Skip to main content
Monthly Archives

December 2022

Celebrating Two Years of Historic Health Care Achievements

President Biden and Democrats in Congress Delivered On Their Promises to Lower Health Care Costs, Reduce Drug Prices, and Improve Care for Families Nationwide

Washington DC —  Reflecting on two years full of health care wins means there’s a lot to celebrate. In 2020, voters went to the polls demanding lower health care costs, and now they are getting the relief they desperately need. President Biden and Democratic lawmakers have delivered the most expansive health care reform since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2021, Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan, which provided essential relief during the COVID-19 pandemic and delivered lower health care premiums to millions of families. This year, Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act to drive down drug prices and extend the premium savings under the American Rescue Plan. 

President Biden has also taken executive action to expand affordable coverage, stop surprise billing, strengthen maternal care, and reduce racial disparities in our health care system. As a result, ACA coverage is more affordable than ever before, and the uninsured rate is at an all-time low. This means millions more families have peace of mind knowing they can go to the doctor and get the care they need without fear of going bankrupt or forgoing other basic needs. President Biden and Democrats in Congress never stopped delivering on their promises to lower costs, improve care, and put the well-being of families first.

“As 2022 comes to a close, we should all celebrate the strides in making health care more affordable, accessible, and equitable for the American people,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “In just two years, President Biden and Democrats in Congress have expanded affordable coverage, taken on Big Pharma to deliver lower prices to patients, and reduced stark disparities in our health care system. These steps will ensure millions of Americans live longer, healthier lives, and it has never been more clear that President Biden and Democrats will not give up the fights until every American has access to high-quality, affordable health care.”  

“The last two years have brought monumental changes to health care for the American people. After Republicans spent years trying to hike health care costs and rip coverage away, Americans are finally getting some relief,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “President Biden and Democrats in Congress have prioritized the health and well-being of the American people — and the results are piling up. Health insurance is more affordable than ever, millions of families were able to enroll in coverage for the first time and Democrats overcame the largesse of big Pharma to give Medcare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for seniors. We have not seen this level of progress since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and it is only paving the way for more victories in the fight to ensure affordable health care is a right for every American.” 

By The Numbers

  • A record 14.5 million Americans were covered under an ACA plan in 2022.
  • The uninsured rate is at an all-time low of 8 percent.
  • 85 million people, or one in four Americans, have health coverage through Medicaid or CHIP.
  • 13 million Americans with health insurance from an ACA marketplace plan will save an average of $2,400 per family on their premiums thanks to the Inflation
  • 49 million Medicare beneficiaries no longer face outrageous price hikes for prescription drugs. 
  • Seniors’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will be capped at $2,000 per year beginning in 2025.
  • Insulin copays are capped at $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries beginning in 2023. 
  • 80 of the most expensive prescription drugs will have lower prices because of Medicare negotiations by 2030.

A Closer Look At Democrats’ Health Care Victories

Reaching Record Levels Of Health Care Coverage. Thanks in large part to the American Rescue Plan, the uninsured rate is at an all-time low. Last year, a record 14.5 million Americans received their health insurance through the ACA marketplaces. And this is just the beginning: Ahead of the 2023 open enrollment period, the Biden administration announced the single-largest investment ever in the Navigator program to help connect even more people to coverage, with a focus on outreach to racial and ethnic minorities, people in rural areas, LGBTQ+ people, and other underserved communities. With the enhanced subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Biden administration’s historic investment in the Navigator program, new enrollments are already up nearly 40% over last year

Reducing Premiums For Millions. Premium savings under the American Rescue Plan benefitted millions of Americans, with families saving an average of $2,400 a year on their health insurance premiums. For example, a family of four with an annual income of $60,000 saw their monthly premiums drop from $379, to just $158, saving more than $220 each month. The Inflation Reduction Act extended these premium savings for 13 million families, ensuring no one pays more than 8.5 percent of their income on coverage through the ACA. 

Protecting Seniors From Prescription Drug Hikes. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, when drug companies hike prices faster than that the rate of inflation, they will have to pay Medicare a rebate. This will not only save the government billions of dollars, but it will drastically reduce out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Protecting seniors from these drug hikes will also work to reduce the racial inequities in our health system as Black Medicare beneficiaries are nearly twice as likely than white Medicare beneficiaries to stop taking a prescription due to cost.  

Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate. The Inflation Reduction Act finally ended the ban on giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, which will save taxpayers billions of dollars and lower costs for some of the most popular and expensive prescription drugs.  These savings will be seen in not just the federal government but also in the out-of-pocket medical expenses paid by millions of American families. By 2030, 80 of the most expensive prescription drugs will have lower prices because of these negotiations.

