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Michael Feldman

Trump Administration Attacks Protections for LGBTQ Americans and Women with Final Rule on the Health Care Rights Law

Washington, DC — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule to weaken enforcement of the Health Care Rights Law (section 1557 of the ACA), which bans discrimination against LGBTQ Americans and women in health care and insurance coverage. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement in response:

“It’s shameful that the Trump administration chose Pride Month to attack protections for LGBTQ Americans, same-sex parents, pregnant people and other vulnerable patients by making it harder for them get the medical care they deserve. Every American, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity deserves access to quality and affordable health care — especially as the coronavirus pandemic rages across the country. It’s past time for the Trump administration to quit playing cruel political games that put Americans’ health and safety at risk.”

NEW: How Trump’s Botched Coronavirus Response Contributed to Thousands of Deaths at Veterans Facilities Nationwide

New Fact Sheet From Protect Our Care Details the Trump Administration’s Failure to Prepare for the Spread of the Virus and the Resulting Devastation Veterans and Their Families

Fact Sheet: Trump Is Failing Veterans on Coronavirus

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new fact sheet detailing how the Trump administration’s failure to adequately respond to the coronavirus crisis was a key factor in thousands of deaths of veterans across the country. America’s veterans, especially those at veterans homes and in VA hospitals, are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic due to serious shortages of PPE and an insufficient supply of medications, staff and equipment available to treat veterans with COVID-19. This fact sheet puts a spotlight on the Trump administration’s deficiencies in providing adequate care to veterans by squandering precious time and resources while thousands of veterans died under their watch.

“America’s veterans deserve better than to be let down by Donald Trump’s failure to ensure the VA had resources it needed to fight the coronavirus head on,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “President Trump squandered precious time in the fight against the coronavirus and his administration’s failure to prepare for the pandemic led to thousands of avoidable deaths among our nation’s veterans. In order to ensure the health and safety of the millions of veterans who have put their lives on the line for our country, we need to make sure that VA hospitals and veterans homes receive the resources they need to treat every American veteran suffering from and recovering from coronavirus.” 

Are You Kidding Me??!! Trump’s Most Outrageous Coronavirus Comments This Week

The news coverage on the spread of the coronavirus is rapidly evolving making it easy to miss some of President Trump’s most egregious comments about his bungled response to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. President Trump continues to focus more on his own reelection and trying to boost the stock market than taking responsibility and doing the work necessary to keep Americans safe.

1. He “Stopped” The Coronavirus

At the signing of the $8 billion emergency spending package today, President Trump falsely claimed, “we closed it down…we stopped [the virus].” Meanwhile, U.S. cases continue to surge, with new cases reported in Maryland and the death toll reaching 14 Americans as of this morning.

2. Silver Lining: People Are Spending Money In The United States

At a Fox News town hall in Scranton, President Trump said there was a silver lining to coronavirus, which is that “People are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the US — and I like that.” This came amid reports of catastrophic losses for the domestic travel industry and panic buying by American consumers as well as another nearly 1,000 point loss in the stock market. Trump concluded “It’s all going to work out. Everybody needs to be calm. We have plans for every single possibility.”

3. Obama Administration Is At Fault For Difficulties Testing People For Virus

At a meeting with airline executives, President Trump blamed the Obama administration for difficulties with the coronavirus test saying, “The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing & we undid that decision a few days ago so that testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion.”

4. People With Symptoms Should Go To Work

On Wednesday night Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News and provided dangerously incorrect information to the roughly 3.5 million viewers of the show. Trump said he believed WHO estimates of the coronavirus death rate are “false” and that based on his “hunch,” he believes the actual number is “way under 1%.” Trump then said “a lot of people will have this and it’s very mild” and implied that it was all right for people to continue to go to work while sick, directly contradicting directives from the CDC and state and local public health authorities.

5. Vaccine Is Three To Four Months Away

Speaking to the press while meeting with President Ivan Duque of Colombia, President Trump said that he has asked pharmaceutical companies to “accelerate whatever they’re doing in terms of a vaccine,” and reassured his supporters that it is “very safe” for him to continue to hold campaign rallies during the outbreak. At the meeting with pharmaceutical executives, Trump said he heard that a vaccine can be ready in three to four months and was corrected by Dr. Anthony Fauci who said the vaccine won’t be ready to deploy for at least a year.

