Monthly Archives

August 2022

PRESS CALL: U.S. Representative Dan Kildee to Join Health Care Advocates to Describe How Inflation Reduction Act Helps Patients and Families

*** MEDIA ADVISORY: TUESDAY AUGUST 23 AT 11 AM ET ***

The Inflation Reduction Act Will Lower Costs, Help Michiganders Save on Premiums, and Allow Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices 

Flint, Michigan — On Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 11 AM ET, a Michigan retiree and mom to a disabled daughter as well as a health care advocate will join Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for millions of Americans.

The Inflation Reduction Act will lower the cost of health insurance and drive down prescription drug prices by giving Medicare the power to negotiate, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for drugs at $2,000 per year, capping insulin costs, and stopping Big Pharma’s egregious price hikes. This bill will help lower costs for millions of working families, address the deep racial inequities in our health care system and save lives. This historic legislation ends a 20-year era of pharmaceutical companies’ greed taking precedence over the health and well-being of the American people.

By passing this legislation, President Biden and Democrats delivered on their promise to lower health care costs and rein in high drug prices — a stark contrast from  every Republican who voted no. American families have been asking and waiting for this day, and now help is on the way.

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
Cheryl Hadsall, a retiree who cares for a disabled daughter with diabetes
Jim Milanowski, president and CEO of Genesee Health Plan
Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHEN: Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 11 AM ET

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

Protect Our Care Kicks Off Inflation Reduction Act Themed Weeks By Holding Republicans Accountable for Their Vote Against Lower Health Care Costs

New Video Explains Inflation Reduction Act’s Key Measures to Lower Premiums and Prescription Drug Costs for Millions

Watch Protect Our Care’s New Explainer Video Here.

Washington DC — Today, Protect Our Care is announcing four themed weeks to raise awareness of The Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions to lower health care costs for millions of Americans. The bill will drive down health care premiums for 13 million Americans and lower the cost of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket drug costs, and stopping egregious price hikes. These measures will deliver long-overdue relief to working families and seniors, and they will address the deep racial inequities in our health care system. Week one focuses on how Republican lawmakers voted in unison against this historic legislation and stood by Big Pharma instead of the American people.

“For years, Republicans have waged a partisan war on health care, and this vote is no different,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “By opposing the Inflation Reduction Act, every Republican in the House and the Senate voted to raise premiums and keep drug costs sky-high for millions of seniors and working families. As we approach the fall, it has never been more important to educate Americans about who is working to deliver real relief to families and who is working to deliver higher profits for big drug companies and their executives.” 

Over the next four weeks, Protect Our Care will release fact sheets and host nationwide events with elected officials, storytellers, and health care advocates to highlight the Inflation Reduction Act’s critical measures to drive down health care and prescription drug costs.

Inflation Reduction Act Themed Weeks:

  • Week 1: GOP Accountability. Week one focuses on how every Republican lawmaker in Congress stood by Big Pharma and other special interests and voted against lower health care costs for the American people.
  • Week 2: Seniors. Week two is bringing attention to the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions to lower prescription drug costs for millions of seniors. 
  • Week 3: Lower Health Care Premiums. Week three focuses on how millions of Americans will save on their health care premiums thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. 
  • Week 4: Cancer. The final week highlights how patients fighting serious diseases like cancer stand to save thousands of dollars a year on their health care costs. 

FACT SHEET: Every Republican Voted To Keep Drug Prices High And Charge Millions Of Americans More For Health Insurance

While President Biden and Congressional Democrats fought tirelessly to pass the historic health care investments included in the Inflation Reduction Act, every Republican in the House and Senate opted to keep drug prices high and charge millions of Americans more for health care by voting against the bill. And now Republican leaders like Rick Scott and Chip Roy are even threatening to shut down the federal government to try and roll back this law and force Americans to pay more for their health care and prescription drugs. 

This historic legislation reduces the cost of prescription drugs by reining in Big Pharma and slashes costs for millions of Americans purchasing coverage on their own through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. Not only does this law address our most pressing health care challenges, it also puts downward pressure on rising costs and is backed by more than 120 world renowned economists. But Republicans stood against all of that by giving in to hundreds of millions of dollars in Big Pharma pressure and standing in unified opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Republicans have worked relentlessly for over a decade to repeal and sabotage the ACA  and now they’re continuing their campaign for higher costs and worse care by opposing the historic investment in health care made by the Inflation Reduction Act, which improves the health and well-being of seniors, people of color, rural Americans, and people with disabilities, strengthens families, and will save lives. 

