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May 2024

NEW AD: Protect Our Care Releases New Ad Campaign to Hold Rep. Guthrie Accountable for Opposing Lower Drug Prices

New Ads Highlight Representative Guthrie And Other Members’ Opposition to Lowering Drug Prices and Calls on Them to Vote Against Repealing the Inflation Reduction Act

Watch the Rep. Guthrie Ads Here. 

Washington, D.C. — Protect Our Care is launching a $1 million dollar ad campaign to hold lawmakers, including Representative Guthrie, accountable for opposing legislation lowering prescription drug prices. Each of the members featured in the ads opposed or spoke out against the Inflation Reduction Act, which capped the price of insulin at $35 per month and gave Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices. Polling shows that these drug pricing provisions are widely popular across parties, but Republicans unanimously voted against the law, and they are now trying to repeal it. These ads call out their opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act and urge them to vote against any effort to repeal the law. 

The program also focuses on the following members: David Schweikert (AZ-01), David Valadao (CA-22), Mike Garcia (CA-27), and Mike Lawler (NY-17). This ad campaign is part of Protect Our Care’s ongoing work to inform Americans about the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act and to educate people about where their lawmakers stand on policies to lower drug prices. Protect Our Care is also running a $5 million campaign to recognize health care champions and urge them to continue the fight to lower health care costs.

“We are continuing to spotlight the benefits passed in the Inflation Reduction Act and to educate Americans about where their members of Congress stand on these issues,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The Inflation Reduction Act is lowering drug prices for millions of families, saving them money so they can afford the drugs they need to stay alive. It is unfathomable that Republican lawmakers like Congressman Guthrie stood with big drug companies and voted against lower drug prices. We urge these members of Congress to do the right thing, reverse course, and side with America’s families by supporting the Inflation Reduction Act and opposing efforts to replace it.”

The seven-figure ad campaign began on Wednesday, May 15. The digital campaign will reach people through OTT/streaming, YouTube, Hulu, Meta, and more. The program also includes on-the-ground events and organizing to make sure people in these communities know about these reforms. 

Sample Ad Script for KY-02:

Narrator: The Inflation Reduction Act lowered insulin prices for America’s seniors. Now insulin is only $35 a month for seniors. But Representative Brett Guthrie voted against it. This new law put seniors’ wallets ahead of big drug companies’ profits.

NEW: State-By-State Fact Sheets Show How Women Are Saving Big on Health Care Thanks to The Inflation Reduction Act

Read the Fact Sheets Here.

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing 50 state-by-state fact sheets outlining how the Inflation Reduction Act reduces health care costs for women across the nation – with even more savings on the way as Medicare negotiates lower prescription drug costs. The new reports come as we recognize Women’s Health Week and highlight the work of the Biden-Harris administration to improve women’s access to health care by expanding coverage and reducing costs. The Biden-Harris administration is also working to improve care in the communities where it is most needed and end the maternal mortality crisis by expanding postpartum coverage and launching new public health initiatives.

“Millions of women across the nation will save on their prescription drug and health care costs because of the leadership of President Biden and Congressional Democrats,” said Protect Our Care Communications Director Anne Shoup. “The Inflation Reduction Act is providing families extra breathing room to keep food on the table and afford other necessities. While big drug companies and their Republican allies in Congress are doing everything in their power to decimate women’s health care, the Biden administration and congressional Democrats are committed to saving lives and helping women secure the care they need. ”

For example, here are the key numbers for Pennsylvania:

BY THE NUMBERS

1,557,014 of Pennsylvania women are on Medicare. They’ll also save in the following ways:

Nearly 733,000 U.S. Women Are Saving From The $35 Insulin Cap. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, out-of-pocket spending on insulin is now capped at $35 for a month’s supply for Medicare enrollees. Before this provision took effect, many seniors were forced to stop taking their medication or cut doses in half due to outrageous costs. Diabetics suffer severe effects, such as numbness in their feet and nerve damage in the eyes, when they stop taking doses as prescribed. On average, seniors with Medicare Part D or B who were not receiving subsidies paid an average of $572 every year for this life-saving medication — an unthinkable sum for many on fixed incomes. Patients who suffer chronic complications are expected to pay upwards of an additional $650 per year. The insulin cap provision in the Inflation Reduction Act will vastly improve the lives of millions of vulnerable insulin users, and it will save lives.

Over 5 Million Women on Medicare Received a Free Recommended Vaccine in 2023. The Inflation Reduction Act eliminated out-of-pocket costs for adult vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Covered vaccines include shingles, COVID-19, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and hepatitis A and B. In 2023, 10.3 million Medicare Part D enrollees received a vaccination saving enrollees more than $400 million in out-of-pocket costs. Out-of-pocket savings made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act allows vaccines to be more accessible for Medicare beneficiaries.

Pennsylvanians Will Save $477 Per Year On Out-Of-Pocket Drug Costs Thanks To A New $2,000 Out-Of-Pocket Cap. Seniors with serious conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis could save thousands of dollars on prescriptions under the Inflation Reduction Act, which will help the more than 1.4 million Medicare enrollees who paid more than $2,000 in out-of-pocket costs in 2020. Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs will be capped at $2,000 per year beginning in 2025.

