Monthly Archives

July 2022

Polling Clearly Demonstrates Americans Want Reconciliation Passed Now

Last week, President Biden urged Congress to pass a budget reconciliation framework which drives down prescription drug costs and lowers premiums for millions of Americans, before the August recess. President Biden’s health care proposals are overwhelmingly popular and will reduce healthcare costs and expand affordable coverage for millions of Americans when access to health care is paramount. Recent polling makes clear that Congress should work quickly to get reconciliation legislation to President Biden’s desk.

AARP Poll Of 56 Most Competitive Congressional Districts Highlights Need To Pass Health Care Provisions In Reconciliation Bill. Voters over 50 are heavily motivated to vote in the 2022 election, identifying the following issues as “very important when deciding who to vote for”: Medicare, 75 percent, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, 69 percent. [AARP, 7/20/22]

Morning Consult/Politico Finds Overwhelming Support For ACA Subsidy Extensions. ”7 in 10 say an extension of those subsidies is important…Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats back a renewal of ACA subsidies, as do roughly 3 in 5 independents. A 49% plurality of Republicans support an extension of the subsidies.” [Morning Consult/Politico, 7/20/22]

Morning Consult/Politico Poll Reveals Vast Majority Of Americans From Across The Political Spectrum Back Democrats Plans To Lower Drug Prices. Allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices had the support of 82 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Republicans. Caps on drug price increases is backed by nearly 80 percent of voters and liming out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for those on Medicare is supported by more than 70 percent of Americans. [Morning Consult/Politico, 7/13/22]

Navigator Poll Finds Majority Of Americans Support Medicaid Drug Price Negotiation And Believe It Is The Most Effective Tool To Fight Inflation. The vast majority of Americans support President Biden’s plans to lower health care premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, including 89 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents, and 52 percent of Republicans. Medicare drug price negotiation was ranked the most effective option for anti-inflation policy. [Navigator, 7/6/22]

Data For Progress Poll Finds Overwhelming Majority Of Americans From All Political Stripes Strongly Back Drug Price Negotiation. “83 percent of national likely voters support giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, [including] support from 86 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents, and, perhaps most critically, 81 percent of Republican voters.” [D4P, 6/29/22]

AARP Poll Shows Voters Over 50 More Likely To Support Candidates Fighting To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. “As the voting bloc most likely to turnout in midterm elections, voters 50-plus could once again decide this year’s elections…the data show that voters 50-plus, regardless of political party, are more likely to vote for Congressional candidates who vow to …lower prescription drug prices.” [AARP Research, June 2022]

Americans Support Lowering Health Insurance Premiums In Navigator Poll. 75 percent of Americans backed President Biden’s plan to lower health coverage premiums by up to $2,400 a year for people purchasing their own insurance. [Navigator, 5/6/22]

  • Voters From Across The Political Spectrum Want Action To Lower Premiums. 87 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents, and 63 percent of Republicans support government action to cut premium costs by up to $2,400 a year for those purchasing coverage on the marketplaces. [Navigator, 5/6/22]

Data For Progress Poll Finds Voters Overwhelmingly Support Biden’s Plan To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. 83 percent of voters want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. [Data For Progress, 5/4/22]

SHOT/CHASER: The Latest on Drug Pricing — Pharma Wants Profits, Americans Want Lower Prices

Drug companies are raising prices and trying to stop Congress from lowering the cost of prescription medication including giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices.

SHOT: “Big Pharma Has Raised Drug Prices 1,186 Times This Year, Analysis Shows.” (Common Dreams, 7/20/22)

SHOT: “Pharma wages last-ditch fight against drug pricing bill.” (Washington Post, 7/20/22

SHOT: “Democrats’ Drug Pricing and Medicare Plans Garner Broad Bipartisan Voter Support.” (Morning Consult, 7/13/22)

CHASER: “Democrats are full speed ahead on drug pricing bill.” (Washington Post, 7/20/22)

PRESS CALL: What’s in the Historic Drug Pricing Provisions Poised to Pass Senate and How They Will Help Americans

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, JULY 21 AT 10:00 AM ET***

Experts and Patients Hold Press Call as Parliamentarian Reviews Biggest Health Care Bill Since ACA

Washington, DC — Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 10:00 AM ET, AARP, P4ADNow, National MS Society, patient advocates, and more will join Protect Our Care for a press call to discuss how the historic drug provisions included in the new reconciliation bill will change lives.

As the drug pricing provisions in the reconciliation package are being reviewed by the parliamentarian, drug pricing experts and patients invite the press to join a call to walk through the impact of the historic reforms on Americans. This legislation – which is the largest healthcare bill since the ACA – will, for the first time, authorize Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines; institute a cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries; and limit annual price increases to stop price gouging by drug corporations.