Read the full fact sheet here.

Protect Our Care Hosts Nationwide Events to Celebrate Inflation Reduction Act’s Historic Measures to Drive Down Health Care Costs

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD-05), Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06), U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Darren Soto (FL-09), Susan Wild (PA-07), Susie Lee (NV-03), and Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

Over the last two weeks, Protect Our Care hosted events across the nation with national lawmakers and health care advocates to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. These measures will deliver long-overdue relief to working families and seniors, and it will address the deep racial inequities in our health care system. Last week, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, overcoming unified Republican opposition and record lobbying from Big Pharma and other special interests to finally put people over profits. More information on The Inflation Reduction Act can be found here

NATIONAL

On Friday, August 12, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD-05) and U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06) joined Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference ahead of the House vote on the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation takes critical steps to lower health care premiums and prescription drug costs for the American people. Watch the event here

Coverage:

  • The Hill: Health Care — House passes sweeping bill with health measures
  • The National News: US House passes Biden’s historic Inflation Reduction Act
  • Just The News: House Democrats reject GOP amendment to prevent hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents
  • Politico: Pausing recess — Dems’ big bill hits the House
  • Washington Post: Trump Mar-a-Lago search goes nuclear

On Tuesday, August 9, U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT-AL) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) joined patient advocates and Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act’s critical measures to lower health care premiums and prescription drug costs for the American people. You can watch the event here

ARIZONA

On Wednesday, August 17, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) joined AARP State Director, Dana Kennedy, Protect Our Care Arizona storyteller Kathy Saulsberry, and Arizona advocates at the Arizona AARP headquarters to discuss what the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act will mean for Arizonans struggling with high prescription drug and health care costs. “After decades of politicians from both parties promising that they would get this done, we got this across the finish line for Arizonans and the American people who have been waiting way too long,” said Senator Kelly during the roundtable. You can watch the event here

Coverage: 

  • AZ Family/CBS 5: Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly weighs in on Inflation Reduction Act
  • ABC15: Inflation Reduction Act is ‘good news for all of us,’ Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego says 
  • Public News Service: Inflation Reduction Act to Save Seniors Millions on Drug Costs 
  • KJZZ: Sen. Mark Kelly joins AARP to celebrate changes to Medicare prescription drugs 

On Thursday, August 18, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra hosted a roundtable in Phoenix, Arizona, supported by Protect Our Care Arizona. The roundtable focused on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expanding access to high-quality health care. During the roundtable, the Secretary highlighted key health care wins in the Inflation Reduction Act, including new HHS authorities that will make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. 

COLORADO

On Tuesday, August 9, Protect Our Care Colorado joined Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper to celebrate Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.  Bennet and Hickenlooper secured critical resources and provisions in the historic legislation to lower health care and prescription drug costs, tackle climate change, reduce the U.S. deficit, and help fight inflation for hard-working Coloradans. You can watch the event here.

Coverage: 

  • Colorado Public Radio: Bennet, Hickenlooper help pass Democrat’s climate, health and tax bill
  • The Denver Channel: Democrats laud coming impact Inflation Reduction Act will have on Colorado 
  • Real Vail: Senate passes IRA with largest ever investment in climate rescue infrastructure
  • Colorado Times Recorder: Colorado Democrats, environmental groups cheer Senate passage of ‘historic’ climate bill
  • AccessWire: Colorado VNA receives 2.3 million grant to expand CAPABLE program Denver Post: Colorado’s U.S. Senate candidates spar over $433 billion climate bill 
  • Axios: Colorado is a battleground for how to frame new bill

FLORIDA

On Wednesday, August 10, U.S. Representative Darren Soto (D-FL-09) joined Protect Our Care Florida to discuss Senate Democrats passing the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. “The advance premium tax credit appears to be saved and extended for three years– to 2025– under the Inflation Reduction Act. This is a huge win for Florida that is imminent,” said Congressman Darren Soto. “It means brighter days are ahead. Lower costs. Better healthcare. And a brighter future.” You can watch the event here