Capping Drug Costs For Seniors. Millions of people on Medicare still struggle to pay for life-saving prescriptions. People with conditions such as cancer can face thousands in out-of-pocket costs annually even with Medicare coverage. The Inflation Reduction Act dramatically changes this reality for millions of Americans. Under this new law, Part D plans will be required to offer improved financial protections and cap annual out-of-pocket spending to $2,000. This will provide the over 46.6 million Americans with Medicare Part D more reassurance and financial stability knowing these prices are capped.

Cutting Insulin Costs. The outrageous prices of insulin, a drug vital for the survival of 3,429,000 Medicare beneficiaries, have forced 80 percent of Americans with diabetes to take out debt in order to pay for their prescriptions and over 13 percent to skip doses entirely due to high costs. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin prices at no more than $35 for all Medicare beneficiaries beginning in January — saving seniors up to $1,500 annually.

Fixing The Family Glitch. President Biden eliminated the family glitch, allowing an additional 1 million people to purchase affordable coverage on the ACA marketplaces with premium tax credits. Previously, millions of families were blocked from receiving affordable coverage under the ACA. A Health Affairs study estimated Americans in the family glitch pay an average of 15.8 percent of their income towards health premiums, nearly double what is permitted under the ACA. An estimated 200,000 uninsured Americans will gain coverage and many families will save hundreds of dollars each much on health premiums.

Ensuring Lifesaving Vaccine Access For Seniors. All Medicare Part D beneficiaries will have access to covered vaccines, such as shingles and Tdap, at no cost starting in 2023. Vaccination programs are a racial equity issue, with white Americans nearly twice as likely to have received the shingles vaccine than Black Americans.  This provision alone will save seniors hundreds of dollars on their health care costs, keep millions of people healthy, and prevent dangerous complications associated with shingles, and other serious diseases. 

Improving Maternal Health Access. The American Rescue Plan created a pathway to coverage for pregnant Americans, allowing states to extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following pregnancy. The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the industrialized world, with 12 percent of maternal deaths occurring between six weeks and one year following delivery, after Medicaid coverage has ended. Today, 37 states and the District of Columbia have extended or plan to extend this coverage to the full 12 months allotted by the American Rescue Plan. Congress extended this option in recent legislation. 

Protecting Health Care For Moms And Kids. Congress recently passed legislation to guarantee 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid and CHIP once they are enrolled, ensuring millions are not arbitrarily thrown off of their coverage. It also gives states the ability to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers and takes important steps to ensure people who qualify for Medicaid stay covered when states are allowed to end pandemic coverage requirements.

Addressing Racial Disparities and Increasing Health Care Access. The premium savings continued through the Inflation Reduction Act have made more than 65 percent of uninsured Black adults and more than 68 percent of uninsured Hispanic and Latino adults eligible for zero-dollar premium plans. Nearly 80 percent of uninsured Hispanic and Latino adults and 75 percent of uninsured Black adults can now also access plans for less than $50 a month. The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities estimates the premium savings under the Inflation Reduction Act will cause a sharp decline in the uninsured rate across every racial group, with a projected one in three uninsured Black adults gaining coverage. 

Improving Health Care In Rural America. Thanks to premium savings in the Inflation Reduction Act, roughly 65 percent of rural Americans now have access to zero-dollar premium health coverage and more than 76 percent are able to find a plan for less than $50 a month, narrowing the coverage differences significantly between rural and urban America.

Banning Surprise Billing. The No Surprises Act went into effect January 1, 2022 and prohibits surprise medical bills for out-of-network care that occurs in unexpected or emergency situations. The Biden administration is committed to protecting patients and holding insurers and providers accountable for deceptive billing practices. 

Expanding Low-Income Subsidies Will Be Available To Even More Americans. Currently, individuals with an income between 135 percent and 150 percent of the poverty level only receive partial assistance with their medical expenses through Medicare Part D. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats have increased the range of full subsidized assistance to individuals with incomes up to 150% above the poverty level. This will allow for 417,000 more Americans to have access to full Medicare Part D assistance, helping them afford countless life-saving medications beginning in 2024.

BREAKING: Congress Passes End-of-Year Package to Protect Health Care for Millions of Families

Washington DC — Today, Congress passed historic legislation to improve the health and well-being of children, mothers, and families nationwide. The bill guarantees 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid and CHIP once they are enrolled and takes important steps to ensure people who qualify for Medicaid stay covered when states are allowed to end pandemic coverage requirements. It also continues giving states the ability to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers from 60 days to 12 months. To date, only 37 states and the District of Columbia require this coverage, so this bill makes it even easier for holdout states to do the right thing and take advantage of this option. These steps will especially help families in communities of color and rural areas. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement

“Today marks another health care victory for the American people, capping off a remarkable year in making health care more accessible, affordable, and equitable for millions of Americans. Families will be protected from coverage loss at the end of the public health emergency, and this legislation is also a critical step toward reducing maternal mortality and addressing disparities in health care access. Protecting and expanding Medicaid access will help moms and kids live longer and healthier lives, and it will help improve families’ financial security. We owe a debt of gratitude to Democrats in Congress who fought tirelessly to get this deal over the finish line and strengthen health care for years to come.” 