VIRTUAL EVENT:

WHO:
AARP
P4ADNow
National MS Society
Patient advocates
Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 10:00 AM ET

Big Pharma Drops Over $100 Million Fighting Prescription Drug Price Negotiation

In 2022, Pharma has spent twice as much as any other industry lobbying against fair drug prices

It appears Congress is now on the verge of passing historic legislation that will drive down health care costs and level the playing field for working families. A core piece of this legislation is lowering prescription drug prices. As it stands, Americans pay three times more for prescription drugs than people in other countries, forcing millions to choose between affording their medications and paying for essentials like food or rent. With this legislation, Medicare will finally have the power to negotiate for lower drug prices and all Americans will be protected against outrageous and arbitrary price increases. 

However, Big Pharma is not going down without a fight. Big drug companies are spending millions on lobbying and advertisements to block any reform that brings down drug prices at the expense of their sky-high profits. With the help of their Republican allies, drug companies have been relentless in their efforts to spread lies about the Democrats’ plan to lower drug prices for families. Fortunately, the American people remain unswayed, with poll after poll showing that policies to reduce drug costs are the most popular provisions among voters. With support from Americans of all parties, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are committed to reining in Big Pharma’s greed and delivering real relief to millions of families. 

Pharma Spending:

The Pharmaceutical Industry Has Spent More Than $100 Million On Lobbying In 2022. According to OpenSecrets, the pharmaceutical industry has spent $101 million lobbying on behalf of 483 clients in 2022, fighting Democratic efforts to rein in prescription drug costs. That is double the amount of the as the next largest industry. 

PhRMA Cannot Be Trusted With Drug Pricing Reform. Leading the charge on pharmaceutical industry’s spending on lobbying is PhRMA, the group representing the nation’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. To date, PhRMA has spent $8.2 million Americans see through the fear tactics used by pharma industry trade groups, with more than 80 percent of Americans reporting they want Congressional action to check pharma’s greed and lower prescription drug prices. 

Pharmaceutical Companies Spending The Most To Fight Prescription Drug Negotiations:

AbbVie. AbbVie has already spent nearly $4 million lobbying in 2022. AbbVie’s blockbuster immunosuppressive drug, Humira, already plays an outsized role in American health care spending as one of the nation’s highest revenue generating drugs, raking in $4.6 billion in the third-quarter of 2021 alone. AbbVie, which has hiked the price of Humira more than two dozen times and at rates far outpacing inflation.

Pfizer. A 2019 analysis found a majority of top-selling drugs from Pfizer were discovered and developed by third parties, such as universities and academic centers. These findings suggest that “a reduction in pharmaceutical revenues would not have the supposed devastating impact on the level of biopharmaceutical innovation.” This did not stop Pfizer from spending a whopping $2.7 million lobbying in 2022.

Johnson & Johnson. Despite receiving more than $1 billion in federal funding to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson & Johnson has spent $2.3 million dollars lobbying Congress this year alone in an attempt to continue exploiting the lack of Medicare drug price negotiation. Johnson & Johnson saw nearly $21 billion in net earnings in 2021.

Additional Drug Makers Dropping Record Sums Lobbying:

Polling Proves Popular Support For Reconciliation Package That Lowers Health Care Costs

Historic Legislation Would Deliver Lower Health Care Costs for Millions of Families

Last week, President Biden urged Congress to pass a budget reconciliation framework which drives down prescription drug costs and lowers premiums for millions of Americans, before the August recess. President Biden’s health care proposals are overwhelmingly popular and will reduce healthcare costs and expand affordable coverage for millions of Americans when access to health care is paramount. Recent polling makes clear that Congress should work quickly to get reconciliation legislation to President Biden’s desk.

Navigator Poll Finds Majority Of Americans Support Medicaid Drug Price Negotiation And Believe It Is The Most Effective Tool To Fight Inflation. The vast majority of Americans support President Biden’s plans to lower health care premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, including 89 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents, and 52 percent of Republicans. Medicare drug price negotiation was ranked the most effective option for anti-inflation policy. [Navigator, 7/6/22]

Data For Progress Poll Finds Overwhelming Majority Of Americans From All Political Stripes Strongly Back Drug Price Negotiation. “83 percent of national likely voters support giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, [including] support from 86 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents, and, perhaps most critically, 81 percent of Republican voters.” [D4P, 6/29/22]

AARP Poll Shows Voters Over 50 More Likely To Support Candidates Fighting To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. “As the voting bloc most likely to turnout in midterm elections, voters 50-plus could once again decide this year’s elections…the data show that voters 50-plus, regardless of political party, are more likely to vote for Congressional candidates who vow to …lower prescription drug prices.” [AARP Research, June 2022]

Americans Support Lowering Health Insurance Premiums In Navigator Poll. 75 percent of Americans backed President Biden’s plan to lower health coverage premiums by up to $2,400 a year for people purchasing their own insurance. [Navigator, 5/6/22]