Coverage: 

  • WMFE NPR: Central Florida healthcare advocates call for passage of Inflation Reduction Act
  • Florida Phoenix: U.S. drug price controls could kneecap DeSantis’ Canada prescription import plan

On Thursday, August 18, U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) joined Protect Our Care Florida along with health care advocates to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. “Florida is the biggest winner from the Inflation Reduction Act, with huge savings for Floridians, no thanks to Republicans like Ron DeSantis,” said Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13th). “But make no mistake, where Republicans failed, Florida Democrats in Congress stepped up and delivered. This bill is a home run; it is common sense. It addresses our most pressing healthcare challenges, and it brings costs down.” You can watch the event here

Coverage: 

  • Florida Politics: Inflation Reduction Act is the law, but partisan politicking continues
  • WCJB-TV (ABC 20): Rep. Chris Discusses How Inflation Reduction Act will Benefit FL Seniors
  • WESH-TV(NBC 2): Rep. Crist to Discuss Lower Drug Costs with Seniors
  • WCJB-TV (ABC 20): Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried campaigns in Gainesville by touring in a bus  

GEORGIA

On Wednesday, August 17, Protect Our Care Georgia supported a virtual press conference to discuss how the Inflation Reduction Act will lower health care costs, reduce energy costs, and fight inflation without raising taxes a single penny for middle class Georgians – while all eight of Georgia’s House Republicans voted to stand with Big Pharma and special interests instead of Georgia families. “Yesterday, President Biden’s signature of the Inflation Reduction Act capped off months of intensive efforts by congressional Democrats to get a historic package across the finish line – that boldly takes on special interests to tackle inflation, cuts health care and energy costs for millions of Americans, all without raising taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year,” said Congressman Hank Johnson. “One victory Georgians can be particularly proud of is this legislation’s provisions to finally allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, cap out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors, and cap the cost of insulin for Medicare recipients who rely on it. Big Pharma has fought tooth and nail to stop these things from ever becoming law. But Democrats fought and secured their passage, and the president’s signature yesterday enshrined them into the books of law.” You can watch the event here

Coverage

NEW HAMPSHIRE

On Tuesday, August 9, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) held a press conference at Amoskeag Health with local health care advocates, medical professionals and area residents impacted by pharmaceutical costs to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last weekend by the U.S. Senate. “This bill will help bring down the cost of prescription drugs for not just Medicare patients, but consumers across the board by putting pressure on Big Pharma to lower their prices,” said Senator Hassan. 

Coverage:

  • Manchester Ink Link: Hassan joins local advocates in touting Inflation Reduction Act’s passage

NEW JERSEY

On Thursday, August 11,  Protect Our Care joined Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) at a press conference in Woodbridge with local elected leaders and health care advocates on the Inflation Reduction Act.“The Inflation Reduction Act is one of the most significant pieces of health care legislation to move through Congress in over a decade. It finally breaks Big Pharma’s monopoly on prescription drug prices. No one should have to choose between paying for life saving medications or food and rent,” said Rep. Pallone. “Importantly, it will help ensure seniors are no longer ripped off at the pharmacy counter by capping both their annual out-of-pocket drug spending as well as how much they can be charged for insulin. It also penalizes Big Pharma companies for unfairly hiking prices on seniors.” You can watch the event here

Coverage:

  • Central Jersey: Congressman Frank Pallone highlights Inflation Reduction Act
  • News 12 New Jersey: Congress considers bill to lower cost of prescription drugs, health care for seniors

On Monday, August 15, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-09) and health care advocates  joined Protect Our Care New Jersey to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. “Last week Democrats passed one of the most significant acts by Congress in history. In one fell swoop we made the largest investment in fighting climate change ever, brought down inflation, increased tax fairness, and reduced prescription drug prices for millions of Americans,” said Congressman Bill Pascrell. “This bill is a victory for those who cannot afford life-saving medication. It is a win for those struggling to pay for insurance. It is a gamechanger for small business owners like Patrick Hall faced with high premiums. I could not be more proud of the work we put in to pass this bill. It is damning beyond all comprehension that not a single Republican in all of Congress voted for this. Yet, with or without them, we will continue to create lasting change for the American people.” You can watch the event here