 

Protect Our Care Celebrates Dr. Fauci’s Health Care Achievements as He Steps Down From Decades-Long Career in Public Service

Washington, DC – At the end of December, Dr. Anthony Fauci will step down from his positions as President Biden’s top medical advisor and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which he has led for 38 years. A leading expert who has served under the last seven presidents, Dr. Fauci played a pivotal role in the nation’s battle against HIV/AIDS. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his sound judgment and guidance. In response to his retirement from government service, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“America owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dr. Anthony Fauci. He will go down in history as one of the greatest public health leaders of the last century. When faced with unprecedented challenges like COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, Dr. Fauci led scientific, clinical, and government responses that saved countless lives. He stepped up and took on the role of a fearless advocate and spoke truth to power to seven presidents, even while at times risking his personal safety. He was a guiding light through multiple public health crises and worked tirelessly in the best interest of the American people. I had the honor of working with Dr. Fauci on combating the Ebola outbreak in Africa in 2014, and I witnessed his resolute and caring nature firsthand. America is stronger and healthier because of him.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci By the Numbers

  • Author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,300 scientific publications, including several textbooks. A 2021 analysis of Google Scholar citations ranks Dr. Fauci as the 35th most-cited living researcher in the world. 
  • 50 honorary doctoral degrees from universities in the U.S. and all over the world. 
  • Awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, the Robert Koch Gold Medal, the Prince Mahidol Award, and the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award.  
  • Member Of The National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American College of Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Association of Immunologists, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 

Read more about Dr. Fauci’s accomplishments here

Congress Protects Health Care Coverage for Millions of Families in End-of-Year Package

Washington DC — Today, Congress reached an agreement for an end-of-year package, which will include significant provisions to improve health care for children, mothers and families. The bill guarantees 12-month continuous coverage for children on Medicaid and CHIP once they are enrolled, ensuring millions are not arbitrarily thrown off of their coverage. It also gives states the ability to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers and takes important steps to ensure people who qualify for Medicaid stay covered when states are allowed to end pandemic coverage requirements. These steps will especially help families in communities of color and rural areas. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“Congress has taken critical steps to secure health care for mothers and children, capping off  Democrats’ remarkable year of lowering costs and expanding coverage to millions of Americans. However, Republicans rejected additional common sense measures to keep moms and kids healthy – instead insisting on taking away money intended for people on Medicaid rather than making corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Democrats worked across the aisle to deliver for families, and now millions of people will live longer, healthier lives as a result.” 

Health Care Leaders Join Protect Our Care Across Six States to Call on Congress to Protect Health Care for Moms and Kids

Across the country, health care experts, lawmakers, and advocates joined Protect Our Care to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of moms and children before the end of the year. 

Speakers called on Congress to pass the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, which addresses key and preventable elements of the maternal health crisis, including addressing the social determinants of health contributing to maternal mortality, strengthening the perinatal workforce, and providing health care workers with the tools and training necessary to confront discriminatory and biased practices. 

Additionally, speakers highlighted the importance of protecting and strengthening Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to ensure mothers and children receive the health care they need to thrive. To do this, Congress can require 12 months of continuous Medicaid coverage for people on Medicaid, guarantee 12 months of coverage for postpartum mothers, and permanently reauthorize CHIP funding.

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds overwhelming public support for a series of reforms that will improve the health of millions of children, pregnant women, and moms, particularly people of color and rural Americans. The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized country and 80 percent of deaths are entirely preventable. The burden of this crisis disproportionately falls on people of color and rural Americans. Now, Congress has a critical opportunity to address maternal mortality and save lives. 

WISCONSIN

On Friday, December 16, Wisconsin State Senator LaTonya Johnson, and Dr. Kristin Lyerly, MD, joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of moms and children in Wisconsin through bipartisan, affordable, and commonsense solutions. “This is not a partisan issue. This is a human issue that affects our most vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbors,” said Dr. Lyerly. “As a physician who has dedicated my life to taking care of moms and babies, I am literally pleading with our leaders in Congress to do the same.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

  • Wisconsin Examiner: Wisconsin advocates urge Congress to pass maternal health policies
  • WisPolitics: Protect Our Care Wisconsin: Biden Administration continues to expand affordable coverage and protect consumers

MAINE

On Friday, December 16, State Representative Anne Perry and Dania Bowie of the Maine Women’s Lobby joined Protect Our Care to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of moms and children in Maine through bipartisan, affordable, and commonsense solutions. 

State Representative Anne Perry said, “The first year of a child’s life is critical to the baby and their mother.  The best prevention we can provide for our health care system is quality and accessible health care at the beginning of life.” 

