Monthly Archives

March 2022

House Passes Historic Legislation to Lower Insulin Costs for Millions of Diabetics

U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (D-MI), Lucy McBath (D-GA), and Angie Craig (D-MN) Championed the Affordable Insulin Now Act 

Washington DC — Today, the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Insulin Now Act, legislation that caps out-of-pocket insulin costs for millions of diabetics with private insurance and Medicare coverage. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“For decades, drug company greed has forced millions of diabetics to pay outrageous prices for the medications they need to survive. Even when insulin vials only cost a few dollars to produce, drug companies have hiked the price to hundreds of dollars per month, forcing too many patients to ration insulin and skip doses altogether. Representatives Kildee, Craig and McBath’s bill capping out-of-pocket insulin costs to $35 a month for diabetics with insurance is a critical step to drive down prescription drug prices. It will put more money in families’ pockets and give them peace of mind knowing they won’t have to choose between purchasing this lifesaving medication and putting food on the table. We commend Democrats in Congress for their commitment to fighting for a future where quality, affordable health care is a reality for every American.”

Protect Our Care Kicks off Medicaid Awareness Month With Nationwide Activities Aiming to Both Celebrate and Strengthen the Vital Program

Washington, D.C. April is Medicaid Awareness Month, and there has never been a more urgent time to highlight Medicaid’s overwhelming importance for millions of Americans in communities across the nation. Medicaid has served as a lifeline during the pandemic, providing nearly 79 million Americans with access to high-quality, affordable care when they need it most. 

Throughout April, Protect Our Care will release fact sheets and host events nationwide with elected officials, storytellers, and health care advocates to highlight Medicaid’s critical role in America, discuss what needs to be done to expand and strengthen the program, and raise awareness of the consequences of Republican threats.

To mark the start of Medicaid Awareness Month today, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement: 

“With more Americans relying on Medicaid coverage than ever before, there has never been a better time to celebrate the importance of the program, highlight what needs to be done to expand and strengthen Medicaid, and combat the threats that still exist. While President Biden and Democrats are working to finish the job of the Affordable Care Act and close the Medicaid coverage gap in the 12 non-expansion states, Republicans are playing politics with their constituents’ health. We must continue holding Republicans accountable for putting politics before people, denying their most vulnerable populations access to Medicaid.”

The month will include the following theme’s each week:

  • Week 1: Medicaid is Working! Week one will focus on how Medicaid has improved the lives of millions even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Week 2: Close the Coverage Gap. Week two will bring attention to the urgent need to close the Medicaid coverage gap. 
  • Week 3: Stop the Threat. Week three will focus on how millions of Americans face losing their Medicaid coverage coverage when the COVID-19 public health emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic ends because Republican officials are failing to protect eligible Medicaid recipients. 
  • Week 4: Medicaid & Health Equity. The final week will highlight how Medicaid is our most powerful tool in fighting for health equity. 

Medicaid Is More Important Than Ever

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans Receive Health Coverage Through Medicaid

April is Medicaid Awareness Month and the past two years have taught us that Medicaid is more important than ever. Medicaid has been proven to increase access to care, improve financial security, and produce better health outcomes. Today, nearly 79 million Americans receive their coverage through Medicaid, firmly establishing Medicaid as a pillar of the American health care system. 

Medicaid expansion is essential to ensure every American has quality, affordable health coverage. Despite the overwhelming benefits of Medicaid expansion, Republicans have spent years undermining the ACA and its expansion of Medicaid at every turn, blocking millions from coverage. Yet the program has become increasingly popular among conservative voters. 75 percent of Americans have a favorable view toward the Medicaid program, and 61 percent of Americans in non-expansion states favor expansion. Every time Medicaid expansion has been placed on the ballot, even in deep red states like Oklahoma and Idaho, voters have approved it. An estimated four million uninsured adults could gain coverage if the 12 remaining holdout states adopted Medicaid expansion.

Research confirms that Medicaid expansion saves lives and drastically reduces racial health disparities. States that expanded their Medicaid programs saw a 51 percent reduction in the gap between uninsured white and Black adults after expansion, and a 45 percent reduction between white and Hispanic adults. Medicaid has also served as a lifeline during the pandemic, with research showing expansion states were better positioned to handle the economic fallout from COVID-19. However you approach it, Medicaid is an essential component of American life and more important than ever. Read more here.

TODAY: Senators Murray and Warnock to Host Roundtable on Lowering Cost of Lifesaving Drugs With WA and GA Patients

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 31 AT 3:15 PM ET  // 12:15 PM PT***

Washington, DC — Today, Thursday, March 31 at 3:15 PM ET // 12:15 PM PT, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), and U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) will hold a virtual roundtable with Protect Our Care and patients from Washington state and Georgia to discuss their fight to lower the cost of lifesaving prescription drugs for patients across our country—including by bringing down insulin costs for the 1 in 10 patients across the country with diabetes.