Coverage: 

  • New Jersey Globe: Inflation Reduction Act will lower drug costs, Pascrell says
  • WPIX: Congressman Pascrell and Health Care Advocates Discuss Legislation Headed to President Biden’s Desk
  • WMBC-TV: Lowering Healthcare Costs

NEVADA 

  • On Friday, August 19, Friday, August 19 HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Governor Steve Sisolak, and Protect Our Care Nevada organized a roundtable in Reno, Nevada with Governor Steve Sisolak. The roundtable focused on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expanding access to high-quality health care. During the roundtable, the Secretary highlighted key health care wins in the Inflation Reduction Act, including new HHS authorities that will make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. 

Coverage: 

  • KRNV: U.S. Health and Human Services secretary talks prescription drugs, mental health in Reno
  • KTVN: HHS Secretary Becerra, Governor Sisolak participate in Inflation Reduction Act Roundtable
  • Indy DC Download: Ahead of election, Democrats tout perks of Inflation Reduction Act
  • KTVN-TV (CBS): HHS Sec. Becerra and Gov. Sisolak host prescription drugs roundtable

OHIO

On Wednesday, August 1, State Representative Brigid Kelly and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Ohio to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. Ensuring people have real access to health care – I’m talking about coverage they can actually afford to use – is a hard fight, made even more difficult when elected leaders choose to create barriers to care instead of making coverage easier to obtain,” said State Representative Brigid Kelly. “But now, Democrats in Congress have passed – and President Biden has signed – The Inflation Reduction Act, which will lower costs and improve health care for millions of Americans.” You can watch the event here

Coverage: 

  • Gongwer: Advocates Hope Federal Law Leads To Broader Affordable Insulin Access
  • WBNS: Ohio Leaders Address Health Care Costs
  • WBNS: How Inflation Reduction Act Helps Ohioans 

PENNSYLVANIA

On Thursday, August 11, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA-07) joined Protect Our Care Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Health Access Network, For Our Future PA, and Family Friendly Pennsylvania to emphasize the need for Congress to lower prescription drug costs by passing the Inflation Reduction Act. Rep. Wild has been a national leader on this issue both in the House and in pressuring the Senate to take action. Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in history, limit onerous price hikes, and cap seniors’ drug costs. These actions are vital to fixing the broken system that all too often forces patients to choose between paying the bills and affording the drugs they need. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

On Thursday, August 18, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined local health care advocates to discuss what the historic passage of the Inflation Reduction Act will mean for Pennsylvania seniors struggling with high prescription drug costs. “The high cost of insulin is a horror for so many Americans and we had the chance in this bill that passed — and thankfully the whole bill passed — but we had a moment where the bill that went to the Senate floor had the same $35 cap for all Americans. We needed Republican votes and we couldn’t get those votes, so the reason it’s not in the bill is the fault of one party in the United States. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to keep fighting the fight,” said Senator Casey

Coverage: 

  • WGAL: Sen. Bob Casey discusses how new law will lower health care costs for seniors
  • WHTM-HAR (ABC): Sen. Casey Discusses How IRA Will Benefit PA Seniors
  • WGAL-HAR (NBC): Sen. Casey Meets with Seniors on IRA Rx Drug Reforms
  • WHTM-HAR (ABC): Sen. Casey Calls Out Republicans for Blocking Reforms to Lower Cost of Insulin
  • WPMT-HAR (FOX): Sen. Casey Meets with Seniors Who Will Benefit from IRA Health Measures
  • 21 News (CBS):  Rising Insulin Prices Cause Growing Concern
  • Penn Live:  Senator Casey Touts Legislative Success in Harrisburg

WEST VIRGINIA

On Thursday, August 18, Protect Our Care West Virginia joined with health care experts for a press conference to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for West Virginians. “The Inflation Reduction Act will be a game-changer for millions of people,” said Lynette Maselli, state director of Protect Our Care West Virginia. “Medicare will have the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, millions of seniors will save  thousands of dollars a year and will no longer have to choose between paying the bills and affording their lifesaving prescriptions, and middle-class families will save on their health insurance premiums. And all of this at a time when Americans are looking for relief from rising prices.”