Dania Bowie, Maine Women’s Lobby, said, “We will build a more gender-just and racially just nation when the needs of caregivers, infants, and families are put at the center. As we go into the new year, let’s set a resolution to make sure that our Congress is making healthcare a reality for every family.” You can watch the event here.

OHIO

On Thursday, December 15th, Ohio leaders and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Ohio to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of moms and children in Ohio through bipartisan, affordable, and commonsense solutions. “Congress has an urgent opportunity to address the maternal mortality crisis and improve the health of moms,” said Celeste Smith. “Make no mistake – there’s a maternal health crisis in our country, especially for Black mothers. As Congress considers its end-of-year package, they have not just an opportunity, but an obligation to take meaningful action to confront this preventable criss. Passing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act would be an enormous, live-saving step in the right direction.” 

Children, especially those in vulnerable situations, should not be left behind,” said Erika White, Chair of Healthy Lucas County CHIP and President of Communications Workers of America Local 4319. “Instead of continuing to play games with children’s health care, Congress should permanently authorize CHIP – and provide kids in need with stable coverage once and for all.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

PENNSYLVANIA

On Thursday, December 15th, health care advocates and storytellers joined Protect Our Care Pennsylvania to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of children in Pennsylvania through bipartisan, affordable, and commonsense solutions. “Federal funding of CHIP has made a huge difference. Hundreds of thousands of children have been covered by CHIP who otherwise have not had insurance without the program in place. Making funding permanent will be a huge help to ensuring families that coverage remains available to them, but also allows for states to plan effectively,” said Ann Bacharach of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network

“Keeping moms covered through the entire postpartum period is key. More than half of pregnancy associated deaths in Pennsylvania occur between 43 and 365 days postpartum. And for every maternal death, there are approximately 80 moms who experience a severe maternal morbidity, which can negatively impact their lifelong health,” said Sara Jann of the Maternity Care Coalition. “The clock is ticking for Congress to make this extension in coverage permanent and mandatory, this option sunsets in just over four years, and we cannot afford to go backwards.” You can watch the event here.

ALASKA 

On Thursday, December 15th, Trevor Storrs, Laura Norton-Cruz, and Judy Jessen joined Protect Our Care to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of moms and children in Alaska through bipartisan, affordable, and commonsense solutions. “Medicaid provides health care for over 200,000 low-income people in Alaska who would otherwise be uninsured. Women make up the majority of Medicaid enrollees. One in five women of reproductive age relies on Medicaid for healthcare coverage, and Medicaid is the source of coverage for nearly half of all women giving birth,” said Rose O’Hara-Jolley, Alaska State Director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “Without Medicaid coverage, Alaska’s most vulnerable communities will suffer, especially those who already face barriers to care.” 

“Children are our most valuable resource. They make up about 25% of our population, but they’re 100% of our future. Who we are today is a window to our future, and when children and families have the resources needed to create safe, stable, and nurturing environments, we’ll have a future generation that is truly equipped to ensure our great state of Alaska continues to prosper,” said Trevor Storrs, President and CEO of Alaska Children’s Trust. “CHIP has existed for nearly 25 years. There’s a ton of evidence that shows how it helps children and families thrive. Today it’s time that we reauthorize it permanently. Medicaid and CHIP are so much more than just how they are tools that said children on the path to success.” You can watch the event here.

NORTH CAROLINA

On Wednesday, December 14, Congressman G.K. Butterfield joined Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of moms and children in North Carolina through bipartisan, affordable, and commonsense solutions.“Medicaid and CHIP save lives — we are going to continue to insist over the next few days that we get this right and protect vulnerable Americans who need health care,” said Congressman G.K. Butterfield. 

“Postnatal care saved my life,” said Stacy Staggs of Little Lobbyists. “If it’s in place for more people, it will save more lives and lead to better health outcomes for everyone. That should be a universal legislative priority.” 

“There is massive support for these year-end health care provisions – permanently funding the CHIP program, protecting health care for moms, and passing the Momnibus Act,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “So much progress has been made, but there is more to be done and this year-end package presents a great opportunity to do it.” You can watch the event here.

Health Care Leaders Join Protect Our Care Across Eight States to Discuss Affordable Health Care Options During Open Enrollment

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Congresswoman Lois Frankel, HHS Officials, and Health Care Advocates Headlined Events Highlighting How Americans Can Save This Open Enrollment

Across the country, health care experts, lawmakers, and advocates joined Protect Our Care to discuss the 2023 Open Enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace. Coverage is more affordable than ever before thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, which expanded premium subsidies and lowered costs for families nationwide. Four out of five people are eligible for coverage at $10 or less, saving many families thousands of dollars a year on health care. 