Medicare Negotiation Will Lower Drug Prices For More Than 4.5 Million Women. Medicare drug price negotiation, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, allows Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies for medications without generic or biosimilar options. The first ten drugs selected for negotiation were announced last year and price changes will begin in 2026. In 2022, over 4.5 million women on Medicare took at least one medication on this list and spent $1.55 billion in out-of-pocket costs on these drugs. Women disproportionately have prescriptions for Enbrel and Stelara which are both up for drug price negotiation and are used to treat autoimmune diseases, which are diagnosed in women four times more than men. 72 percent of Medicare enrollees who took Enbrel in 2022 were women and those not in the Medicare low-income subsidy program spent $1,929 per year on Enbrel in 2022. 59 percent of enrollees who took Stelara were women and those not on LIS spent $4,172 in 2022.

Women Benefit From Lowered Drug Costs Through The Low-Income Subsidy Program. Women receive low-income subsidies at a disproportionately higher rate than men. The gender wage gap, occupational segregation into low-paying jobs, lack of jobs with supportive work and child care policies, disabilities, and prevalence of domestic violence all contribute to lower incomes for women. Their out-of-pocket drug costs through Medicare Part D have decreased thanks to the expansion of low-income subsidy eligibility under the Inflation Reduction Act. Starting in 2024, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded low-income subsidies to individuals with incomes between 135 and 150 percent of the federal poverty line. People who meet these requirements benefit from no deductible, no premium, and low, fixed copayments for medications covered by Medicare Part D. Low-income subsidy program expansion is expected to reduce average annual out-of-pocket costs for affected individuals by $300. The poverty rate for women is 2.4 percent higher than the poverty rate for men.

NEW ADS: Protect Our Care Releases New $1 Million Ad Campaign to Hold Lawmakers Accountable for Opposing Lower Drug Prices

New Ads Highlight Members’ Opposition to Lowering Drug Prices and Calls on Them to Vote Against Repealing the Inflation Reduction Act

Watch the New Ads Here. 

Washington, D.C. — Protect Our Care is launching a $1 million dollar ad campaign to hold lawmakers accountable for opposing legislation lowering prescription drug prices. Each of the members featured in the ads opposed or spoke out against the Inflation Reduction Act, which capped the price of insulin at $35 per month and gave Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices. Polling shows that these drug pricing provisions are widely popular across parties, but Republicans unanimously voted against the law, and they are now trying to repeal it. These ads call out their opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act and urge them to vote against any effort to repeal the law. 

The program focuses on the following members: David Schweikert (AZ-01), David Valadao (CA-22), Mike Garcia (CA-27), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), and Mike Lawler (NY-17). This ad campaign is part of Protect Our Care’s ongoing work to inform Americans about the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act and to educate people about where their lawmakers stand on policies to lower drug prices. Protect Our Care is also running a $5 million campaign to recognize health care champions and urge them to continue the fight to lower health care costs.

“We are continuing to spotlight the benefits passed in the Inflation Reduction Act and to educate Americans about where their members of Congress stand on these issues,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The Inflation Reduction Act is lowering drug prices for millions of families, saving them money so they can afford the drugs they need to stay alive. It is unfathomable that Republican lawmakers stood with big drug companies and voted against lower drug prices. We urge these members of Congress to do the right thing, reverse course, and side with America’s families by supporting the Inflation Reduction Act and opposing efforts to replace it.”

The seven-figure ad campaign begins on Wednesday, March 15. The digital campaign will reach people through OTT/streaming, YouTube, Hulu, Meta, and more. The program also includes on-the-ground events and organizing to make sure people in these communities know about these reforms. 

Links to each of the new ads can be found below:

David Schweikert (AZ-01)

David Valadao (CA-22)

Mike Garcia (CA-27)

Brett Guthrie (KY-02)

Mike Lawler (NY-17)

Sample Ad Script for AZ-01:

Narrator: The Inflation Reduction Act lowered insulin prices for America’s seniors. Now insulin is only $35 a month for seniors. But Representative David Schweikert voted against it. This new law put seniors’ pocketbooks ahead of big drug companies’ profits.

Six Ways That MAGA Republicans Are Attacking Women’s Health

Attacks on women’s health care from MAGA Republicans have skyrocketed in the year since Roe v. Wade was overturned. As a result, access to reproductive care is in turmoil for millions of women across the country. Between abortion bans, seeking to undermine the ACA, refusing Medicaid expansion, and fighting measures to combat maternal mortality, Republicans have done nothing but limit access to essential care for women. As we recognize Women’s Health Week, we must hold Republicans accountable. Here are six ways that Republicans are waging war on women’s health care: 