At his rally in North Carolina on Monday night, Trump celebrated the stock market rebound and praised pharmaceutical executives who he said would have a vaccine ready “relatively soon” as well as “something that makes you better, and that’s going to actually take place we think even sooner.” Trump accused Democrats of politicizing the crisis and “denigrating the noble work of our public health professionals” and attacked “fringe globalists” who want to keep borders open and allow infection into the US.

Trump Uses Fox Town Hall to Spread Coronavirus Misinformation, Double-Down on Texas Lawsuit, and Once Again Threaten Medicare and Medicaid

Washington, DC — Yesterday, President Trump participated in a Fox News town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania where he continued to spread misinformation about the coronavirus, doubled-down on his support for the disastrous Texas lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act, and announced his intention to cut Medicare and Medicaid if he’s elected to a second term. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“The president once again showed his true colors on health care. He’s willing to spread misinformation about the potential impacts of the coronavirus while leaving Americans unprepared because he’s apparently more interested in his politics than in protecting America. He doubled-down on his disastrous health care agenda — including his lawsuit that would rip coverage from millions of people and threatening to cut Medicare and Medicaid — at a time when access to quality, affordable care is more important than ever to combat coronavirus. It’s clear to the American people that President Trump’s relentless war on Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act is threatening their health.”

BACKGROUND:

Trump Is All-In On The Texas Lawsuit, Threatening Health Care For Millions. After failing to repeal the health care law, 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. If President Trump and his Republican allies have their way, 20 million Americans will lose their insurance coverage, 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stripped of their protections, and costs will go up for millions. Meanwhile, his administration has said there is “not a need” for a replacement plan.

Trump Has Repeatedly Sought Cuts To Medicaid and Medicare. In his 2021 budget, Trump proposed more than $1 trillion in cuts from Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act. Through his support for repeal and the Texas lawsuit, President Trump has supported eliminating Medicaid expansion which has provided coverage to 17 million Americans in 37 states. His administration has also attacked Medicaid by championing block grants and work requirements.

Trump Is Spreading Misinformation About The Outbreak. President Trump said there was a silver lining to coronavirus, which is that “People are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the US — and I like that.” This came amid reports of catastrophic losses for the domestic travel industry and panic buying by American consumers as well as another nearly 1,000 point loss in the stock market. Trump concluded “It’s all going to work out. Everybody needs to be calm. We have plans for every single possibility.” 

SHOT/CHASER: Trump’s Junk Insurance Plans Meet Coronavirus 

SHOT: At the State of the Union, Trump touted his administration’s expansion of short-term junk plans, while also falsely repeating his claim that he will protect people with pre-existing conditions.”

CHASER: Florida man covered by Trump-backed short-term plan “may owe thousands” after seeking test for coronavirus. 

Miami Herald: A Miami Man Who Flew To China Worried He Might Have Coronavirus. He May Owe Thousands. “Hospital officials at Jackson told the Miami Herald that, based on his insurance, Azcue would only be responsible for $1,400 of that bill, but Azcue said he heard from his insurer that he would also have to provide additional documentation: three years of medical records to prove that the flu he got didn’t relate to a pre-existing condition. While Azcue’s experience shows the potential cost of testing for a disease that epidemiologists fear may develop into a public health crisis in the U.S., one insurance expert sees the episode as a cautionary tale about the potential risks associated with deregulation in the insurance market.” [Miami Herald, 2/24/20

  • “In 2018, President Donald Trump’s administration rolled back Affordable Care Act regulations and allowed so-called “junk plans” in the market. Consumers mistakenly assume that the plans with lower monthly costs will be better than no insurance at all in case of a medical catastrophe, but often the plans aren’t very different from going without insurance altogether.” [Miami Herald, 2/24/20

 

THIS WEEK: Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” Bus Tour Continues With Stops in Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Georgia 

“Care Force One” Will Travel to Bangor, Portland, Concord, Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville and Atlanta for Events Highlighting the Health Care Emergency Created By Trump’s Lawsuit and Democrats’ Agenda to Improve Care and Lower Costs

Washington, DC On the third and final week of Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 21-event, 13-state nationwide bus tour, “Care Force One” is continuing across the country for stops in  Bangor (ME), Portland (ME), Concord (NH), Raleigh (NC), Charlotte (NC), Asheville (NC) and Atlanta (GA). During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers will join Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Event participants will also discuss the Democratic agenda to lower costs and improve health care. 