The Inflation Reduction Act is historic legislation that reduces health care premiums for 13 million families. Last year, a record-breaking 14.5 million people signed up for coverage through the ACA marketplaces. Ahead of this open enrollment period, the Biden administration announced the single-largest investment ever in the Navigators program, to help connect even more people to coverage, with a focus on outreach to racial and ethnic minorities, people in rural areas, LGBTQ+ people, and other underserved communities. President Biden also eliminated the family glitch, allowing an additional 1 million people to be eligible for affordable health care on the marketplace and receive premium subsidies. With the enhanced subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Biden administration’s historic investment in the Navigator program, new enrollments are up nearly 40% over last year. These actions ensure access to quality, affordable, and equitable care for years to come.

COLORADO

Thursday, December 15, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Lily Griego joined Colorado Speaker of the House Julie McCluskie, Senator Dylan Roberts, Healthier Colorado and Protect Our Care Colorado to discuss the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period and policies that have been enacted on the federal and state level to provide Coloradans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “It is great to be here today with such incredible lawmakers and advocates and with Protect Our Care to talk about delivering lower health care costs and what that means now that we have entered the ACA Open Enrollment which began November 1,” said Director Lily Griego. “Health care lies at the heart of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, and the proposals to reduce costs and expand care are overwhelmingly popular with Coloradans and people across the country. The Inflation Reduction Act will reduce racial inequities in health care, improve the health and well-being of seniors and people with disabilities, strengthen families, and save lives across Colorado.” You can watch the event here.

MICHIGAN

Wednesday December 14, health care leaders and experts joined Protect Our Care Michigan to discuss the ACA Open Enrollment period that started on Nov. 1, 2022, and the resources Michiganders need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. Speakers will also highlight how the Inflation Reduction Act will keep health care costs low for Michiganders enrolling in ACA marketplace plans this year. “The Inflation Reduction Act is historic when it comes to lowering the cost of health care coverage for hard-working Michiganders,” said State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky. “Right now 85% of our residents with a health plan on the marketplace are receiving enhanced premium tax credits, making their coverage affordable and accessible.” You can watch the event here.

GEORGIA

Tuesday, December 13, a panel joined Protect Our Care Georgia to discuss the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period and to provide Georgians with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “In 2021, a record-breaking number of Georgians enrolled in an ACA marketplace plan. Right now, 92% of those folks are receiving premium tax credits, making their coverage more affordable. The Inflation Reduction Act, the legislation that extended those tax credits, will save an average middle-class family of four in Georgia $4,916 on their yearly premiums,” said Joe Binns, Protect Our Care Georgia State Director. “The Inflation Reduction Act and the Affordable Care Act together can really make a big difference – not only in your health but your wallet,” said Himali Patel, an Atlanta small business owner with multiple autoimmune diseases. Patel gets her healthcare through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace and has seen her premiums reduced by the Inflation Reduction Act’s extension of premium tax credits. “Take advantage of this opportunity and make sure you’re enrolled for your healthcare plan going into the new year,” said Antrell Tyson, Health and Human Services Regional Director, Region 4. “At Healthcare.gov, you can shop and enroll on your own or find local help to walk you through the application. You have until December 15th to enroll for coverage starting January 1, 2023. You have until January 15th to enroll for coverage starting in February of 2023.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

  • Georgia Recorder: Window closing to start 2023 with health coverage through the federal marketplace

MINNESOTA

Tuesday, December 13, MNsure CEO Nate Clark, Health and Human Services Director Joseph Palm, and Peter Orth of American Senior Benefits  will join Protect Our Care Minnesota to discuss the upcoming affordable health care options ahead of the  Dec. 15 deadline for January 1st coverage and will provide Minnesotans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “We estimate that families who enroll in MNSure, will save an average of $560 per month, thanks to the enhanced benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act,” said MNsure CEO Nate Clark. “That’s over $6,000 dollars that goes back into their pockets in 2023. Our message for Minnesotans is simple, if you look for lower cost health insurance in the past, it’s worth taking another look this year” Peter Orth of American Senior Benefits said, “One of our agents picked up a call from someone seeking MNSure plans through the MNSure portal and found that she didn’t apply for tax credits, so they nixed the application and redid it for them. The phone call took about 20-25 minutes, and she saved $260 per month in premiums, which was a game-changer for her and her life.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

  • KMSP (Fox): Discussing Health Care Options Before Upcoming ACA Deadline

NEW HAMPSHIRE

​​Monday, December 12, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will host a panel discussion with ACA navigators to share information around open enrollment. She will encourage Granite Staters to enroll in health care and discuss her successful push to reduce ACA premiums with service organizations that serve vulnerable populations. The four ACA navigators in New Hampshire – Health Market Connect, Lamprey Health Care, Foundation for Health Family and Harbor Care – will participate in the discussion, and Jayme Simões of Protect Our Care will moderate the event. “We continue to see the importance of expanding access to quality, affordable health care as new COVID variants and viruses like the flu and RSV emerge,” said Senator Shaheen. “That’s why I hosted this discussion today to highlight essential resources available to help Granite Staters enroll in health insurance, including excellent Navigators across our state. I’ve prioritized efforts in Congress to successfully lower health care premiums, making health insurance on the marketplace more affordable than ever. I encourage all Granite Staters to shop for the plan that’s right for them during Open Enrollment season by visiting HealthCare.gov.”

