Monthly Archives

January 2022

Protect Our Care Welcomes Lawmakers Back to The Hill With Mobile Billboard Urging Them to Pass Build Back Better Act

Build Back Better Would Drive Down Health Care and Prescription Drug Costs and Expand Coverage to Millions

Watch the Video Here.

Watch the Mobile Billboard in Action Here.

Washington, DC — A mobile billboard appeared on Capitol Hill to welcome members of Congress back to D.C. The billboard will remind lawmakers the urgent need to pass the Build Back Better Act in order to lower health care and prescription drug costs and to expand and improve care for millions of Americans. President Biden has repeatedly reaffirmed his commitment to passing the Build Back Better Act’s health care provisions. 

Health care remains central to the popularity of the entire bill, with broad, bipartisan support for giving Medicare the power to negotiate, lowering premium costs, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and extending Medicare benefits to include hearing. All of these policies would dramatically lower costs for working families across the country. 

New Polls in Arizona and West Virginia Show Voters Want Swift Action on Build Back Better Plans to Lower Health Care and Prescription Costs and Expand Medicaid

72 Percent of Voters in Key States Support Plans to Lower Health Care and Drug Prices 

Washington, DC — New polls conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) on behalf of Protect Our Care show that voters in Arizona and West Virginia strongly support lowering health insurance premiums and giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, key elements of President Biden’s Build Back Better economic plan. More than 7 in 10 voters in Arizona (73%) and West Virginia (72%) agree that bringing down prescription drug prices and lowering the cost of health insurance premiums would help families combat rising costs and inflation. Arizonans and West Virginians also overwhelmingly support measures to lower health premiums, extend Medicare benefits to seniors, and expand coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap.

Arizona Results
West Virginia Results

In response to the poll’s findings, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“The poll results are the latest proof that voters want action to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices and they want it now. At a time when people are struggling with rising costs and inflation they know that reducing health care costs is a key part of the solution and they want Congress to act.” 

Key Findings:

  • Drug Prices Are Too High. An overwhelming majority of Arizonans (86%) and West Virginians (85%) agree that prescription drug prices are too high in this country.
  • Voters Agree: Lower Health Care Costs Would Help Families Like Theirs. 73% and 72% of voters in Arizona and West Virginia, respectively, agree that bringing down prescription drug prices and lowering the cost of health insurance premiums would help families like theirs.
  • Strong Support For Medicare Negotiation. A strong majority of Arizonans (74%) and West Virginians (71%) support giving Medicare the power to lower prescription drug prices. There is notable bipartisan support, which includes a majority of Republicans (60% in Arizona, 65% in West Virginia), most independents (79% in Arizona, 65% in West Virginia), and nearly all (85%) Democrats.
  • Voters Want Action Now. Most Arizonans (74%) and West Virginians (71%) say it is important that Congress work this year to lower prescription drug prices, give Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, and lower insurance premiums.
  • Strong Support For Closing The Medicaid Coverage Gap. Most voters (76% in Arizona, 75% in West Virginia) support closing the Medicaid coverage gap, allowing low- and moderate-income Americans to get health insurance at little or no cost if their state does not offer coverage under Medicaid.
  • Bipartisan Support For Lowering Premium Costs. 76% and 71% of voters in Arizona and West Virginia, respectively, support lowering health insurance costs for people who buy insurance on their own by expanding tax credits and subsidies, including 72% and 69% of Arizona and West Virginia independents respectively, and 70% and 65% of Arizona and West Virginia Republicans respectively.

14.5 Million Signed Up for Health Coverage Thanks to President Biden

14.5 Million Signed Up for Health Coverage Thanks to President Biden

President Biden’s Leadership on Health Care Helped Millions of Families Gain Quality, Affordable Coverage

Washington, DC — Today, the Biden administration announced that a record 14.5 million people have signed up for health coverage during the 2022 open enrollment period. In California, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington DC, residents can continue to sign up for coverage through January 31. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“The success of this open enrollment period is not a coincidence. After Republicans spent years trying to hike health care costs and rip coverage away, President Biden prioritized the health and well-being of the American people. As a direct result of the President’s leadership, health insurance is more affordable than ever and millions of families were able to enroll in coverage for the first time. By passing the American Rescue Plan into law, four out of five enrollees were able to purchase health insurance for $10 or less per month. Families saved thousands on their premiums, giving them much-needed financial relief while ensuring they are protected if they get sick. And this is just the start: President Biden’s Build Back Better Act will drive down health care and prescription drug prices and ensure millions more Americans have the health care they need for years to come.” 