  1. Attacking Reproductive Health.  One year ago Donald Trump’s appointees to the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the consequences for women’s health have been catastrophic, from cruel and archaic abortion bans to devastating uncertainty about access to IVF and other reproductive care.  If MAGA Republicans get their way there will be even more extreme judicial appointments and an all-out push to use the Comstock Act to create a de facto national ban on abortions and sharply limit access to medications. Republicans, including at least 67 members of Congress and 22 Republican attorneys general, are battling in court right now to rescind the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, a safe and effective medication essential for abortion access.Beyond abortion bans, Republicans have a long history of attempts to limit access to contraceptives and family planning.  The Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirement has drastically improved health care access and affordability for millions of women. The benefits have reached far and wide — improving health outcomes and sharply cutting out-of-pocket costs. Despite the overwhelming success of the ACA’s contraception coverage, Republicans have attempted to eliminate this essential care year after year through legislation and litigation.
  2. Destroying And Sabotaging The ACA. Republicans want to return us to a time when being a woman was a pre-existing condition.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act millions of women have gained coverage and critical protections. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prevents insurers from denying, dropping, or charging more because of a pre-existing condition like cancer, or even having a C-section. It also bans insurers from charging women higher rates than men.  Republicans have spent years taking dozens of failed votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have also taken their fight to overturn the ACA to the Supreme Court and failed all three times. This year extremists are still challenging a provision of the ACA that requires insurers to cover lifesaving preventive services for free. The case, known as Braidwood v. Becerra, is set to be decided by a panel of judges at the MAGA-packed Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.During his first term, Donald Trump notoriously tried and failed multiple times to repeal the ACA and throughout his 2024 campaign Trump has repeatedly reignited his calls to “terminate” the Affordable Care Act, which he claims is a “disaster.”  The ACA made enormous strides for women’s health. By taking these actions, Republicans are fighting to strip protections from women that provide access to lifesaving care.
  3. Repealing The Inflation Reduction Act. Women are 1.3 times more likely to say they have skipped or postponed getting the health care they needed because of the cost. The Inflation Reduction Act is saving millions of women thousands of dollars on health care by holding big pharmaceutical companies accountable and bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, making health care plans more affordable with premium tax credit subsidies, and capping the price of insulin at $35 per month for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Despite all this progress, Donald Trump claims that the Inflation Reduction Act is “not helping you at all” and MAGA Republicans in Congress are seeking to dismantle the law and its provisions making prescription drugs and health care premiums more affordable for tens of millions of Americans.
  4. Waging a War on Medicaid.  Medicaid is an essential source of coverage for women and children. More than 18 million, or nearly 1 in 5, adult women are enrolled in Medicaid. Approximately 40 million, or half of all children in the U.S., are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicaid coverage brings affordable care and financial security to women and families.Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump are itching for a renewed war on Medicaid The latest proposals from the Republican Study Committee and the Trump team in waiting at the Heritage Foundation would throw millions of people off their coverage through block granting and burdensome work reporting requirements. Almost two-thirds, or 62 percent, of those who would lose their Medicaid coverage as a result of work requirements, are women and disproportionately women of color.
  5. Blocking Improvements In Maternal Health. American women suffer appalling rates of maternal mortality. The solutions to this devastating problem are well within reach, however, Republicans simply refuse to take action, and at times, actively fight against lifesaving measures, such as extending postpartum Medicaid coverage. In 2021, not a single Republican member of the House voted for legislation that included the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which is essential to addressing this ongoing crisis.  The Biden-Harris Administration has established a pathway to coverage, providing states the opportunity to extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following birth. Currently, 47 states have elected to extend Medicaid coverage for a full year postpartum with only Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, and Wisconsin as the remaining holdouts.
  6. Promoting Health Care Discrimination Against Women And LGBTQ People. The Trump administration took multiple steps to make it harder for women, people of color, and LGBTQ Americans to access health care. For example, in August 2019, the Trump administration began enforcing a rule that bars certain federally-funded clinics from referring women for abortions. As a result, the nation’s largest recipient of Title X funds, Planned Parenthood, was forced to exit the program, losing $60 million in funding previously used to provide birth control and reproductive health care services for low-income women. Trump also tried to make it easier for LGBTQ Americans to be discriminated against in health care settings and allowed providers to refuse patient care on the basis of the provider’s personal beliefs, a move that undermined access to care for patients who already face health care disparities. The Biden administration is now fighting in court against Republicans in the state of Florida and Texas to reverse these discriminatory policies.

Celebrating Mother’s Day 2024: A Spotlight On Maternal Health

President Biden and Democrats In Congress Are Driving Down Costs, Expanding Coverage, and Improving Maternal Health Care

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this May, Protect Our Care is highlighting the state of maternal health care in America. The Biden-Harris administration is working to improve access to quality, comprehensive health care by expanding coverage, reducing costs, and improving care in the communities where it is most needed, working to address the maternal mortality crisis by expanding postpartum coverage and launching new public health initiatives. 

Building on the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded eligibility for Medicaid for millions of women across the country and safeguarded key maternal health care services like prenatal screenings and treatments, President Biden and Democrats in Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act. The Inflation Reduction Act is holding big drug companies accountable, bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, and making health care plans more affordable through tax credits – saving Americans thousands of dollars on health care.

Meanwhile, Republican attacks on women’s health are coming from all sides. As Republicans in Congress turn their backs on affordable health care and work to roll back some of these essential, cost-lowering programs, President Biden and Vice President Harris are doing everything in their power to drive down health care costs and improve access to quality maternal health care – from the cradle through retirement.

In response, Protect Our Care Director of Policy Programs Andrea Harris issued the following statement, 

“As we honor mothers, we are uplifting the safeguards the Biden-Harris administration has put in place. The ongoing maternal health crisis prevents women from accessing contraception, pre- and postnatal care, and essential reproductive services, as well as limiting women with chronic conditions from paying the bills or caring for their families. While Republicans are working to decimate women’s access to lifesaving health care, the Biden-Harris administration and congressional Democrats are committed to reversing this crisis by using every method at their disposal. The Biden-Harris administration is saving lives and ensuring every mother — no matter who they are or where they live — have the care they need.”