During the event, Senators Murray and Warnock will hear from patients from Washington state and Georgia who depend on insulin to manage their diabetes and stay healthy and will highlight their efforts to bring down health care costs for working people however possible—so that no patient is forced to ration their insulin or choose between buying groceries or paying for the lifesaving drug they need.

Senators Murray and Warnock will be joined by Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care, Kevin Wren, a type 1 diabetes patient from Washington state, and Shannon, a mother of three from Georgia struggling to cover high medical expenses for one son with an autoimmune condition and another son recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

VIRTUAL EVENT:

WHO:
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA)
Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care
Kevin Wren, type 1 diabetes patient from Washington state
Shannon, a Georgia mother of three boys with serious medical conditions

WHAT: Senators Murray and Warnock Fight to Cap Insulin Costs at $35/Month and Lower the Cost of Lifesaving Drugs for Patients

WHERE: Send an Email to RSVP

WHEN: Thursday, March 31 at 3:15 PM ET // 12:15 PM PT

March Madness: Protect Our Care’s Whirlwind Month of Nationwide Events Advocating for Lower Costs and Expanded Access to Care

Former President Barack Obama, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Ron Kind (WI-03), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Susie Lee (NV-03), Susan Wild (PA-07), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Nikema Williams (GA-5), Dwight Evans (PA-3), and Gwen Moore (WI-4) Joined State & Local Elected Officials and Storytellers for Events In 12 States 

This month, Protect Our Care hosted 36 events and released eight op-eds to commemorate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and American Rescue Plan anniversaries and bring attention to critical health care issues facing the nation. The events come as President Biden and Democrats are working tirelessly to lower health care costs, put more money in families pockets, expand coverage, and control the COVID-19 pandemic. Events and activities focused on four key areas: 

  • Affordable Care Act Anniversary: Protect Our Care released a video with former President Obama and NowThis and hosted events in eight states to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), highlighting how the law is stronger than ever with more than 30 million Americans getting health coverage through the Marketplace and Medicaid expansion. Lawmakers and advocates also urged Congress to pass provisions that will build on the successes of the ACA and bring down the cost of health care for American families. 
  • American Rescue Plan Anniversary: Protect Our Care joined lawmakers, advocates, and storytellers in nine states to commemorate the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, health care is more affordable than ever. At each event, speakers called on Congress to pass legislation to make many of the law’s health care provisions permanent. 
  • State of the Union: Ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union Address, Protect Our Care joined members of Congress, state and local elected officials, health care advocates, and storytellers to discuss the urgent need to pass President Biden’s health care proposal and highlight the importance of lowering health care costs and expanding access to care.
  • COVID-19 Funding: Protect Our Care hosted events in six states as warnings mounted about the consequences if Congress fails to provide additional COVID-19 funding to maintain testing capacity and supply life-saving treatment. Despite rising vaccination rates, we could see a significant setback in our nationwide COVID-19 response without additional funding requested by the Biden administration.

NATIONAL

Wednesday, March 23 — NowThis Video Features President Obama Thanking Health Care Storytellers For Their Advocacy On The Affordable Care Act’s 12th Anniversary. You can watch the full video here.

Wednesday, March 16 — Health Experts Zeke Emanuel and Howard Forman Joined Local Officials to Discuss the Importance of Passing COVID Relief. You can watch the event here.

Thursday, March 10 — American Rescue Plan Anniversary and Affordable Insulin Now Act Event with Senators Tammy Baldwin and Raphael Warnock and Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage: 

ALASKA

Monday, March 21 — Covid Funding Bill Accountability Event with Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance, Alaskan Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

ARIZONA

Wednesday March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here

Saturday, March 5 — Arizona Republic Op-ed by Mario Diaz on AZ PPP Poll Results: Protect Our Care Arizona placed an opinion piece in the Arizona Republic by Mario Diaz, former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Napolitano and former Arizona State Director for John Kerry for President. You can read the full op-ed here.

Wednesday, February 23 — State of the Union Preview Event with Rep. Ruben Gallego, State Senator Raquel Terán, Representative Melody Hernandez and Storytellers. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

FLORIDA

Wednesday, March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Florida Health Care Advocates: You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Thursday, March 10 — Thursday March 10 at 10AM ET — American Rescue Plan Anniversary Event with Rep. Kathy Castor and FL Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage: 

Thursday, March 3 — Mobile Billboard Circles Florida State Capitol Showing DeSantis Bullying Masked Students.