  • Voters From Across The Political Spectrum Want Action To Lower Premiums. 87 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents, and 63 percent of Republicans support government action to cut premium costs by up to $2,400 a year for those purchasing coverage on the marketplaces. [Navigator, 5/6/22]

Data For Progress Poll Finds Voters Overwhelmingly Support Biden’s Plan To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. 83 percent of voters want Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. [Data For Progress, 5/4/22]

President Biden Calls for Passing Historic Legislation Before August Recess to Deliver Lower Health Care Costs for Millions of Families

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Biden called on Congress to pass a historic framework for budget reconciliation before the August recess, including critical health care provisions to drive down prescription drug costs and lower premiums for millions of Americans. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“We fully agree with President Biden that affordable health care is critical to every American, and Congress should pass this historic legislation before the August recess. Now is the time for action. This historic legislation will improve people’s health and lower costs at a time when inflation is a major concern for families. Millions of Americans will no longer have to choose between the drugs they need to stay alive and putting food on the table, and they will be assured that they can afford the health insurance they rely on.

“Health care is the number one kitchen table issue across America, and there has never been a more urgent time to lower costs. We commend the work of President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and all Democrats in Congress who have been working tirelessly to lower health care costs and expand affordable coverage. The American people cannot wait any longer — Congress should work quickly to meet the President’s timeline and get this deal over the finish line.”

Middle Class Americans Are Depending on Congress to Extend Premium Tax Credits

Premium Tax Credits Are Already Means Tested

Next year, millions of Americans will see dramatic increases in their health care costs if Congress fails to extend the enhanced premium tax credits in the American Rescue Plan — and as many as three million people will no longer be able to afford insurance at all. Failure to extend these tax credits would be a devastating blow to middle class families across the country. 

The American Rescue Plan ensured everyone had the option to purchase health care for less than 8.5 percent of their income. Previously, middle class families spent an average of 15 percent of their incomes on health insurance. The subsidies are designed to benefit those who need it most, and they are already means tested, which means the higher your income, the smaller your tax credits become. A family whose health insurance premiums alone — not including deductibles — are less than 8.5 percent of their income receive no tax credits at all. 

If Congress fails to act soon, some families will face increases of more than $30,000 a year. This is unacceptable and entirely preventable, particularly when families are already squeezed by inflation and rising prices. Losing access to premium tax credits would be a catastrophe for the middle class, with adults between the ages of 55 and 64 and Americans with large families facing the largest premium increases. Families are relying on lawmakers to keep their health care coverage affordable. Congress must extend the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits before it’s too late.

How The Premium Tax Credits Benefit Middle Class Families

13 Million Americans Depend On Premium Subsidies. A record breaking 14.5 million Americans enrolled in an ACA marketplace plan in 2021. Right now, nearly 13 million people, or 89 percent with an ACA plan, are receiving enhanced tax credits, making their coverage affordable and accessible.  

Making Coverage More Affordable For Americans. Middle class families used to spend an average of 15 percent of their incomes on health insurance. Now they have the option to purchase health care for less than 8.5 percent of their income. Americans between 55 and 64 receive nearly 45 percent of premium tax credits. Losing access to affordable coverage would be a devastating blow to this group as they prepare for retirement.

Without An Extension Of The American Rescue Plan’s Tax Credits:

  • The average middle class family of four in the U.S. will see an annual premium hike of $6,604.
  • The average middle class couple about to retire will see an annual premium hike of $15,949.

U.S. Reps. Underwood and Wild Joined Protect Our Care to Discuss How Overturning Roe Exacerbates the Need to Lower Costs and Expand Health Care Coverage

U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood and Susan Wild, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Protect Our Care Called on Congress to Stop Premium Hikes and Close the Coverage Gap 


Watch the Event Here.

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Susan Wild (D-PA-07) joined The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for a virtual press conference hosted by Protect Our Care to discuss the urgent need for Congress to protect and expand women’s access to health care in the wake of the Supreme Court’s elimination of the federal right to an abortion. During the call, speakers made the case for extending the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits and closing the Medicaid coverage gap to improve maternal health outcomes, protect contraception access, and make health coverage affordable for families. 

The event follows a new report from Protect Our Care that lays out the dire consequences for women and children if Congress fails to extend the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits and close the Medicaid coverage gap.

“Fundamentally, health care is a human right, and we need to urgently respond to the Supreme Court’s dismantling of nearly 50 years of precedent by extending advanced premium tax credits and making life-saving, high-quality care affordable and accessible for all,” said U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood. “If Congress does not act now, women will lose access to essential, reproductive care, all while facing extreme state abortion bans that aren’t based on science. The Senate must protect access to reproductive health care by passing legislation that makes the American Rescue Plan premium tax credit expansion permanent.”