NEW: WV Radio Ad Urges Senator Manchin to Deliver Lower Drug Prices Now

Senator Manchin’s Vote is Key to Passing Legislation to Give Medicare the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Prices

Listen to the Radio Ad Here

Morgantown, WV — Today, Protect Our Care announced a new radio ad calling on U.S. Senator Joe Manchin to support reforms that lower prescription drug prices, like the Build Back Better Act. Build Back Better includes strong measures to bring down prescription drug prices, including giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices — a proposal supported by 9 in 10 voters. Just this week, President Biden and Democratic leaders reaffirmed their commitment to lowering drug prices by passing the Build Back Better Act. Senator Manchin has repeatedly said that this reform is one he strongly supports.

Senator Joe Manchin and the American people agree — we need to lower the cost of prescription drugs,  lower health care costs, and improve care for millions of seniors and working families. Now it’s time to deliver. The radio ad will run statewide.

“West Virginians are fed up with the broken system that allows drug companies to charge them three times more for medications than people in other countries,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “These drug pricing provisions are central to the bill’s popularity and would drive down everyday costs for families. Senator Manchin has agreed that giving Medicare the power to negotiate is good policy and the right thing to do, and now is his opportunity to deliver on his promises. It’s time to get this over the finish line to lower drug prices for West Virginians.” 

Ad Script (60s):

Too many West Virginia families trying to go to sleep tonight won’t be able to. They’ll be worried about their kids. Their families. Their ability to make ends meet.

And, for far too many, they’ll be worried about the rising costs of prescription drugs. It doesn’t have to be this way.

These patients know the system doesn’t work for them. West Virginians pay three times more for medicines than people in other countries… 

So, more than four in ten West Virginians skip doses of medication or don’t even fill their prescriptions. They can’t afford it. 

While these West Virginia families stay up at night, the big drug companies continue to make record-breaking profits. 

It just isn’t right.

That’s why we need our Senator Joe Manchin to support the Build Back Better Act which gives Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices.

Senator Manchin said he is with us in this fight — and West Virginia families are counting on him to deliver.

It’s time to pass Build Back Better NOW,

Paid for by Protect Our Care.

President Biden and Senator Wyden Agree: Health Care Must Be At the Core of Build Back Better

Yesterday, President Biden and Democratic Leaders Reaffirmed Their Commitment to Lowering Health Care Costs


Watch Protect Our Care’s New Video Here

Yesterday, President Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress confirmed that policies to lower health care costs are central to the path forward on the Build Back Better Act. Measures to lower premium costs, reduce drug prices, and expand coverage enjoy overwhelming support from the American people. By prioritizing health care, Democrats are proving their commitment to delivering meaningful relief to working families across the country. 

Here’s what people are saying: 

President Joe Biden: “‘We need the Senate to pass my Build Back Better Act, which will lower premiums for more than 9 million Americans, cover 4 million Americans in states that have failed to expand Medicaid, lower prescription drug costs, and bring down the price of insulin from $1,000 a month to $35 a month,’ he said. ‘We have to get this done. We have to get it done together. And we will.’” [Politico, 1/25/22

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR): “Democrats are closer than ever before to holding Big Pharma accountable for decades of high prices. These high prices have inflicted pain on seniors, families, and taxpayers, and now is the time to do something about it.” [Protect Our Care, 1/25/22

Senator Tammy Baldwin: “I agree with @POTUS and @RonWyden we must close the Medicaid coverage gap in my state so we can open the door for 90,000 Wisconsinites to have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. #BuildBackBetter” [@SenatorBaldwin, 1/25/22

Representative Peter Welch: “We are the closest we have been to finally getting real prescription drug reform done for millions of Americans. Now is the time to get this across the finish line because lower drug prices are good for all Americans, whether you voted for Biden or Trump.” [Protect Our Care, 1/25/22

Representative Hakeem Jeffries: “The Build Back Better Act will significantly lower health care costs for everyday Americans. Republicans are still trying to detonate protections for those with pre-existing conditions.” [@RepJeffries, 1/26/22]

Representative Pramila Jayapal: “We fight inflation by passing Build Back Better and lowering costs for families and working people. Let’s get this done.” [@RepJayapal, 1/25/22]

Judy Soloman, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “BREAKING; @POTUS Senate Finance Committee Chair @RonWyden said today that #BuildBackBetter would close the #Medicaid coverage gap, which would once and for all provide a pathway to coverage for over 2 million uninsured people in states refusing to expand.” [@JudyCBPP, 1/25/22

Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care: “Today @POTUS and the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee @RonWyden said Build Back Better must include Rx Drug reform, closing the Medicaid Coverage & extending the ACA tax credit enhancements which were included in the American Rescue Plan. Hugely significant. @ProtectOurCare” [@woodhouseb, 1/25/22

Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care: “Support for ending big drug company greed has grown and solidified in the Senate, and we are confident that no matter what form the final Build Back Better Act takes, the bill that goes to the President’s desk will include bold measures to drive down drug prices.” [Protect Our Care, 1/25/22

Coverage: 

Bloomberg Government: Democrats Target Drug Prices for BBB Unity. “Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told reporters yesterday that Democrats agree broadly on expanding access to health care, empowering the government to negotiate with drugmakers and offering tax incentives for clean energy. Senate Democrats hope to clear a package soon built around these policies, he added. ‘The reality is there is a lot of common ground right now,’ Wyden said.” [Bloomberg Government, 1/26/22

“Now Is the Time to Get This Across the Finish Line:” Senator Wyden and Representative Welch Call for Lower Drug Prices Now

Watch the Video Here. 