Watch all bus tour stops live here. 

The week begins Monday morning in Bangor, ME:

WHO:
State Sen. David Miramant
State Rep. Joe Perry
State Rep. Barbara Cardone
Andrea Irwin, Executive Director, Mabel Wadsworth Center
Greg Marley, Clinical Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Maine Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One, Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St, Bangor, ME 04401
WHEN: Monday, August 19 at 10:00 AM EST

And continues Monday afternoon in Portland, ME:

WHO:
State Rep. Sara Gideon, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives
State Sen. Catherine Breen
State Rep. Thom Harnett
Nicole Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy, Planned Parenthood New England
Jenna Mehnert, MSW, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness
WHAT “Protect Our Care Maine Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One, Portland City Hall, 389 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
WHEN: Monday, August 19th at 2:00 PM EST

Tuesday, Protect Our Care heads to Concord, NH:

WHO:
U.S. Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02)
Dr. Randy Hayes, Kent Street Collation
Dr. Nick Perencevich
Carrie Duran, mother of a child with pre-existing conditions
Pepper Nappo, Granite Stater who relies on the ACA for coverage
Audrey Gerkin, Little Lobbyists
Granite State Progress
Rights & Democracy NH
WHAT: “Protect Our Care New Hampshire Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One, Concord City Plaza, in front of NH Statehouse (Main Street) – Concord NH
WHEN: Tuesday, August 20th, 2019 at 10:00 AM EST

Wednesday, Protect Our Care heads to Raleigh, NC:

WHO:  State Senator Terry Van Duyn and others to be announced
WHAT: “Protect Our Care North Carolina Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One, Senator Tillis’ Raleigh Office, 310 New Bern Ave Ste 122, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
WHEN: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 2:30 PM EST

Thursday morning, Protect Our Care heads to Charlotte, NC:

WHO:   
Mecklenburg County Commissioner at-large Pat Cotham
Stacy Staggs, Little Lobbyists
Kara Konrad, North Carolinian with a pre-existing condition
WHAT: “Protect Our Care North Carolina Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One, Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 E 4th St, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
WHEN: Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 10:00 AM EST

Thursday afternoon, Protect Our Care heads to Asheville, NC:

WHO:
Mallorie Hatcher, Little Lobbyists
Jackie Kiger, Pisgah Legal Services
Others to be announced
WHAT: “Protect Our Care North Carolina Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One, Pack Square Park 22 S Pack Sq, Asheville, North Carolina 28801
WHEN: Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 2:30 PM EST

The third and final week concludes Friday morning in Atlanta, GA:

WHO: U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (GA-06) and others to be announced
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Georgia Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One, Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334
WHEN: Friday, August 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM EST

*Additional speakers to be added throughout the week

For more information on the Protect Our Care Health Care Emergency Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

THIS WEEK: Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” Bus Tour Continues With Stops in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania

“Care Force One” Will Travel to St. Paul, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Harrisburg and Bethlehem, for Events Highlighting the Health Care Emergency Created By Trump’s Lawsuit and Democrats’ Agenda to Improve Care and Lower Costs

Washington, DC — On the second week of Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 21-event, 13-state nationwide bus tour, “Care Force One” is continuing across the country for stops in St. Paul (MN), Des Moines (IA), Cedar Rapids (IA), Lansing (MI), Livonia (MI), Harrisburg (PA) and Bethlehem (PA). During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers will join Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Event participants will also discuss the Democratic agenda to lower costs and improve health care.

Watch all bus tour stops live here.