“Every American should have access to affordable, comprehensive health care, and in the face of the overturning of Roe the fight has never been more urgent,” said U.S. Representative Susan Wild. “If we don’t take action, thousands of women in Pennsylvania and millions of women across the country will lose guaranteed access to contraceptives, wellness visits, and maternal health care, while their monthly premiums increase hundreds of dollars. At a time when reproductive health is under the greatest threat since Roe was decided we cannot allow parents to also face higher costs for healthcare or loss of coverage all together.”

“Many of the states that have banned or restricted abortion access have also denied comprehensive health coverage to low income people of reproductive age by failing to extend Medicaid under the ACA,” said Peggy Ramin, Counsel on Health/Poverty at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “With the upcoming reconciliation legislation, Congress has a real opportunity to address long standing disparities and access to care by providing comprehensive coverage to 2.2 million adults, including 800,000 women of reproductive age, that fall within the Medicaid coverage gap. Closing the coverage gap will help to ensure all people of reproductive age can get the health care they need before, during, and after pregnancy.” 

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has made it even more urgent for Congress to expand access to affordable health care for the American people,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Closing the coverage gap and extending the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits are common sense policies to ensure women and their families can access free contraception, maternal services, and other essential care. Congress must act quickly to mitigate some of the damage as states move to restrict abortion access.” 

NEW REPORT: Supreme Court Ruling Overturning Roe Exacerbates the Need to Expand Medicaid And Premium Subsidies Under the ACA

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care is releasing a new report that highlights the urgent need for Congress to protect and expand women’s access to health care in the wake of the Supreme Court’s elimination of the constitutional right to an abortion. The report lays out the dire consequences for women of childbearing age and their families if Congress fails to make the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits permanent and close the Medicaid coverage gap. 

While abortion rights have long been at the center of the Republican war on health care, the GOP has also opposed meaningful measures to expand health care access by refusing to close the Medicaid coverage gap and opposing measures to drive down health care costs. With the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits set to expire later this year, it has never been more urgent for Congress to prevent premium hikes and extend affordable coverage to mitigate some of the worst impacts of the Supreme Court decision.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has made it even more urgent for Congress to expand Medicaid and extend the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits, ensuring women and their children have access to essential health care,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The officials attacking women’s rights are the same people who oppose Medicaid expansion, refuse to support measures to improve health outcomes for mothers and their children, and fight common sense reforms to lower health care costs.”

KEY POINTS

  • Closing the Coverage Gap Essential to Protect Mothers and Families. Many of the states moving to take away the right to an abortion are the same states whose Republican governors or state legislatures have refused to expand Medicaid. Failure to expand Medicaid has left women and children without the health care they need. There are 2.2 million uninsured people below the poverty line who live in Medicaid coverage gap states, and more than 800,000 are women of reproductive age. 
  • If Congress Fails To Act, Millions Of Women & Children Will Lose Coverage. More than 3 million people will become uninsured if the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits expire — increasing the number of uninsured Americans by 11 percent. When women become uninsured, they lose the guaranteed protections of the ACA, including access to free contraceptives, cancer screenings (including breast and cervical cancer), and well woman visits. When women lose their health insurance, their children also become uninsured, including young adults who are able to remain on a parent’s insurance until 26. 

Read the full report here. 

PRESS CALL: U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood and Susan Wild to Join Protect Our Care to Discuss How Overturning Roe Exacerbates Need to Lower Costs and Expand Health Care Coverage 

 ***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY JULY 14 AT 10:45 AM ET // 9:45 AM CT***

Washington, DC — On Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 10:45 AM ET // 9:45 AM CT, U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Susan Wild (D-PA-07) and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will join Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to discuss the urgent need for Congress to protect and expand women’s access to health care in the wake of the Supreme Court’s elimination of the federal right to an abortion. Protect Our Care is releasing a new report that lays out the dire consequences for women and children if Congress fails to make the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced premium tax credits permanent and close the Medicaid coverage gap. 

Three million people stand to lose their health coverage if Congress fails to extend the American Rescue Plan’s tax credits — which means the loss of access to free contraceptives, lifesaving maternal care, and care for children. At the same time, in states like Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, Republican lawmakers are not only rolling back abortion rights, but they are continuing to block Medicaid expansion, which only leaves mothers and families without access to essential care. This press call makes clear that Congress must move quickly to extend premium subsidies and close the coverage gap to avoid exacerbating the damage being done as states revoke abortion rights. 

PRESS CALL:

WHO

U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14)
U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA-07)
Peggy Ramin, Counsel on Health/Poverty at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Leslie Dach, Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference to Discuss How Overturning Roe Exacerbates Need to Lower Costs and Expand Health Care Coverage 

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 10:45 AM ET // 9:45 AM CT