Coverage: 

GEORGIA

Tuesday, March 22  — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Interview with Georgia Small Business Owner Himali Patel, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison. You can watch Himali’s interview here.

Friday, March 25 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary and Republican Accountability Event Ahead of Trump Rally with Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Democratic Party of Georgia, and Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

MAINE

Thursday March 24 — Covid Funding Event with ME Healthcare Advocates. You can watch the event here

NEVADA

Wednesday, March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Congresswoman Susie Lee, Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow, and Nevada Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Friday, March 11 — American Rescue Plan Anniversary Event with Nevada Providers and Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Wednesday, March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Local New Hampshire Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Friday, March 11 — American Rescue Plan Anniversary Event with NH Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Monday, February 28 — State of the Union Preview Event with NH Policy Experts. You can watch the event here

NEW JERSEY

Wednesday March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Assemblywoman Shama Haider and New Jersey Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Thursday, March 17 — Covid Funding Bill Accountability Event with Congressman G.K. Butterfield, Wake County Commissioner Maria Cervania,  Deputy Director for Public Health Dr. Susan Kasangra and Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Thursday, March 10 — American Rescue Plan Anniversary Event with Assemblyman John Mckeon and New Jersey Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

OHIO

Wednesday March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Ohio Providers and Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Thursday, March 17 — Covid Funding Bill Accountability Event with State Rep. Beth Liston, Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak, and Ohio Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Friday, March 11 — American Rescue Plan Anniversary Event with City Councilmembers and Ohio Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Friday, February 25 – SOTU Preview Event with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, State Representative Emilia Sykes, and Ohio Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

PENNSYLVANIA

Friday March 25 — ACA Prescription Drug Event with Rep. Susan Wild and Rep. Dwight Evans with PA Health Care Advocates.

Coverage:

Thursday, March 24 — Morning Call Op-ed by Donna Bowers on Lowering Prescription Drug Costs. You can read the full op-ed here.

Wednesday March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Councilwoman Helen Gym and Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Wednesday, March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Congressman Matt Cartwright and Advocates.

Coverage:

Tuesday, March 22 — DNC Affordable Care Act Anniversary Virtual Event with Congresswoman Susan Wild, State Rep. Bridget Kosierwoski, and Pennsylvania Storytellers. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Thursday, March 17 — Covid Funding Bill Accountability Event With Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole and PA Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Friday, March 4 — Philadelphia Inquirer Op-ed by Zach Sherman on Open Enrollment in PA: Protect Our Care Pennsylvania placed an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer by executive director of Pennie Zach Sherman, the state ACA health care marketplace. You can read the full op-ed here.

Monday, February 28 — State of the Union Preview Event with Rep. Susan Wild and Pennsylvania Health Care Advocates and Storytellers. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

WEST VIRGINIA

Thursday March 24 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Local West Virginia Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Thursday, March 17 — Covid Funding Bill Accountability Event With State Senator Dr. Ron Stollings and WV Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Friday, March 11 — American Rescue Plan Anniversary Event with Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and WV Health Care Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Thursday, March 10 — Charleston Gazette-Mail Op-Ed by Kat Stoll on the American Rescue Plan Anniversary: Protect Our Care West Virginia placed an opinion piece in the Charleston Gazette-Mail by Kat Stoll, policy director of West Virginians for Affordable Healthcare. You can read the full op-ed here.

Thursday, February 24 — State of the Union Preview Event with West Virginia Health Care Advocates and Storytellers. You can watch the event here.

WISCONSIN

Wednesday March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary and Insulin Costs Event with Congressman Ron Kind, State Senator Brad Pfaff, and Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Wednesday March 23 — WisDems Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with State Democratic Assembly Leader Rep. Greta Neubauer, WisDems Chair Ben Wikler, and Advocates. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Wednesday March 23 — Affordable Care Act Anniversary Event with Congresswoman Gwen Moore, The Committee to Protect Health Care, For Our Future Wisconsin, and Advocates.

Coverage:

Monday, March 28 — Cap Times Affordable Care Act Anniversary Op-Ed by Dr. Kristin Lyerly. You can read the full op-ed here.

Friday, March 24 — Milwaukee Courier Affordable Care Act Anniversary Op-Ed by Julie Buckholt. You can read the full op-ed here.

Tuesday, March 22 — Up North News Affordable Care Act Anniversary Op-Ed by Joe Zepecki. You can read the full op-ed here.

Tuesday, March 15 — Up North News Op-Ed by Joe Zepecki on the American Rescue Plan Anniversary. You can read the full op-ed here.