President Biden and Democrats In Congress Are Addressing Maternal Health

Addressing the maternal mortality crisis is a key component of improving maternal health in America. Ensuring all women have health coverage during pregnancy and for a full year after pregnancy is more important than ever. The maternal mortality rate in America has doubled over the last three decades, and the COVID-19 pandemic significantly worsened the crisis. Over 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, and Maternal mortality also disproportionately affects Black women as well as Native American women. President Biden is addressing this crisis by offering states new incentives to give new moms health care for a full year postpartum and pushing to make 12 months of postpartum coverage mandatory for all Medicaid programs.

  • Expanded Postpartum Medicaid Coverage Is Saving Lives Thanks to President Biden and Democrats In Congress. Over half of pregnancy-related deaths – the vast majority of which are preventable – occur between 7 days and 12 months after pregnancy, making postpartum health care coverage an essential tool in addressing maternal mortality. About 40 percent of births are covered by Medicaid nationwide, and states that have expanded Medicaid had lower maternal mortality rates than others for all racial and ethnic groups. Recognizing the urgency of the crisis, the Biden-Harris Administration and Democrats in Congress offered states incentives to expand postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following birth. Currently, 47 states have elected to extend Medicaid coverage for a full year postpartum.
  • HHS Launched A New Maternal Mental Health Hotline. In May 2022, the Biden-Harris administration launched a new Maternal Mental Health Hotline for expecting and new moms experiencing mental health challenges. 1 in 5 women in America face mental health challenges before or after giving birth, with the vast majority never receiving care. HHS initially invested $3 million into the confidential, toll-free resource, which offers a range of support to new moms, including interventions and referrals for support groups and other community-based resources.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration Released A Maternal Health Blueprint To Address The Health Crisis. In June 2022, the Biden-Harris administration released a blueprint for addressing the maternal health crisis, outlining five priorities for improving maternal health outcomes across the country. The blueprint offers numerous policy interventions to achieve these goals, namely expanding Medicaid coverage to one year postpartum, investing in rural maternal care, investing in the maternal mental health hotline, increasing the availability of substance use services, expanding protections against unexpected medical bills, requiring better-trained providers, improving maternal health data, investing in the maternal care workforce, expanding access to doulas and midwives, making it easier for pregnant and postpartum patients to enroll in federal housing, food, childcare, and income assistance programs, and strengthening workplace protections for mothers.
  • HHS Awarded More Than $103 Million For A New Maternal Mental Health Task Force and Nearly $90 Million To Expand Maternal Health Resources. In September 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration awarded $103 million in public funding for a new maternal mental health and substance use disorder talk force to improve prevention, screening, diagnosis, intervention, treatment, community practices, communication, and community engagement surrounding mental health equity and trauma. A portion of the funding is also earmarked for a national public education campaign to increase awareness of postpartum depression symptoms and demonstrate the many ways for new mothers to access care. HHS also announced that it would award nearly $90 million in additional funding for Health Resources and Services Administration programs focused on improving access to maternal health services.
  • HHS Launched A New “Birthing-Friendly” Tool To Help Pregnant and Postpartum Patients Find Providers Offering High-Quality Maternity Care. In November 2023, the Biden-Harris administration launched a new initiative to help pregnant and postpartum patients identify hospitals and health systems that implement evidence-based care to improve perinatal care. The new Care Compare tool includes an interactive map labeling providers who offer high-quality maternity care as “birthing-friendly.” HHS previously secured commitments from more than two dozen health plans to offer the tool on their websites, reaching over 150 million people collectively.

Democrats In Congress Are Pushing For Critical Maternal Health Investments To Address Racial Disparities and Save Lives. Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation to address the maternal health crisis in America. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, also known as H.R. 3305 or S. 1606, would work to improve maternal health by directing HHS to grow and diversify the maternal health workforce, establishing new programs designed to address maternal health disparities and maternal behavioral health, and providing funding for training, technology, and telehealth initiatives supporting maternal health. The bill would also extend postpartum and breastfeeding eligibility for WIC, address maternal health for incarcerated populations, and provide funding for increased research on maternal health indicators as well as public education efforts focused on improving maternal vaccination rates.

  • President Biden Signed Momnibus Legislation To Strengthen Maternal Health Care For Veterans. In November 2021, President Biden signed the first bill of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, the Protecting Moms Who Served Act, into law. The law addresses maternity care barriers experienced by veterans by supporting pregnant and postpartum veterans through maternity care coordination and expanded reporting on racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes.

The Inflation Reduction Act, Championed By President Biden and Democrats In Congress, Helps Reduce Health Care Costs For Millions of Women Across the Country

The Biden-Harris administration has built on the core protections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by taking steps to further reduce costs and increase access to affordable health care by expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage and working to implement the Inflation Reduction Act. Republicans want to tear it all down and are not only working to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, but they also want to revisit repealing the ACA.