Coverage:

  • Insurance NewsNet: Shaheen hosts panel discussion with ACA navigators encouraging Granite Staters to enroll in health insurance

NEVADA

Monday, December 12, U.S Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso, Nevada Health Link’s communication officer, Katie Charleson, and health insurance enrollee Jason Karsh joined Protect Our Care Nevada to discuss Nevada Health Link’s Open Enrollment 2023 period that closes on January 15, 2023, and provided Nevadans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “Every American deserves the peace of mind that quality, affordable health insurance brings,” said Dr. Reynoso, HHS Regional Director. “Americans facing illness should never have to worry about how they are going to pay for their treatment, or face a choice between buying life saving medications and putting food on the table, especially during this holiday season.” “Getting enrolled in health insurance can be a daunting and confusing process for many people, but Nevada Health Link provides free assistance from licensed enrollment professionals can help you find a plan within your budget and ensure you have everything you need when it comes time to enroll,” said Katie Charleson, Nevada Health Link. “Nevada Health Link is here to answer any questions, help to see if you qualify for subsidies and overall, make the enrollment process as easy as possible. Most consumers are surprised to find out they qualify for subsidies and plans are more affordable than they originally thought.” “I have purchased my health insurance through Nevada Health Link for the last seven years,” said Jason Karsh, Nevada Health Link Enrollee. “Being able to buy my health insurance through the exchange has given me the flexibility to work independently without worrying about my health coverage being tied to an employer. Like tens of thousands of Nevadans, I qualify for tax credits which has made my health insurance affordable and I have worked with a health insurance navigator which makes choosing the right coverage extremely easy. All of this not only gives me the freedom to work for myself, but the peace of mind to know I will be covered in case I get sick or need emergency care. And the security I have now that the tax credits have been extended for another three years means I can plan better for the future while keeping more money in my pocket.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

FLORIDA

Thursday, December 8, Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Health and Human Services Regional Director Antrell Tyson, and Healthcare Advocates will join Protect Our Care Florida to discuss the upcoming ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period starting on November 1, 2022 and will provide Floridians with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. Antrell Tyson said, “The impact of this new law cannot be overstated as it will lower health care costs for more than 63 million people across the country with Medicare coverage. Also, those who have found coverage under the ACA marketplace will save hundreds of dollars per year on their health insurance, with some options as low as $10 a month thanks to enhanced tax credits authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act.” Congresswoman Lois Frankel said, “If we have learned anything from the past few years, it is how important our health is. There is good news today as the United States Congress, under the leadership of President Biden, has with recent legislation expanded the Affordable Care Act for how many people can get it and lowered premiums.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

  • WFLA News Radio: Florida Congresswoman Reminds Families ACA Deadline Is One Week Away

WISCONSIN

Tuesday, December 6, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Administrator Dennis Gonzalez and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley will join a Southeastern Wisconsin Obamacare Marketplace Consumer and Navigator for a press event hosted by Protect Our Care Wisconsin to urge consumers to participate in the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period that ends December 15th. The event will focus on resources and information available to consumers who need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “Milwaukee County’s vision is to become the healthiest county in the state of Wisconsin by achieving both race and health equity,” said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley as he urged residents to get covered. The County Executive went on to note that under the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act, “Many consumers who have health insurance plans through healthcare.gov will continue to save money on their premiums.” You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

ROUND UP: Ron DeSantis Spreads Dangerous COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories For His Own Gain

This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called on the state Supreme Court to empanel a grand jury to investigate the COVID-19 vaccinations, despite the fact that a recent study showed COVID-19 vaccines saved millions of lives in the United States. This comes after a years-long effort to undermine scientists, spread disinformation, and prolong the pandemic in order to hurt Democrats and the Biden administration politically. Coverage indicates this is a purely political move to pander to right-wing conspiracy theorists ahead of his rumored presidential campaign in 2024. DeSantis has made it clear he cares more about his own political career than the health and safety of his constituents. 