Policies to Lower Drug Prices Remain Priority #1 In New Navigator Poll

Voters View Policies to Lower Drug Prices as the Top Reasons to Pass President Biden’s Economic Plan and Top Ways to Lower Costs

New polling released by Navigator today finds people believe Medicare negotiating drug prices and capson insulin prices as both top ways to bring down costs for families and top reasons to pass President Biden’s economic plan.

The Navigator poll follows consistent polling showing deep popularity of Democratic policies to lower prescription drug prices. 

  • Giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices (86%) and capping insulin costs (86%) are seen as the top reasons to pass the President Biden’s plan: 

  • Voters agree that lowering drug prices are among the best ways to combat rising prices: 

  • Majorities of all parties (72% overall, 89% of Democrats, 68% of independents and 52% of Republicans) agree that giving Medicare the power to negotiate will help fight rising prices: 

Republicans Across the Country Reignite War on Health Care Threatening to Spike Costs for Millions of Americans

2018 and 2020 Fights Come Back to Life

As election season approaches, Republicans are running on what they know best: raising health care and premium costs, denying coverage and repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). By reigniting their war on health care, Republicans are threatening the historic progress of President Biden and Democrats in Congress, who made health care more affordable than ever before, leading to record ACA enrollment. As it stands, more than 30 million Americans are covered by the ACA and Medicaid expansion, but if Republicans had their way, these families would be thrown off their health care with no where to turn. 

REPUBLICAN LEADERS ARE PUSHING TO RAISE HEALTH CARE COSTS AND GUT THE ACA

NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott has rolled out a disastrous agenda for a Republican Senate majority that includes “sunsetting” every federal law after five years – this would include the Affordable Care Act and its protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions as well as the crucial lifelines of Social Security and Medicare. 

Every Republican on the Senate Finance committee signed a letter opposing the extending of ACA tax credits included in the American Rescue Plan set to expire at the end of 2022. Premium savings under the American Rescue Plan benefit millions of Americans who buy health insurance on their own and save families an average of $2,400 a year.

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE RUNNING ON REPEAL 

Arizona: Major candidates for Senate are cheerleaders for repeal. State Attorney General and Senate candidate Mark Brnovich was one of the lead attorneys general seeking to overturn the entire ACA in 2018. Blake Masters called the ACA a “disaster” and Jim Lamon is actively campaigning against the law, proposing to “redesign or eliminate” Obamacare as part of his platform. 

Colorado: Three out of four Republican candidates running for the new Eighth District in Colorado have pledged to repeal the ACA. Tyler Alcorn, a former Green Beret; Lori Saine, a Weld County commissioner; and state Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann all said they would repeal Obamacare if Republicans took control of the House. 

Florida: Sen. Marco Rubio has repeatedly voted for ACA repeal plans. And he refused to condemn Florida’s involvement in the GOP lawsuit to fully dismantle the law and its coverage protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Missouri: Senate Candidate and Attorney General Eric Schmitt was another leader seeking to overturn the entire ACA in the courts in 2018. Reps. Billy Long and Vicky Hartzler, who are also running for Senate, are longtime opponents of the ACA and voted for the 2017 AHCA GOP repeal plan that would have slashed coverage protections and driven up costs. And Eric Greitens has backed GOP ACA repeal plans for years.  In the state house, Republicans continue to drag their feet and erect barriers to Medicaid expansion in Missouri, years after voters cleared it in a referendum. 

Nevada: Senate Candidate Adam Laxalt has campaigned against the Affordable Care Act for years, calling it the “most flawed piece of major legislation America has ever endured.” Laxalt, who owns tens of thousands of dollars in Big Pharma stock, has also opposed efforts to give Medicare the authority to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.

North Carolina: Two Republican Senate candidates in North Carolina – Ted Budd and Mark Walker – supported the 2017 GOP AHCA repeal plan, voting to gut pre-existing condition coverage protections and let insurance companies charge older Americans more for coverage. And former Governor Pat McCrory, now running for Senate himself, spent his term in office working feverishly to block Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. 

Ohio: Every GOP Senate candidate in Ohio has spent years cheerleading for repeal of the ACA. In 2012, Josh Mandel said he was “hopeful” that he would be the deciding vote to repeal the ACA. Jane Tiken first got involved in politics because of her zeal to repeal Obamacare. In 2017, Mike Gibbons called the law “a disaster” and said “after we repeal ObamaCare, we need to start from scratch.” And on his campaign website in 2022, Matt Dolan continues to claim that the ACA was “conceived wrongly, implemented poorly and has become a tool of partisan grift.” 

Pennsylvania: Dr. Mehmet Oz spent years supporting the ACA and promoting enrollment, but now that he’s running for Senate as a Republican, he calls the ACA “wrong” and says he “would not have voted for Obamacare.” 