Congresswoman Susie Lee and Advocates Discuss Once-in-a-Generation Legislation to Lower Health Care Costs

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 22 AT 10:00 AM PT***

The Inflation Reduction Act Will Lower Costs, Help Nevadans Save on Premiums, and Allow Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices 

Las Vegas, Nevada — On Monday, August 22nd at 10:00 am, Congresswoman Susie Lee will join Protect Our Care Nevada to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, historic legislation that will lower prescription drug costs and health insurance premiums for millions of Americans.

The Inflation Reduction Act will lower the cost of health insurance and drive down prescription drug prices by giving Medicare the power to negotiate, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for drugs at $2,000 per year, capping insulin costs, and stopping Big Pharma’s egregious price hikes. This bill will help lower costs for millions of working families, address the deep racial inequities in our health care system and save lives. This historic legislation ends a 20-year era of pharmaceutical companies’ greed taking precedence over the health and well-being of the American people.

By passing this legislation, Democrats delivered on their promise to lower health care costs and rein in high drug prices — a stark contrast from  every Republican who voted no. American families have been asking and waiting for this day, and now help is on the way.

WHO: Congresswoman Susie Lee and health care advocates

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: Monday, August 22, 2022 at 10:00 AM PT

WHERE: Soriano Conference Room in the Engelstad Building at  Roseman University
10530 Discovery Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89135

Watch the livestream.

HHS Secretary Becerra Travels to Arizona and Nevada to Discuss Lowering Prescription Drugs, Reproductive Rights, and Youth Mental Health

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 18 AND FRIDAY, AUGUST 19***

Secretary Becerra Will Highlight Key Health Care Wins in the Inflation Reduction Act for Communities in the Southwest and Across the Country

Phoenix, AZ – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra will host two roundtables. The first roundtable will focus on reproductive rights. During the roundtable, the Secretary will highlight the Department’s work to protect access to reproductive rights following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.   

The second roundtable will focus on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to expanding access to high-quality health care. During the roundtable, the Secretary will highlight key health care wins in the Inflation Reduction Act, including new HHS authorities that will make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.   

ROUNDTABLE EVENT:

WHO:
HHS Secretary Becerra
Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ-09) 

WHAT: Roundtable on Lowering Prescription Drugs

WHERE: Chicanos Por La Causa Maryvale Community Service Center
6850 W Indian School Road
Phoenix, AZ 85033

WHEN: Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 12:00 PM MST

Reno, NV – Secretary Becerra will host two roundtables. The first roundtable will focus on key health care provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, and the second roundtable will focus on youth mental health as students prepare to return to school in the fall.  

During the second roundtable, Secretary Becerra will highlight his National Tour to Strengthen Mental Health and other work HHS is doing as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive national strategy to tackle our nation’s mental and behavioral health crisis. 

ROUNDTABLE EVENT:

WHO:
HHS Secretary Becerra
Governor Steve Sisolak 

WHAT: Roundtable on Inflation Reduction Act

WHERE: Community Health Alliance
5055 Sun Valley Blvd, Suite 100
Sun Valley, NV 89433 

WHEN: Friday, August 19, 2022 at 9 AM PST 

PRESS: For interested media, please RSVP to [email protected].

SHOT/CHASER: GOP Senator Rick Scott Threatens Government Shutdown Over Widely Popular Inflation Reduction Act

Inflation Reduction Act’s Health Care Measures Drive Bill’s Widespread Popularity

SHOT: Senator Rick Scott Threatens To Force Government Shutdown Over Inflation Reduction Act If GOP Takes Control Of The Senate. “If we can get over 50 senators in the Senate, we can pass a reconciliation bill. Which, then, the Biden administration — Biden — will have to make a choice whether he wants to shut down government or fund things the proper way.” [Politico, 8/17/22

CHASER: Navigator Poll Shows Two In Three Americans Support The Inflation Reduction Act. “Nearly two in three independents (64%) and almost two in five Republicans support the plan (35%).” [Navigator, 8/18/22

CHASER: New POLITICO/Morning Consult Poll Shows Strong Public Support For Inflation Reduction Act’s Health Care Measures. “The poll found that 76 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat support placing a limit on the amount that prescription drugs can increase, while only 13 percent strongly or somewhat oppose it. The results also showed that several other pieces of the legislation are overwhelmingly popular. More than 70 percent strongly or somewhat support the law’s provisions to allow Medicare to directly negotiate some prescription drug prices and to reduce the federal deficit by $300 billion in the next decade…More than 70 percent also support the act limiting annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare recipients to $2,000, while 15 percent oppose it.” [The Hill, 8/17/22