The Bulwark: DeSantis Sucks Up To The Anti-Vax Crowd. “As he seeks to elevate his profile further and distinguish himself from potential 2024 presidential rivals, DeSantis is sucking up to the anti-vax crowd and styling himself as a crusader against what he calls the “biomedical security state.” And, like most of DeSantis’s political stunts, his overtures to the fringe are pretty cringey… Since his appointment, Ladapo has found himself mentioned in the news for making the rounds on conspiracy-themed conservative podcasts. The people of Florida deserve better from their surgeon general. And on the part of Gov. DeSantis, the selection of and reliance on Ladapo demonstrates not an admirable desire to encourage unconventional thinking but rather a desperate wish to kiss up to cranky, conspiracist anti-vax voters.” [The Bulwark, 12/15/22]

NBC News: Ron DeSantis Outflanks Trump On The Right With His Call For COVID Vaccine Probe. “At a roundtable he convened of Covid vaccine skeptics and opponents — including his own surgeon general — he formally called on the state Supreme Court to impanel a grand jury to investigate whether pharmaceutical companies criminally misled Floridians about the side effects of vaccines, a position at odds with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention… The decision by DeSantis to now investigate the vaccines was widely panned by those in Trump’s orbit.” [NBC News, 12/13/22]

Vox: Ron DeSantis’s Vaccine “Investigation” Is All About Beating Trump. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, is escalating his campaign to discredit the Covid-19 vaccines, the drug companies that produced them, and the public health officials and government leaders who urged Americans to get them. Florida under DeSantis has been home base for anti-vaccine, anti-mask, and anti-lockdown policies in the past three years… Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, is escalating his campaign to discredit the Covid-19 vaccines, the drug companies that produced them, and the public health officials and government leaders who urged Americans to get them.” [Vox, 12/15/22]

Politico: DeSantis Calls For Grand Jury To Investigate COVID-19 Vaccines. “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to empanel a grand jury to investigate “wrongdoing” linked to the Covid-19 vaccines, including spreading false and misleading claims about the efficacy of the doses… He sought to undermine the efficacy of the Covid vaccine and claimed that vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna have made a fortune on Covid-19 mandates… DeSantis has built a national reputation fighting against Covid-related mandates such as vaccine requirements or schools ordering students to wear masks.” [Politico, 12/13/22]

The Washington Post: DeSantis Forms Panel To Counter CDC, A Move Decried By Health Professionals. “DeSantis’s press office accused pharmaceutical companies and the Biden administration of pushing the distribution of mRNA vaccines “through relentless propaganda while ignoring real-life adverse events.” Ladapo joined that criticism, and said the state would work with the University of Florida to study autopsy results in cases of “sudden deaths of individuals that received the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.”” [The Washington Post, 12/13/22]

Business Insider: DeSantis Latest Anti-COVID-19 Vaccine Pust Puts Him On A Collision Course With Trump Over The Pandemic. “DeSantis held a 90-minute roundtable with COVID vaccine skeptics and asked the Florida Supreme Court to set up a statewide grand jury to investigate “crimes and wrongdoing” related to the COVID-19 shots, weaponizing life-saving vaccines ahead of a potential fight with not just Trump but President Joe Biden… DeSantis is seen as one of Trump’s most formidable opponents in a hypothetical presidential matchup. In a USA Today-Suffolk University poll released Tuesday, DeSantis led Trump by 23 points among Republicans.” [Business Insider, 12/13/22] 

Huffpost: DeSantis, Who Once Praised Vaccines, Now Wants Them To Prosecute Those Who Pushed Them. “Two years after mounting an aggressive campaign to vaccinate Floridians against COVID and a year after praising their efficacy, Gov. Ron DeSantis now wants to prosecute those who pushed the vaccines… The move puts DeSantis squarely on the side of the anti-vaccination activists in the Republican voting base and, more generally, a broader GOP effort to demonize retiring White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and other mainstream medical experts ahead of an expected presidential run in 2024.” [Huffpost, 12/13/22]

TODAY: HHS Region 8 Director, Lawmakers, and Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care For Events in Colorado to Discuss Affordable Health Care During Open Enrollment

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2022***

HHS Regional Director, Local Lawmakers, and Health Care Advocates to Discuss ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment 

Colorado — Today, Protect Our Care will host an event in Colorado with the HHS Region 8 director Lily Griego, State Senator Dylan Roberts, Colorado Speaker of the House Julie McCluskie, and Jake Williams, Executive Director of Healthier Colorado, to discuss the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period which began on November 1, 2022.

The Inflation Reduction Act will keep health care costs low for 13 million families purchasing plans through the ACA marketplace this year. On average, families will save thousands of dollars a year on health care, giving them the much-needed ability to pay for other essentials like rent, groceries, and gas. These savings are a game-changer for Coloradans — saving a middle-class family of four in Colorado an average of $3535 on their yearly premiums.

COLORADO
WHO: 
Lily Griego, HHS Region 8 Director
State Senator Dylan Roberts
Colorado Speaker of the House Julie McCluskie
Jake Williams, Executive Director of Healthier Colorado 

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference on 2023 Open Enrollment

WHEN: December 15, 2022, at 1 PM MT // 3 PM EST

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

TODAY: Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care For Events in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Alaska to Call on Congress to Protect Health Care Before the End of the Year

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2022***

Today, Protect Our Care will host events in three states to discuss how Congress has a real opportunity to improve the health of moms and children through bipartisan, affordable, and commonsense solutions. A new Public Policy Polling survey finds overwhelming public support for a series of reforms that will improve the health of millions of children, pregnant women, and moms, particularly people of color and rural Americans.