Wisconsin: Sen. Ron Johnson said in March 2022 that Republicans should repeal the ACA if they retake the Senate following on his comments from 2021 when he said he regrets that Republicans have failed to eliminate the law. Meanwhile Republicans in the state house continue to block Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. 

Lawmakers and Advocates Join Protect Our Care Celebrate 12th Anniversary of the ACA in Events Across the Country

President Obama, U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (WI-03), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), and Susan Wild (PA-07), State Officials, and Health Care Advocates Joined Protect Our Care for Anniversary Activities

This week, Protect Our Care hosted events across the country to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. During the events, lawmakers and advocates discussed the urgent need for Congress to pass provisions to build on the success of ACA and help bring down the cost of health care for American families. Protect Our Care also released a new video with NowThis featuring President Barack Obama thanking health care storytellers for their efforts to protect and strengthen the ACA. 

The anniversary comes after President Biden’s American Rescue Plan made health care more affordable than ever before, with a record 14.5 million Americans signing up for coverage during the 2022 open enrollment period. President Biden and the Democrats are continuing their work to build on the ACA by further lowering health care and prescription drug costs and expanding coverage to millions more.

NATIONAL

On Wednesday, March 23, Protect Our Care and NowThis released a new video featuring former President Barack Obama to celebrate the growing success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on its 12 year anniversary. During a FaceTime call, President Obama surprised health care storytellers Amy Raslevich, a breast cancer survivor and mother of two children with pre-existing conditions, Steve Gomez, the father of a son with pre-existing conditions, and DonnaMarie Woodson, a cancer survivor — all of whom rely on the ACA’s patient protections. In the video, DonnaMarie, Amy, and Steve described what affordable coverage means for their families and the importance of continuing to protect and build on the ACA so every American has access to quality health care. Watch the video here.

ARIZONA

On Wednesday, March 23, patients and advocates joined Protect Our Care Arizona and Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. “The ACA’s success in Arizona over the past twelve years is undeniable,” said Dora Vasquez, Executive Director of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans. “Which is why in office Senator Mark Kelly has worked to improve and strengthen this law, while also taking additional steps to lower health care costs for Arizonans.” You can watch the event here

FLORIDA

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) joined the Florida Democratic Party and Protect Our Care Florida to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being signed into law by calling out ongoing Republican efforts to strip healthcare coverage and raise premiums for seniors and working families in Florida. You can watch the event here

“The ACA is a healthcare security blanket for every American. Sure, Republicans have spent those 12 years trying to steal that blanket from Americans families, but Democrats beat them back,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said. “Yet as we speak, Republicans are still looking for ways to set this security blanket on fire. Just in the last few weeks, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson told the far-right outlet Brietbart that if Republicans take control of Congress, they will repeal the Affordable Care Act. What he didn’t say is that if Republicans succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act, more than 100 million Americans with preexisting conditions like me, a breast cancer survivor, will lose our insurance protections.” 

COVERAGE:

GEORGIA 

On Tuesday, March 22,  WUPA-TV – the CBS affiliate in Atlanta aired an interview with Himali Patel, a small business owner from Georgia who credits the Affordable Care Act with empowering her, and her business to thrive. “The Affordable Care Act was a blessing,” says Himali, who was paying upwards of $3000 for tests required to manage her auto-immune condition. “I probably wouldn’t be here without the ACA.” You can watch Himali’s interview here.

On Friday, March 25, ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Georgia for a rally with his handpicked slate of Republican candidates in Georgia on Saturday, Georgia Democrats held a press conference calling out Republicans’ ‘Trump first, Georgians last’ agenda: repealing the Affordable Care Act, increasing health care premiums, and gutting protections for pre-existing conditions.“While Democrats are fighting to improve Georgians’ health care, the Republican agenda puts Trump first and Georgians last, and will keep people from accessing essential health care in communities all across the state. We can’t let that happen,” Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia.  Georgians need leaders who will ensure families can continue to access health care through the Affordable Care Act, who will work to lower costs on essential drugs, and who will take action to extend coverage to the over 500,000 people who stand to benefit from Medicaid expansion.” You can watch the event here

NEVADA

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Susie Lee (NV-03) shared recorded remarks and Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow, Allison Stephens, Jason Karsh, and Teresa Crawford joined a virtual panel with Protect Our Care Nevada to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. You can watch the event here

“Before the ACA, I saw babies who were born needing neonatal intensive care be released from the hospital having already hit their lifetime insurance caps. It just wasn’t right,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow. “We know access to health care leads to better health outcomes and improves financial security. Here in the Silver State, we will continue to build upon the work of the ACA to make sure all Nevadans – from prenatal care and throughout their lives – are able to receive the care they need to be healthy.” 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

On Wednesday, March 23, public health experts joined Protect Our Care NH to mark the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. Speakers also discussed the urgent need for Congress to pass provisions that will build on the success of ACA and help bring down the cost of health care for all Granite Staters. Average premiums in New Hampshire’s individual market declined for three years in a row (2019 through 2021), and the state’s average benchmark rates are the seventh-lowest in the nation as of 2021. You can watch the full event here, and learn more about how the ACA has worked for Granite Staters here.

Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director, Granite State Progress, said: “Today over 30 million people, a record number, have coverage under the ACA provisions for either private health insurance or Medicaid. And here in New Hampshire we just went through our last open enrollment, which was incredibly successful. There’s so much going on in the world right now, and in the nation, but continuing to build on the historic landmark Affordable Care Act allows more families to get the coverage they need.” 

NEW JERSEY

On Wednesday, March 23, Assemblywoman Assemblywoman Shama Haider and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care New Jersey to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. Speakers also discussed the urgent need for Congress to pass provisions that will build on the success of ACA and help bring down the cost of health care for New Jerseyans. You can watch the event here, and learn more about how the Affordable Care Act has strengthened health care in New Jersey here.

“There is no doubt that we are in a better place today than we were 12 years ago thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Because of the ACA, more New Jerseyans have access to quality, affordable health care than ever before,” said Brittany Holom-Trundy, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective. “There is so much to be thankful for because of the ACA, and our elected officials must continue to build on that progress by expanding coverage and improving health equity to further drive down health care costs.” 

COVERAGE:

  • Insider NJ: Assemblywoman Haider, Health Care Advocates Call on Congress to Build on Success of the Affordable Care Act and Lower Health Care Costs

OHIO

On Wednesday, March 23, Ohioans with Little Lobbyists and Nurses for America joined Protect Our Care Ohio to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how they and millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. You can watch the event here.

“I am grateful that my son now lives in a world where he can truly be anything he wants to be when he grows up because he isn’t going to have to worry whether his job will provide him with health insurance. I am grateful that if Mark lost his job, we would not have to worry about going bankrupt from medical bills,” said Maya Brown-Zimmerman, an Ohio member of Little Lobbyists with a family story on the impact of the ACA. “Much of my life had been spent thinking about health care coverage. So when the ACA passed, I cried because not only now did I now have financial protection, but my future children would not have to stress like I had.” 

PENNSYLVANIA

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) was joined by local partners and Protect Our Care Pennsylvania to celebrate the twelve-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and to continue discussions on lowering prescription drug costs. 

“For twelve years, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the key to health coverage for millions of working families, seniors and people with pre-existing conditions,” said Rep. Cartwright. “Over the next several months, I will be working with my Congressional colleagues to see to it that these ACA enhancements are made permanent.” 

On Tuesday, March 22, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07), State Rep. Bridget Kosierowski and three Pennsylvania health advocates whose lives, families and finances have been positively impacted by the Affordable Care Act joined the DNC to demand Republicans stop their attacks on the health care law. “After reducing premiums by 40% through the American Rescue Plan, Democrats have continued our focus on reducing health care costs, like lowering the price of prescription drugs for Americans across the country and capping insulin costs,” said Rep. Susan Wild. “Meanwhile, the Republican party has spent the last few weeks doubling down on their agenda of eliminating coverage, raising premiums and also hiking taxes.” You can watch the event here

On Wednesday, March 23, Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym joined For Our Future PA, Protect Our Care PA, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and Family Friendly Pennsylvania to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. You can watch the event here

COVERAGE:

WEST VIRGINIA

On Thursday, March 24, West Virginia health care advocates and storytellers joined Protect Our Care West Virginia to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. “The ACA saved my life,” said Rusty Williams, a Kanawha County resident and cancer survivor. “I was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and denied health insurance coverage three times due to my illness. Thankfully, West Virginia was one of the first states to expand Medicaid, so after spending six weeks fighting bureaucrats, I was finally able to receive coverage and begin my life saving treatments. I am forever grateful for the ACA and Medicaid expansion.” You can watch the event here

WISCONSIN

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Ron Kind (WI-03), Wisconsin State Senator Brad Pfaff, and Sarah B., resident of Eau Claire living with Type 1 diabetes, joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin and Citizen Action of Wisconsin to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while calling for action to reduce the cost of insulin. You can learn more about how the Affordable Care Act has strengthened health care in Wisconsin here

“Twelve years ago today, the Affordable Care Act became law. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites – including those with pre-existing conditions – have been able to gain access to quality, affordable health care,” said U.S. Representative Ron Kind (WI-03). “We need to keep building on this progress and continue working to lower health care costs, including the price of insulin. I’m proud to have voted for legislation to do that and I’ll keep fighting to defend the access to care and patient protections so many hardworking Wisconsin families rely on.”