Protect Our Care Applauds Appointment of Mary K. Wakefield to Lead CDC Public Health Effort

Washington DC — Today, the New York Times reported that Mary K. Wakefield, former Deputy Secretary of HHS in the Obama administration, has been appointed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky to lead CDC’s shift to a stronger public health focus. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“I worked closely with Mary Wakefield every day when I served as senior counselor to the Secretary of HHS under President Obama. The CDC could not have selected a better person for this role. Mary is tough, compassionate, and effective. She is a consummate manager who cares equally about people and results. This is the right path for the CDC and the right person to lead the effort.”

Biden-Harris Administration Extends Affordable Coverage to Thousands by Approving 12-Month Postpartum Medicaid Coverage in Hawaii, Maryland, and Ohio

Washington DC — Yesterday, the Biden-Harris administration approved extending Medicaid postpartum coverage for 12 months in Hawaii, Maryland and Ohio. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, up to 34,000 people will become eligible for affordable health care thanks to the American Rescue Plan’s provision to strengthen maternal health coverage. Yesterday’s action combined with previously-approved state extensions brings the total to more than 20 states and D.C. – covering an estimated 318,000 Americans – where this postpartum coverage will be available. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“From day one, the Biden-Harris administration has prioritized making health care more affordable and equitable, and this announcement marks another victory for American families. Thousands will have access to essential maternal health care thanks to this 12-month extension of Medicaid coverage, which was enabled by the American Rescue Plan. This is a critical step in fighting the maternal mortality crisis and eliminating racial disparities within our health care system, particularly for Black mothers and their babies. Seventeen states have refused to take advantage of this option, leaving too many families without life saving care. It’s time for every state to take action now to save lives.”   

Background:

17 States Have Refused To Expand Postpartum Medicaid For A Year After Birth. The 17 states that have failed to expand Medicaid to cover postpartum coverage for a year after birth include five states that haven’t adopted Medicaid expansion and eleven states that banned abortion. Almost all have Republican governors. Policies in these Republican held and gridlock states put new mothers at severe risk to lose stable and consistent coverage during a period of medical vulnerability.

Access To Care Is Essential At Every Stage. There is an urgent need for quality, affordable health coverage prior to, during, and after giving birth. While 48 percent of maternal deaths occur during pregnancy and delivery, more than half, 52 percent, occur in the year following the birth of a child. 12 percent of maternal deaths are deemed ‘late’, occurring between six weeks and one year following delivery, demonstrating the immense need for continuous health access and coverage for a minimum of one year following the birth of a child.

More Than Four In 10 Births Are Covered By Medicaid. In 2018, 42 percent of births were financed by Medicaid, with 40 percent or more births covered by the program in 25 states. Rates varied across the nation, with 61 percent of births financed by Medicaid in Louisiana, and 22 percent in Utah. In the 12 states that have refused Medicaid expansion, eight had more than 40 percent of births covered by Medicaid. Medicaid covers 65 percent of all births to Black mothers.

HEADLINES: President Biden Signs “Game Changing” Inflation Reduction Act Into Law, Delivering Lower Health Care Costs to Millions

Inflation Reduction Act Lowers Health Care Premiums and Prescription Drug Prices for Millions of Seniors and Families

Yesterday, President Biden signed The Inflation Reduction Act into law, which will lower costs and improve health care for millions of Americans. Along with combating inflation and making key investments in climate and energy, this historic legislation will drive down health care premiums for 13 million Americans and lower the cost of prescription drugs. The bill finally reins in Big Pharma’s greed by giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket drug costs, and stopping egregious price hikes. By passing the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats overcame unified Republican opposition and record lobbying from Big Pharma and other special interests. Watch President Biden call out Republican lawmakers for siding with Big Pharma here