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized country and 80 percent of deaths are entirely preventable. The burden of this crisis disproportionately falls on people of color and rural Americans. Now, Congress has a critical opportunity to address maternal mortality and save lives. Speakers will call on Congress to pass the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, which addresses key and preventable elements of the maternal health crisis, including addressing the social determinants of health contributing to maternal mortality, strengthening the perinatal workforce, and providing health care workers with the tools and training necessary to confront discriminatory and biased practices. 

Additionally, speakers will highlight the importance of protecting and strengthening Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to ensure mothers and children across the country receive the health care needed to thrive. To do this, Congress should require 12 months of Medicaid coverage for moms, guarantee 12 months of coverage in Medicaid and CHIP for children, and permanently reauthorize CHIP funding.

OHIO

WHO:
Health care advocate Celeste Smith
Ohio Program Director, Crystal Lett
Healthy Lucas County CHIP Chair, Erika White
Pastor Jerome Hurst

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

WHEN: Thursday, December 15, 2022, at 10:30 AM EST

PENNSYLVANIA

WHO:
Michael Berman, Protect Our Care Pennsylvania
Ann Bacharach, Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Kate Moran, Delaware County resident, who has personal experience using CHIP
Sara Jann, Maternity Care Coalition

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

WHEN: December 15, 2022, at 3 PM EST

ALASKA 

WHO:
Trevor Storrs, President and CEO of Alaska Children’s Trust
Laura Norton Cruz, Health Care Advocate
Judy Jessen,  Health Care Advocate
Rose O’Hara-Jolley, Alaska State Director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates

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

WHEN: December 15, 2022, at 10 AM AKST

Respect for Marriage Act Protects Health Care

Washington, DC – Today, President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) into law, bipartisan legislation which will ensure crucial protections for same-sex and interracial marriages, including health benefits like Medicare coverage and the ability to make medical decisions. LGBTQ+ Americans experience a range of physical and behavioral heath disparities stemming from discrimination. Affirming laws and policies — like the Respect for Marriage Act — are important steps in fostering better health outcomes, along with other actions to prevent discrimination and make health care more affordable, accessible, and equitable for all. 

The Respect for Marriage Act passed the House and Senate in a bipartisan vote. This historic legistlation will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that allowed states and the federal government to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other states; enshrine marriage equality for the purposes of federal law; and provide additional legal protections for marriage equality.

“The Respect for Marriage Act is a historic victory in the continuous pursuit for equality in America, including making health care more accessible and equitable,” said Anne Morris Reid of Protect Our Care. “After the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court signaled that same-sex marriage could be next on the chopping block, this legislation affirms the rights of LGBTQ+ couples to live openly and love without fear. It is a critical step in addressing the inequities faced by the LGBTQ+ community and takes the vital step of protecting a couple’s rights to secure access to health benefits and support better health outcomes.”

“Today’s signing of the Respect for Marriage Act is monumental for couples in same-sex marriages across America, including my husband and me,” said Mitch Harle of Protect Our Care. “We got married in October, and the health care benefits that come with marriage are hard to understate. Before marriage equality, LGBTQ+ couples could be denied visitation in hospitals, the ability to add their partner to their health insurance or access Medicare benefits, and even the denial of making major medical decisions for their partner. In repealing DOMA and codifying Obergefell v. Hodges, the RFMA brings so much peace of mind to my husband and me, along with the over 700,000 Americans in same-sex marriages, knowing that we are treated equally under the law.” 

The Positive Impact of Marriage Equality.

  • The National Bureau of Economic Research partnered with Vanderbilt University researchers found that protecting and affirming marriage equality has led to a significant increase in health insurance rates, access to care, and health care utilization. This research provided the first empirical evidence which confirmed protecting marriage equality directly leads to better health outcomes for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Multiple studies have shown that LGBTQ+ individuals living within states which have banned marriage equality see markedly higher rates of psychiatric disorders requiring treatments than states who have affirmed and protected marriage equality, with one study finding that LGBTQ+ individuals living in states with bans saw a 248.2% increase in generalized anxiety disorders.
  • Protecting the right to marriage has seen expanded access to quality and affordable health insurance, with employers in all fifty states required, if they provided a fully insured health plan, to also provide this plan to an employee’s spouse regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
  • LGBTQ+ individuals repeatedly experiencing forms of social stigmatization consistently see higher rates of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, by working to further decrease this stigmatization, through laws like The Respect for Marriage Act, members of the LGBTQ+ community should continue to see these rates fall.