On Wednesday, March 23, Wisconsin Democrats rallied outside of Ron Johnson’s office to protest his repeated, self-serving efforts to rip away key protections from Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions and increase health care costs for Wisconsin families. “When the ACA passed we were celebrating … we were given a second chance at life,” said Julie Buckolt, a Wisconsinite who relies on the ACA. “We’ve watched for too long as Johnson has prioritized his self-serving agenda. He doesn’t care that his actions make us live in fear every day – and I’ll tell you, we live in fear. We know what that tear Is. I don’t want to go back to that fear and I don’t want my children to feel that fear – we try to shelter them from that fear. I don’t want that to happen to them. I don’t want my children to feel like they have to go bankrupt at the beginning or their adult lives, and that’s what he’s doing to them.” You can watch the event here

On Wednesday, March 23, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) was joined by the Committee to Protect Health Care, For Our Future Wisconsin, and patient advocates from across Wisconsin on a press call to mark the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Thomas Hunt, a  family physician and member of Committee to Protect Health Care, Lynn Carey, a Germantown resident and lung transplant recipient Dustin Klein, a Milwaukee resident with Hemophilia joined the call to share how the Affordable Care Act’s patient protections have ensured that Wisconsinites like them are able to access the care they need. 

COVERAGE:

  • Public News Service: On 12-Year Anniversary of ACA, Wisconsinites Discuss its Impacts
  • WIZM News: Area Democrats join call to protect Affordable Care Act, approved 12 years ago
  • News 8000: U.S. Senate to vote on limiting prescription drug costs, insulin prices in Build Back Better bill
  • Up North News (Opinion): Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Still Wants to Take Away Health Insurance
  • La Crosse Tribune: ​​Pfaff, Kind urge action to lower health care costs

Republicans Lay Out Their Plan to Raise Your Health Care Costs

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee Released a Letter Opposing ACA Tax Credits That Made Health Care More Affordable for Americans 

Washington, DC — Republicans on The Senate Finance Committee sent a letter yesterday stating their clear opposition to extending the ACA tax credits that millions currently rely on to afford their health care premiums. Premium savings under the American Rescue Plan benefit millions of Americans who buy health insurance on their own and save families an average of $2,400 a year. Republicans made clear they would repeal these lower premiums. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Republicans just made it clear, once again, that they’re for higher health care costs. The American people are tired of worrying about the rising cost of health care, and bringing down health care premiums is one of the best ways to take on inflation and get more money in working families’ pockets. While President Biden and Democrats are fighting to lower health care costs, Republicans are following their same old playbook: opposing real solutions to help lower costs and improve care while shamefully playing politics with people’s lives. Republicans have made their pitch: you can pay 15% or more for your health insurance by switching to the GOP.”

How Premiums Would Rise For A Family Of Four Making $120,000 Annually In Each Republican Senate Finance Committee Member’s State:

TODAY: As Trump Visits Georgia, Democrats to Host Press Conference Highlighting Republicans’ ‘Trump First, Georgians Last’ Agenda to Gut Health Care

**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 24 AT 9:30 AM ET** 

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES
March 25, 2022
Contact: Joe Binns

 

Atlanta, GA — Today at 9:30 am ET, as Donald Trump prepares to stump with his handpicked slate of Republican candidates in Georgia, Georgia Democrats will hold a press conference calling out Republicans’ ‘Trump first, Georgians last’ agenda: repealing the Affordable Care Act, increasing health care premiums, and gutting protections for pre-existing conditions.

Speakers will also highlight how, as Republicans continue their war on health care, Georgia Democrats are fighting to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, lower the cost of insulin and prescription drugs, expand Medicaid, and ensure access to quality, affordable health care for all Georgians.

VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE 

WHO:
Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia
Liz Ernst, State Director of Protect Our Care Georgia
Teresa Acosta, Georgia ACA enrollee and mother of a young son with diabetes
Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, Atlanta oncologist and internist

 

WHEN: Friday, March 25 at 9:30 AM ET

WHERE: RSVP HERE.

HEADLINES: 12 Years Later, the ACA Is Stronger Than Ever

Yesterday marked the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and news coverage makes clear that more Americans are benefiting from the historic legislation than ever before. Thanks to the ACA, more than 30 million Americans have health coverage through the Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion, and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions are protected from discrimination by insurance companies. The ACA has survived years of attacks by Republican lawmakers, but under the leadership of President Biden and Democrats, it is only getting stronger. 