Women are 1.3 times more likely to say they have skipped or postponed getting the health care they needed because of the cost. Thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the Inflation Reduction Act is saving Americans thousands of dollars on health care by holding big pharmaceutical companies accountable and bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, making health care plans more affordable with premium tax credit subsidies, and capping the price of insulin at $35 per month for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. Bringing down the cost of health care helps keep food on the table and a roof over the heads of millions of people. Here are just some of the cost-lowering benefits provided by the Inflation Reduction Act:

  • 4 million Americans on Medicare who use insulin are now charged no more than $35 per month for an insulin prescription. Over 730,000 women on Medicare who use insulin would have saved money if the Inflation Reduction Act had been in effect in 2020.
  • In 2023, 14.3 million Americans saved an average of $527 on monthly health insurance premiums.
  • 50.5 million Medicare beneficiaries can receive the shingles vaccination and other recommended vaccinations free of cost. 
  • 87.2 million Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries also have access to recommended vaccinations free of cost.
  • Seniors on Medicare will be protected from drug company price hikes thanks to increased inflation rebates.
  • Nearly 9 million people take the first ten drugs that have been selected for Medicare price negotiation. These drugs account for 20 percent of the annual Medicare Part D spending and two of the drugs – rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis drug Enbrel and psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis drug Stelara – are disproportionately taken by women enrolled in Medicare Part D. Negotiated prices will take effect in 2026.
  • 400,000 low-income seniors will receive more help affording prescription drugs through the Medicare Part D Extra Help program.
  • Seniors with the highest brand-name drug costs will see relief because their coinsurance is phased out, effectively capping their out-of-pocket costs at $3,250 for the year.
  • In 2025, out-of-pocket costs in Medicare Part D will be capped at $2,000, saving nearly 19 million Americans an average of $400 each year.

The Affordable Care Act Continues To Safeguard Maternal Health Care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Requires Insurers To Cover Free, Guaranteed Maternal Health Care Services. The ACA requires free access to a variety of preventive services related to pregnancy, including preeclampsia screenings, breastfeeding equipment like pumps and bottles, folic acid, and screenings for perinatal diabetes, in order, to support healthy pregnancies and fight the maternal mortality crisis. The ACA also requires that insurers cover medications used to prevent life-threatening complications in pregnancy like preeclampsia as well as mental health interventions for pregnancy-related depression.

The ACA Has Expanded Eligibility for Medicaid, Which Covers Over 30 Million Women Nationwide. At least 31 million adult women rely on Medicaid for coverage – an estimated 60 percent of the adults enrolled in Medicaid. Women with Medicaid coverage are less likely than women with private insurance to report delaying or forgoing care due to cost. In 2020, Medicaid covered 16 percent of nonelderly women in the United States, the vast majority of whom are working, going to school, at home caring for young children or relatives, or experiencing an illness or disability that does not permit them to work.

  • Medicaid Improves Access To Care For Women. Women with Medicaid are far more likely to receive care than uninsured women. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, women with Medicaid coverage are less likely than women with private insurance to report delaying or forgoing care due to cost. Women with Medicaid coverage receive preventive care such as cancer screenings and well-women services at roughly the same rates as women with private coverage and at a higher rate than women without insurance.
  • Medicaid Provides A Major Source of Coverage for Women of Color and Women with Disabilities. Due to systemic inequalities, women of color are disproportionately likely to be covered by Medicaid. Women of color consistently experience higher rates of maternal mortality than white women, largely due to the intersection of health with race, gender, poverty, geography, and other social factors. Thanks to the ACA, access to preventive care through Medicaid expansion has reduced racial disparities in cancer care and resulted in earlier diagnosis and treatment for Black patients. According to the Center for American Progress, Black women were more likely to receive care because of the ACA. Medicaid also covers more than 44 percent of nonelderly women with mental and physical disabilities.
  • Medicaid Is The Largest Payer Of Reproductive Health Care Coverage. Medicaid covers nearly 17 million women of reproductive age, giving them access to reproductive health care services such as birth control, cancer screenings, and maternity care without cost-sharing. Medicaid’s reproductive health coverage is especially important in states that have further restricted access to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
  • More Than Four In 10 Births Are Covered By Medicaid. More than 4 in 10 births were financed by Medicaid in 2022. Rates varied across the nation, with 61 percent of births being financed by Medicaid in Louisiana, and 22 percent in Utah. Medicaid covers 65 percent of all births to Black mothers and 59 percent of all births to Latina mothers.
  • Medicaid Helps Pay For Long-Term Care, Relied On By Elderly Women. Medicaid pays for roughly half of the nation’s long-term services. Roughly two-thirds of all insurance claims for long-term care are for women seeking care. Over 70 percent of nursing home residents are women, and almost two-thirds of home care recipients are women. Elderly women are also more vulnerable to poverty.

Thanks to the ACA, Women Can No Longer Be Charged More Than Men. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer charge women more than men for the same coverage, and insurers are required to cover important health benefits like maternity care. Before the ACA, only 12 percent of individual market plans offered maternity care. The ACA established maternity coverage as one of the ten essential health benefits required on all new individual and small group policies.

The Top Ten Ways Trump Would Sabotage Americans’ Health Care In A Second Term

Last night, President Biden called out Donald Trump’s radical health agenda in his interview with CNN host Erin Burnett, noting Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and rip away all of the progress to lower drug costs for people on Medicare. From trying to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, to gutting funding for Medicaid and his allegiance to drug companies over patients, Trump’s agenda has always been all about taking health care away and enriching big drug and insurance companies while they raise costs on Americans.