COVERAGE

The Washington Post: Biden Signs Sweeping Bill To Tackle Climate Change, Lower Health Care Costs. “President Biden on Tuesday signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, an ambitious measure that aims to tamp down on inflation, lower prescription drug prices, tackle climate change, reduce the deficit and impose a minimum tax on profits of the largest corporations… On Tuesday, Biden said signing the bill into law was something he had looked forward to doing for 18 months.” [The Washington Post, 8/16/22]

The New York Times: Biden Signs Expansive Health, Climate, And Tax Law. “President Biden on Tuesday signed a long-awaited bill meant to reduce health costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise taxes on corporations and wealthy investors, capping more than a year of on-again, off-again negotiations and cementing his early economic legacy… The bill, which Democrats named the Inflation Reduction Act, invests $370 billion in spending and tax credits in low-emission forms of energy to fight climate change. It extends federal health-insurance subsidies, allows the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors on Medicare and is expected to reduce the federal budget deficit by about $300 billion over 10 years.” [The New York Times, 8/16/22]

AP: Biden Signs Massive Climate And Health Care Legislation. “President Joe Biden signed Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill into law on Tuesday, delivering what he has called the “final piece” of his pared-down domestic agenda, as he aims to boost his party’s standing with voters less than three months before the midterm elections. The legislation includes the most substantial federal investment in history to fight climate change — some $375 billion over the decade — and would cap prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients. It also would help an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic.” [AP, 8/16/22]

CBS News: Inflation Reduction Act Could Be “Game Changing” For Millions Of US Seniors. “The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that President Biden signed into law Tuesday represents the most important effort in decades to reform how drug prices are set in the U.S. — the nation that spends more per capita on medicine than any other industrialized country… While the law only addresses how Medicare, the health care program for seniors, sets drug prices, advocates of drug reform hope it will set a roadmap for other payers to lower soaring drug costs.” [CBS News, 8/16/22]

USA Today: Biden Signs Climate And Health Care Bill. Now, Democrats Race To Explain Its Benefits. “With a few strokes of a pen on Tuesday, President Joe Biden turned Democrats’ hard-fought climate and health care spending legislation from a bill into a law… After more than a year of negotiations, Democrats used their bare majority to pass a law that incentivizes clean energy investments, lowers prescription drug costs for seniors and extends health insurance subsidies for millions of others. The package that raises a projected $739 billion in revenue will also reduce the deficit, increase IRS enforcement and set a minimum tax rate for large corporations.” [USA Today, 8/16/22]

CNN: Biden Signs Inflation Reduction Act Into Law. “President Joe Biden signed a sweeping $750 billion health care, tax and climate bill into law at the White House on Tuesday — marking a major victory for his administration and the Democratic Party ahead of the midterm elections… The act accomplishes several key Biden legislative agenda items, representing the largest climate investment in American history and making major changes to health policy by giving Medicare the power for the first time to negotiate the prices of certain prescription drugs and extending expiring health care subsidies for three years.” [CNN, 8/16/22]

NEW TV AD: “Got It Done” Shows President Biden and Democrats Making History By Passing Inflation Reduction Act & Delivering Lower Health Care Costs to Millions

Watch the Ad Here.

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care is releasing a new TV ad highlighting President Biden and Democrats in Congress passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which lowers health insurance premiums and prescription drug prices for millions of Americans. For years, lawmakers have promised to take action to rein in Big Pharma’s greed and lower health care costs, but President Biden and Democrats are getting it done. 

The landmark legislation lowers costs for the American people by standing up to Big Pharma and giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, capping seniors’ out-of-pocket drug costs, and limiting annual price hikes. The bill also lowers health care premiums for 13 million Americans purchasing coverage through the Affordable Care Act. 

“The Inflation Reduction Act will deliver real relief to millions of people. Medicare will finally have the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, making sure seniors can afford the medicines they need. Working families will save thousands on health premiums so they have insurance when they need to see a doctor, ” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “By passing this historic legislation, President Biden and Democrats put people over politics, standing up to Big Pharma and their Republican allies to ensure that American families can afford the health care they need for years to come.”

Ad Script:

For years Washington promised to address rising health care costs 

But President Biden and Democrats in Congress just delivered. 

Passing a historic plan to bring down health care costs for working people.

Standing up to big drug companies – by stopping their out-of-control price increases. 

And giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices. 

Bringing down health care costs for millions of families and seniors.

President Biden and Democrats got it done.