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), and West Virginia-based patient advocate Mindy Salango joined Protect Our Care to discuss the ongoing efforts to ensure that the final iteration of the Build Back Better Act includes strong measures to bring down prescription drug prices. The event comes as President Biden reiterated his commitment to passing the Build Back Better Act’s health care provisions. 

During the call, speakers noted the broad support for giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, limiting insulin prices for diabetics, capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and limiting outrageous price hikes. All of these policies would dramatically lower costs for working families across the country. 

“Today Democrats are closer than ever before to holding Big Pharma accountable for decades of high prices. These high prices have inflicted pain on seniors, families, and taxpayers, and now is the time to do something about it,” said U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). “The set of reforms introduced late last year – Medicare negotiation, inflation rebate, insulin copay caps, and an out-of-pocket cap in Medicare – are going to meaningfully lower prices and ease the financial burden of prescription drugs. I am confident that, with the help of everyday Americans raising their voices, there can finally be some relief from high drug prices.”

”No one should ever have to choose between paying for the medication they need and buying groceries for their family. But right now that is all too regular because of Big Pharma’s rip-off prices,” said U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL). “We are the closest we have been to finally getting real prescription drug reform done for millions of Americans. Now is the time to get this across the finish line because lower drug prices is good for all Americans, whether you voted for Biden or Trump.” 

“It really doesn’t matter if you’re conservative or liberal, Democrat, independent, or Republican, because people of all stripes are suffering from the greed of the pharmaceutical companies,” said Mindy Salango, patient advocate with diabetes from West Virginia. “I have been diabetic for the past 27 years, and I have seen the cost of insulin in that time skyrocket. I found myself rationing insulin in order to provide a home, bills, and groceries for my daughter. That isn’t a position anyone should be in. Every minute that passes that the Build Back Better Act is not enacted, we’re risking lives.”

“At a time when Americans are worried about inflation and uncertainty about the pandemic, it is critical to deliver meaningful relief. Build Back Better’s provisions to lower drug prices are among the bill’s most consequential measures to lower everyday costs for families,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Democrats, Republicans, and independents overwhelmingly support giving Medicare the power to lower drug prices, capping seniors’ out-of pocket costs, limiting insulin costs and cracking down on outrageous price hikes. Support for ending big drug company greed has grown and solidified in the Senate, and we are confident that no matter what form the final Build Back Better Act takes, the bill that goes to the President’s desk will include bold measures to drive down drug prices.” 

“We Have to Get This Done”: President Biden Reaffirms His Commitment to Build Back Better’s Measures to Lower Health Costs for Americans

In Keynote Address, President Biden Places Reducing Health Care Costs as Top Priority to Pass Build Back Better 

Washington, DC — Today, President Biden discussed his administration’s historic progress on lowering health costs and expanding coverage to millions of Americans at an event hosted by Families USA. During the event, President Biden called for passing the Build Back Better Act to “lower premiums for more than 9 million Americans, cover 4 million Americans in states that have failed to expand Medicaid, lower prescription drug costs, and bring down the price of insulin from $1,000 a month to $35 a month.” In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“Once again, President Biden made clear that any version of the Build Back Better Act must include provisions to lower health care costs for the American people. The President is right: we have to get this done to meet the demands of voters and to help millions of families sleep easier at night knowing that they can afford their health care costs. This is a kitchen table issue that will provide relief where families need it most. It’s past time to get Build Back Better over the finish line.”

PRESS CALL: Senator Wyden and Rep. Welch on Broad Support for Lowering Prescription Drug Prices for the American People 

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TUESDAY, JANUARY 25 AT 1:30 PM ET // 10:30 AM PT***

Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL) will join Protect Our Care for a press call to discuss the ongoing efforts to ensure that the final iteration of the Build Back Better Act includes strong measures to bring down prescription drug prices. The event comes after President Biden emphasized his dedication to bringing down prescription drug prices last week. 

Along with West Virginia-based storyteller Mindy Salango, speakers will call for all of the drug pricing provisions in the House-passed bill, including giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, limiting insulin prices for diabetics, capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and limiting outrageous price hikes. All of these polices enjoy overwhelming support from voters and would dramatically bring down health care costs for families, at a time they are worried about inflation.