  1. Trump and His Allies Will Keep Working To Repeal The ACA And The Inflation Reduction Act. During his first term, Trump notoriously tried and failed multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). All of the repeal bills that went through Congress would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums for millions more. Trump’s repeal efforts would have ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the health care of children, seniors, working families, and people with disabilities at risk. During his 2024 campaign Trump has repeatedly reignited his calls to “terminate” the Affordable Care Act, which he claims is a “disaster,” and his MAGA allies in Congress are seeking to dismantle the Inflation Reduction Act and its provisions making prescription drugs and health care premiums more affordable for tens of millions of Americans.
  2. Trump Will Pack The Courts With Right Wing Ideologues. After failing to repeal the health care law in his first year as President, Trump took his war on America’s health care to a new level and went to court seeking to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act — including protections for pre-existing conditions. During his term, Trump packed the federal courts with anti-health care extremists, including the Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade and District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk who in the last two years alone has issued rulings that upend the entire FDA approval process and reject health protections for LGBTQ Americans.
  3. Trump Will Stand With Big Pharma Instead Of Working To Lower Drug Prices. Donald Trump came into office with a promise to lower drug costs, but instead, he gave drug companies billions in tax breaks. The year after his tax bill passed, the largest drug companies made $50 billion in profits and subsequently used their savings to invest billions more in stock buybacks for their shareholders. Meanwhile, thousands of drugs saw price increases during his administration. In a second term, Trump could take steps to weaken President Biden’s landmark legislation that allows Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and will continue to fight to keep drug companies’ taxes low and protect their corporate loopholes.
  4. Trump Will Continue His War On Medicaid. A second Trump term will see a renewed war on Medicaid laid out in the “Project 2025” agenda released by Trump’s allies at the Heritage Foundation, which includes onerous paperwork requirements and block grants that would force radical cuts to Medicaid. These tried and failed policies are designed to throw people off of their coverage. Between encouraging states to impose red tape and paperwork requirements masquerading as work requirements, the first Trump administration worked tirelessly to dismantle Medicaid. After Arkansas imposed the nation’s first so-called “work requirements” program, more than 18,000 residents lost Medicaid coverage. Although state efforts were blocked by a federal judge several times, the Trump administration fought relentlessly to impose work reporting requirements in Medicaid. A GAO report found that the administrative costs to implement the failed work requirement programs in five states topped $400 million.
  5. At Least Two Million People Lost Coverage During The Trump Administration. Census data revealed the uninsured rate rose during Trump’s tenure for the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The rate increased from 7.9 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018, or by approximately 2 million people. More than one million children lost Medicaid coverage between 2017 and 2019. Health care experts pointed to a “chilling effect” from Trump-backed policies, including Medicaid work reporting requirements. Trump’s anti-immigration policies create a climate of fear among the immigrant community and their family members, which will lead eligible people to forgo health care for themselves and their children. This especially contributed to increased uninsurance among Hispanic families during the first Trump administration.
  6. Trump’s Budgets Slashed Medicare And Medicaid. Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget in 2019 would cut funding for Medicare by more than $800 billion and repeal the ACA. Additionally, the budget would cut $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, which would result in millions of people losing health coverage, cuts to nursing homes, and cuts to care for children with severe disabilities.
  7. The Trump Tax Scam Gave Hundreds Of Billions To Drug And Insurance Companies With Soaring Profits While Further Eroding Access To Health Care. Trump’s proudest achievement during his term was signing into law a Tax Bill that cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, increased health care premiums for people who buy their own coverage, and laid the groundwork for repealing the ACA in the courts through California v. Texas. Trump’s Tax Bill repealed a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that required most people to have health coverage, which formed the basis of the Trump-Republican lawsuit that sought to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the repeal of the individual mandate contributed to thousands of dollars in increased premiums on the individual market. Trump is openly campaigning on more of the same tax cuts for giant corporations and billionaires if he regains office in 2024.
  8. Trump Is Responsible For The Repeal of Roe v. Wade And The Devastating Consequences for Reproductive Health. Donald Trump boasts that his appointees to the Supreme Court “broke Roe v. Wade” and the consequences for women’s health have been catastrophic, from cruel and archaic abortion bans to devastating uncertainty about access to IVF and other reproductive care.  A second term would see more extreme judicial appointments and an all out push to use the Comstock Act to create a de facto national ban on abortions and sharply limit access to medications like mifepristone.
  9. Trump Cut Open Enrollment Funding, And Instead Funneled People Into Junk Plans That Do Not Include Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions. In 2017, the Trump administration cut the outreach advertising budget for Open Enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – which resulted in as many as 1.1 million fewer people getting covered. The Trump administration also slashed funding for non-profit health Navigator groups that help people shop for coverage from $36 million to $10 million. Trump’s CMS encouraged groups to use the remaining funds to push people to sign up for junk plans that skirt important consumer protections.
  10. Trump’s Policies Promoted Discrimination Against Women, People of Color And LGBTQ Americans. The Trump administration took multiple steps to make it harder for women, people of color, and LGBTQ Americans to access health care. For example, in August 2019, the Trump administration began enforcing a rule that bars certain federally-funded clinics from referring women for abortions. As a result, the nation’s largest recipient of Title X funds, Planned Parenthood, was forced to exit the program, losing $60 million in funding previously used to provide birth control and reproductive health care services for low-income women. Moreover, experts pointed to Trump’s immigration policies for having deterred many Latino families from getting coverage, resulting in steep coverage losses, especially for children. Trump also tried to make it easier for transgender Americans to be discriminated against in health care settings and allowed providers’ to refuse patient care on the basis of the provider’s personal beliefs, a move that undermined access to care for patients who already face health care disparities. A second Trump term would promise more of the same, with his allies already signaling that they plan to dramatically change the government’s interpretation of civil rights laws to focus on bogus “anti-white racism” rather than discrimination against people of color.

