20% of New Jerseyans report having to forego filling a prescription because of its high cost, 24% of Americans report having difficulty paying for their prescription medications, and 36% of Americans report having to forego filling a prescription medication or cutting doses in half because they need money to pay for essential bills…Prescription drug reform is long overdue.” [North Jersey, 8/10/21]

(AZ) Alex Juarez, Communications Director Of AARP Arizona, In The Arizona Republic: Prescription Drug Prices Are Skyrocketing. Will Congress Finally Act? “It’s not fair that Americans are stuck paying the highest prices in the world for our prescription drugs. These prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford to take them. The president and Congress agree we need to lower drug prices – now it’s time for them to get it done.” [Arizona Republic, 8/31/21

(PA) State Rep. Jessica Benham In The Pennsylvania Capitol Star: It’s Long Past Time We Stopped Treating Healthcare Like A Privilege. “In the coming weeks, Congress can make every single one of these policies a reality through budget reconciliation. Voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support these measures and are demanding their elected officials act. But while Democrats are fighting tirelessly to lower costs and expand coverage, Republicans have already indicated that they are standing by Big Pharma and other special interests over the American people.” [Pennsylvania Capitol-Star, 8/29/21]  

(NH) Jayme Simões, Protect Our Care New Hampshire Chair, In Union Leader: Pandemic Taught Us Health Care Is A Right Not A Privilege. “In New Hampshire, as many as 25% of residents report that they did not fill a prescription due to cost. The average annual cost of brand name prescription drugs in New Hampshire jumped by 58% between 2012 and 2017, while Granite Staters’ annual income increased by only 13%. It does not have to be this way.” [Union Leader, 9/1/21]

(OH) Rep. Tim Ryan In Akron Beacon Journal: Tim Ryan Backs Bill Aimed At Lowering Prescription Drug Prices. “As Congress negotiates the upcoming budget bill, we must prioritize lowering drug prices for Americans, so we can keep more money in the pockets of seniors and families, here in Ohio and nationwide. The best way to do that is to give Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices, which will result in savings for all.” [Akron Beacon Journal, 8/19/21]