Last year, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, which drove down premium costs for millions of families. Now, a record 14.5 million Americans are enrolled in affordable coverage through the ACA. Democrats are not stopping there: they are continuing their work to strengthen the ACA by lowering premiums and prescription drug costs, expanding coverage, and reducing inequities in care. Throughout the week of the anniversary, Protect Our Care has hosted events across the country and released a new video with NowThis featuring President Obama. Watch the video here.

HEADLINES

The Washington Post: The Law Biden Once Called A BFD Turns 12. “On the Affordable Care Act’s 12th anniversary, President Biden will call out Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), though not by name, and tout his administration’s efforts to build on Obamacare. In a forthcoming statement shared with The Health 202, Biden will pledge that Democrats will protect the health law, particularly after ‘a Republican senator shared his plan to repeal the ACA.’ Since Biden took office, Democrats have taken a number of steps they say are aimed at strengthening the health law, like expanding Obamacare’s financial aid and opening a lengthy special enrollment period.” [The Washington Post, 3/23/22]

MSNBC: Twelve Years Later, The ACA Is Getting The Last Laugh. “For those of us who covered the political fight over the Affordable Care Act, this day seemed implausible. Before Obama signed the reform package into law, Republicans condemned it as an economy destroying attack on free enterprise and the American way of life. After the ACA became law, Republicans spent years, not only denouncing the reforms, but voting several dozen times to repeal it… The ACA is working; it’s popular; it’s affordable; it’s withstood far too many legal challenges; and it no longer has a Republican-imposed target on its back.” [MSNBC, 3/23/22] 

CNN: Obamacare Is Gradually Becoming A Fact Of American Life. “Today, more Americans than ever have health care coverage under the ACA. That includes 14.5 million people purchasing plans for 2022 coverage from Obamacare insurance exchanges, well over the peak during President Barack Obama’s last year in office. A comparable number gained coverage from provisions of the ACA that expanded the Medicaid program to low-income adults. The proportion of Americans without health insurance has fallen by about half, to below 10%.” [CNN, 3/20/22]

Reuters: US Signs Up More Than 14.5 Million People For Obamacare Health Plans. “More than 14.5 million Americans signed up for Obamacare health insurance for 2022, a 21% jump over last year and the highest since the Affordable Care Act was signed 12 years ago, the U.S. government said on Wednesday… U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement the Affordable Care Act had helped improve healthcare for millions of Americans and that his administration had recorded an increase in enrollment for Hispanic Americans by 26% and for Black Americans by 35%.” [Reuters, 3/23/22]

HuffPost: The Affordable Care Act Turns 12 Today, And It Could Look Pretty Different By Year 13. “The American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 relief bill that Democrats passed and President Joe Biden signed in March 2021, ramped up the financial assistance available to people buying coverage on their own through HealthCare.gov or state-run exchanges such as Covered California… Another way to bolster the Affordable Care Act is through executive action. The Biden administration has already begun that process in order to address what’s come to be known as the ‘family glitch.’” [HuffPost, 3/23/22]

Bloomberg: Opinion: Obamacare Is Boosting Economic Health. “States that have fully embraced the Affordable Care Act are enjoying healthier labor markets and stronger income growth than those that haven’t. The evidence comes from the experience of the 12 states that have refused to accept a key element of Obamacare: federal money covering the cost of expanding Medicaid to cover millions of people who otherwise couldn’t afford health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion optional in its 2012 decision upholding the other parts of the law.” [Bloomberg, 3/21/22]

Common Dreams: Op Ed: Twelve Years Later, Surviving Cancer, And Attacks On The Affordable Care Act. “There was a whole generation of Americans that wouldn’t have been alive prior to the ACA. We refused to be quiet, we refused to be ignored; we protested, we rallied, we attended town halls, we bared our private wounds in public in order to be finally seen. At last in a late night vote that summer, I watched John McCain answer our cry and put a stop to repeal in the Senate… So we cautiously celebrate the ACA’s 12th birthday. With the understanding that we all are more fragile than we look, and nothing in this life is guaranteed. Not freedom from pandemics, not one more birthday or anniversary is promised. We are bone-tired of battling for every inch of progress. And we still don’t live in a country where everyone can get the health care they need and deserve. But on this day, I’m glad to still be here and glad the ACA is too.” [Common Dreams, 3/23/22]

The Hill: White House Celebrates 12 Years Since Signing Of Affordable Care Act. “The White House on Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, highlighting both the ways in which it has helped expand access to health care and efforts to strengthen coverage.” [The Hill, 3/22/22