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-AL)
Mindy Salango, patient advocate from Morgantown, West Virginia
Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference 

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Tuesday, January 25 at 1:30 PM ET // 10:30 AM PT

Big Pharma’s Relentless Greed Revealed in Record Lobbying Totals

PhRMA Spent $29.6 Million on Lobbying in 2021 as Democrats Worked to Pass Build Back Better Act

Washington, DC — Yesterday, federal disclosures revealed that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) spent nearly $29.6 million on lobbying in 2021 – an all time record. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“Last year’s record lobbying spending from Big Pharma only confirms that drug companies will stop at nothing to protect their profits and keep prices high for patients.  Let’s be clear: drug companies would rather gauge patients and pad their profits than do the right thing. PhRMA and their Republican allies object to the most common sense measures to reduce drug prices: giving Medicare the power to negotiate, limiting insulin prices for diabetics, capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and banning excessive price hikes on existing drugs. These corporate lobbyists know that their grip on power is waning as President Biden and Democrats in Congress are committed to delivering relief to the American people. This display of outright greed only confirms the urgent need to pass the Build Back Better’s measures to lower prescription drug prices once and for all.”

Joe Biden, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and the American People All Agree: Reducing Health Care Costs is Critical for Working Families

Health Care Provisions in Build Back Better Will Meet the Demands of the American People and Achieve President Biden’s Goal to Lower Costs for American Families 

President Biden made clear at his press conference that his Build Back Better Act is the most effective way to “address the biggest costs that working families face every day.” Democrats in Congress – including Senators Manchin and Sinema – and the American people agree that reducing health care costs is a top priority. The Build Back Better not only lowers drug prices by ending the status quo where drug companies get to dictate prices, but also extends coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap and drives down premium costs for people like small business owners and farmers purchasing insurance on their own. These are kitchen table issues that bring people of all parties together.

Reducing Health Care Costs Is A Top Priority For President Biden 

“My Build Back Better plan will address the biggest costs that working families face every day.  No other plan will do more to lower the costs for American families…My Build Back Better plan cuts the price of prescription drugs…And it will do all of this without raising a single penny in taxes on people making under $400,000 a year or raising the deficit.  In fact, my plan cuts the deficit and it boosts the economy by getting more people into the workforce. That’s why 17 Nobel prize winners for economics say it will ease long-term inflationary pressure. The bottom line: If price increases are what you’re worried about, the best answer is my Build Back Better plan.” [President Biden Press Conference, 1/19/22]

“As we keep up our fight against the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we continue to expand coverage and lower costs. My Build Back Better Act would do just that — reducing premiums for more than nine million Americans, covering four million Americans in states that have failed to expand Medicaid, expanding Medicare to include hearing coverage, lowering prescription drug costs, and bringing down the price of insulin to no more than $35 for a month’s supply. My Build Back Better Act represents the single most consequential expansion of affordable health care since the Affordable Care Act a decade ago. We will press forward on passing Build Back Better, work to cut health care costs, and deliver greater peace of mind to American families.” [President Biden Statement, 12/22/21

Senator Manchin Supported Efforts To Lower Premiums And Reduce Costs In The American Rescue Plan 

“The ACA continues to serve as a lifeline for thousands of West Virginians and provides quality, affordable healthcare coverage. And last March, I voted for the American Rescue Plan which continues to provide lower premiums and cheaper health plans for West Virginians.”  [Senator Manchin Press Release, 1/14/22

“Senator Manchin believes that every American deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare. He has always said that our nation’s current system is in need of repair but we cannot simply repeal without a replacement. Senator Manchin believes that effective healthcare reform should expand access to coverage.” [Senator Manchin Official Website, Visited 1/20/22]

Senator Sinema Knows That Reducing Health Care Costs Is A Major Priority 

“We need to make health care more affordable, lower prescription drug prices, and fix the problems in the system – not go back to letting insurance companies call all the shots.” [@KyrstenSinema, 3/9/18

“The issue I hear about most back home is the cost of healthcare. […] We can and must come together to increase competition and innovation, drive down costs and improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare.” [Kyrsten Sinema, Senate Special Aging Committee Hearing, 3/6/19

Polling Confirms, The Most Popular Provisions In Build Back Better Are Health Care Priorities.

Navigator Poll Confirms Health Care Remains Most Important Reason to Pass Build Back Better. “Top reasons cited as good reasons to pass the plan are lowering health insurance costs, giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, expanding Medicare, and raising taxes on the wealthy.” [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]

  • Health Reforms Remain Top Priorities For Americans Across The Political Spectrum. 82 percent support lowering health insurance premiums, 80 percent support lowering premiums for individuals purchasing insurance on their own, and 80 percent support allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]

Navigator Poll Finds Majority of Americans Believe Build Back Better Will Lower Premiums. Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe Democrat’s Build Back Better Act will lower the price of health insurance for millions of middle-class Americans and working families who buy their own insurance. [1/12/22]