NEW: Protect Our Care Releases Inflation Reduction Act Prescription Drug Savings Calculator

Seniors Will Save Thousands on Their Drug Costs Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act

Washington, D.C. — Protect Our Care is releasing a calculator to help seniors estimate how much money they may save on their prescription drugs thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. The calculator includes the law’s reforms that cap out-of-pocket drug costs, cap monthly insulin costs at $35, and provide no-cost vaccinations. The calculator also estimates the total savings for Medicare enrollees in every state, including on the first ten drugs with lower prices negotiated by Medicare. 

Millions of seniors across the country are benefitting from the Inflation Reduction Act’s prescription drug savings measures. Between capping insulin costs and stopping big drug companies’ egregious price hikes, the new legislation is already working for the American people. Medicare finally has the power to negotiate lower drug prices, which will soon go into effect. And for the first time ever, seniors’ annual out-of-pocket drug costs are capped. Together, these provisions will save nearly 19 million seniors an average of $400 per year on prescription drug costs, with many saving thousands of dollars.  

Polling shows that the health care measures in the Inflation Reduction Act are overwhelmingly popular among Americans, with over 80 percent of Americans supporting the provision that allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices. However, every Republican in Congress voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, and Republicans have now introduced legislation to repeal it. Donald Trump has also called for repeal of the entire Inflation Reduction Act, which would hike costs for seniors on Medicare. At the same time, big drug companies have spent millions of dollars on lobbying and filing meritless lawsuits to block the Negotiation Program from lowering drug prices.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is making a difference, dramatically lowering the cost of drugs for millions of seniors,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The Protect Our Care ‘Drug Savings Calculator’ will let seniors see the savings they can expect based on their own use of prescription drugs. The reality is that President Biden and Democrats in Congress have delivered lower health care and prescription drug costs. Democrats are bringing down costs for working families, giving people economic relief and more breathing room to pay their bills. Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump are fighting to repeal these savings and raise costs on seniors across the nation.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act is saving people with Medicare money every day on their prescription drugs. For example, all beneficiaries will pay nothing when they receive a recommended vaccine,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americas. “The calculator is a good way for people to see what other savings might be available to them.”

Background

  • Over 49 million Medicare Part D beneficiaries have out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs capped at approximately $3,300 per year in 2024. This increases to $2,000 per year beginning in 2025.
  • Nearly 300,000 low-income seniors who are currently enrolled in Extra Help and up to 3 million more who are eligible are receiving more help affording prescription drugs through the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program.
  • Over 49 million Medicare Part D beneficiaries are protected from Big Pharma’s outrageous price hikes that exceed inflation.
  • Over 3.2 million Medicare Parts B and D beneficiaries have the cost of insulin capped at $35 each month, saving seniors hundreds of dollars on this lifesaving medicine.
  • Over 49 million Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have access to no-cost vaccines, such as shingles and pneumonia.
  • Negotiations have started to lower prices starting in 2025 for the first 10 drugs selected, with more drugs to be named each year. The first ten drugs are Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, and Fiasp/NovoLog.

“Congress Shouldn’t Let Big Pharma off the Hook”: Senator Welch and Rep. Dingell Join Protect Our Care to Release New Report on Massive Drug Company Profits

Report Finds Big Drug Companies Raked in Nearly $29 Billion in Profits & Spent Over $28 Billion Rewarding Shareholders In Just The First Three Months of 2024

Read the New Report Here. 

Watch the Full Event Here.

Washington, DC — U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-06) joined Protect Our Care to call out big pharmaceutical companies for continuing to put profits over patients. During the call, Protect Our Care released a new report summarizing big drug companies’ recent investor reports, demonstrating how they are raking in profit and rewarding shareholders while more than 1 in 3 Americans are cutting pills or skipping doses because they can’t afford their medication.

The report is the latest in Protect Our Care’s Greed Watch series, highlighting the hypocrisy of big drug companies. While drug companies are raking in billions, they are working to undermine the Inflation Reduction Act by filing lawsuits and increasing their lobbying to protect their profits. Drug companies have been working behind the scenes with Republican lawmakers to repeal all of the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions aimed at making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. Big drug companies claim that the new law to make drugs more affordable will harm patients, but in reality, they’re telling investors the opposite and spending billions on rewarding their investors through stock buybacks and dividends, paying their executives millions, and spending millions lobbying to keep their prices high.

“For too long, pharmaceutical companies have cashed in on the vulnerabilities of patients needing access to life-saving medication, charging patients sky-high prices with no repercussions. We’re working to change that,” said Senator Peter Welch (D-VT). “I’m fighting in the Senate to advance legislation that builds off our success in the Inflation Reduction Act, bringing more prescription drugs to negotiation, faster and sooner. Seniors and families shouldn’t be forced to put up with Big Pharma’s greed, and Congress shouldn’t let Big Pharma off the hook.”   

“Democrats are fighting every day to confront pharmaceutical companies who are putting profits over patients and are making billions of dollars at the expense of hardworking Americans,” said Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-06). “The Inflation Reduction Act is a landmark piece of legislation, and we’re already seeing the impacts and the cost savings for people across the country. Unfortunately, big drug companies continue to charge some of the highest prices in the world for the vital medicines that Americans need to stay healthy. If you’re sick in this country, and you need medicine, you should be able to get it, no matter who you are or where you live.” 

“Today we’re putting drug company greed on full display,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “While drug companies are claiming they need to charge Americans more than anyone in the world for prescription drugs, they are celebrating massive profits on Wall Street. The Inflation Reduction Act is reining in drug prices for patients by stopping outrageous price hikes, capping costs for seniors, and giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices. President Biden and Democrats took on Big Pharma and won, but drug companies and their Republican allies are not backing down on their fight to rip away all of this progress and make it even harder for patients to get the drugs they need to survive.” 

Key Report Findings:

  • Big drug companies started off 2024 by raking in $29 billion in profits. In the first three months of 2024, 15 of the biggest drug companies reported nearly $173 billion in revenue and nearly $29 billion in net profits – eye-popping figures that reflect the record-high prices these companies charge for drugs.
  • The drug companies suing to block Medicare from negotiating lower prices brought in billions in revenue and profits, and spent lavishly to reward shareholders. In the first three months of 2024, the ten drugs selected for Medicare’s first round of negotiations brought in $16.5 billion in revenue, while the companies that manufacture these drugs raked in $25.4 billion in combined profits and spent nearly $26 billion rewarding shareholders in the form of stock buybacks and dividends. 

TODAY: Dr. Meena Seshamani, Director of the Center for Medicare, to Hold Roundtable with Local Seniors to Discuss Biden Administration’s Efforts to Bring Prescription Drug Savings

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR MAY 6 AT 1:30PM PT // 4:30 PM ET***

The Inflation Reduction Act gave Medicare power to negotiate drug prices for the first time  

Los Angeles, CA – Today, Dr. Meena Seshamani, MD, Ph.D., Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Director of the Center for Medicare, will join Protect Our Care California and local seniors and advocates to discuss how Medicare negotiations will lower prescription drug costs for seniors in California. The Biden administration recently announced the next phase of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation program, a step which will lower prices for some of the highest-cost prescription drugs that seniors rely on to treat conditions like cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders – conditions that disproportionately impact women, communities of color, and people in rural areas. Speakers will explain what this means for seniors in California and how lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs remain central to the Inflation Reduction Act’s popularity, and the importance of protecting these policies. A recent Navigator poll found overwhelming support for health care policies passed by Congress during the Biden administration, including reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act. 

Speakers will also highlight all of the new cost-saving benefits for seniors in the Inflation Reduction Act, including: 

  • Medicare negotiation for lower drug prices 
  • A $35 monthly copay cap on insulin 
  • Free shingles and other essential vaccinations
  • $2,000 out-of-pocket caps on prescription drugs beginning in 2025

This event comes as drug companies and their allies are trying to derail health care policies that will bring down costs. Pharmaceutical companies are suing the federal government to protect their massive profits by halting the Medicare negotiation provision while their Congressional allies are attempting to repeal it. President Biden and his administration are already working to expand these cost savings to more Americans, and hold Big Pharma accountable. If opponents of the Affordable Care Act get their way, they would throw millions of people off of Medicaid, keep drug costs high for seniors, and make health care coverage more expensive for families purchasing coverage on their own through the Affordable Care Act. 

WHO:
Dr. Meena Seshamani, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Medicare
Santa Monica Mayor Phil Brock
Santa Monica Councilmember Gleam Davis
President of the Los Angeles County AMA Dr. Jerry Abraham
Former President of the Los Angeles County Medical Association Dr. Sion Roy
CARA Leader Bonnie Coleman
President of the Long Beach Gray Panthers Karen Reside
Nicole Serrano, Protect Our Care California

WHEN

Monday, May 6, 2024 at 1:30 PM PT // 4:30 PM ET

WHERE

Virginia Avenue Park, Thelma Terry Room, 2200 Virginia Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Watch the livestream here.

###

PRESS CALL: U.S. Senator Welch and Rep. Debbie Dingell Join Protect Our Care to Call Out Drug Companies for Raking in Massive Profits While Ripping Off Patients

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TUESDAY, MAY 7 AT 1:00 PM ET***

A New Report From Protect Our Care Shows How Drug Companies Started Off 2024 by Raking in Eye-Popping Profits 

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at 1:00 PM ET, U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-06) will join Protect Our Care for a press conference to discuss how big pharmaceutical companies are putting profits over patients. During the call, Protect Our Care will release a new report summarizing big drug companies’ recent investor reports, demonstrating how they are raking in profit and rewarding shareholders while more than 1 in 3 Americans are cutting pills or skipping doses because they can’t afford their medication.

This call comes at a time where pharmaceutical giants are laser-focused on undermining the Inflation Reduction Act by filing lawsuits and increasing their lobbying to protect their profits. Drug companies have been working behind the scenes with Republican lawmakers to repeal all of the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions aimed at making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. Big drug companies claim that the new law to make drugs more affordable will harm patients, but in reality, they’re telling investors the opposite and spending billions on rewarding their investors through stock buybacks and dividends, paying their executives millions, and spending millions lobbying to keep their prices high.

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-VT)
U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-06)
Leslie Dach, Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register for the Event Here.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 7 at 1:00 PM ET