The week begins Monday morning in St. Paul, MN:

WHO: U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison
Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Delores Flynn, SEIU member and mother of son with disabilities
Rachel Zemmer, TakeAction MN
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Minnesota Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: AFL-CIO headquarters, 175 Aurora Ave St. Paul, MN 55103
WHEN: Monday, August 12 at 9:45 AM CST

And continues Monday afternoon in Des Moines, IA:

WHO: Emily Holley, executive director of Iowa Voices and patient
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa
WHAT:  “Protect Our Care Iowa Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 
WHERE: Care Force One, Outside the State House, Press Conference in Room 22
WHEN: Monday, August 12th at 3:00 PM CST

Tuesday, Protect Our Care heads to Cedar Rapids, IA:

WHO: Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Robin Stone, Iowan with a pre-existing condition
Sara Kissling, Iowan with a pre-existing condition
Laura Wright, Iowan struggling with high prescription drug costs
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Iowa Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Outside Sen. Grassley and Sen. Ernsts’ offices, 111 7th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
WHEN: Tuesday, August 13th at 12:00 PM CST

Wednesday morning, Protect Our Care heads to Lansing, MI:

WHO: State Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing)
State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing)
State Rep. Julie Brixie, (D-Meridian Township)
Dr. Farhan Bhatti, CEO and Medical Director of Care Free Medical Lansing
Tori Saylor, patient advocate
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care activist
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Michigan Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Care Force One at Michigan State Capitol, 100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933
WHEN: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 11:30 AM EST

And continues Wednesday afternoon in Livonia, MI:

WHO: U.S. Representative Haley Stevens (MI-11)
Dr. Mark LePage, CEO of IHA
Andrea P., health care advocate and member of Little Lobbyists
Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care activist
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Michigan Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Outside St. Mary Mercy Hospital, 36475 5 Mile Road, Livonia, MI
WHEN: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST

Thursday, Protect Our Care heads to Harrisburg, PA:

WHO: U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Staci Ritter, Pennsylvania health care advocate with pre-existing condition
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Pennsylvania Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol, 501 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120
WHEN: Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 11:30 AM EST

The second week concludes Friday in Bethlehem, PA:

WHO: U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07)
Laura Packard, stage 4 cancer survivor and health care advocate
Mitch Lenett, Pennsylvanian with a pre-existing condition
WHAT: “Protect Our Care Pennsylvania Health Care Emergency” Press Conference
WHERE: Payrow Plaza, 10 E. Church Street, Bethlehem, PA
WHEN: Friday, August 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM EST

*Additional speakers to be added throughout the week

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Tour” Continues Its Third Week In:

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019
Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019
Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019
Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019
Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

For more information on the Protect Our Care Health Care Emergency Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

Senator Stabenow, Andy Slavitt Highlight GOP’s Refusal to Allow Medicare Drug Price Negotiation and Their Support For Trump’s Texas Lawsuit

On a Press Call, Senator Stabenow, Andy Slavitt and Protect Our Care Highlighted Priorities Heading Into August Recess; Democrats’ Agenda to Lower Drug Prices And Focus on Holding Republicans Accountable For Supporting Trump’s Texas Lawsuit

Washington, DC – Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Health Subcommittee on Finance, former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and Protect Our Care held a press call today to highlight Republicans’ refusal to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and for their failure to denounce Trump’s disastrous Texas lawsuit to overturn America’s health care. On the call, Senator Stabenow made clear the dire situation of the crippling cost of prescription drugs facing the American people, and how Republicans continue to block meaningful legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. Nearly nine out of ten Americans support requiring Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs, yet Republicans continue to reject legislation allowing it to do so, all while supporting a lawsuit that would strip millions of Americans of their health care and raise costs across the board. 

Both Andy Slavitt and Brad Woodhouse discussed the health care emergency created by the Trump-Texas lawsuit and why it represents the most clear and present danger to Americans’ health care today. The call also previewed Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Bus Tour, which will be making stops in Michigan as well as 12 other states throughout the month of August to hold Republicans accountable for supporting Trump’s disastrous lawsuit. 

“Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world,” said Senator Stabenow. “If Republicans were serious about lowering these prices, they would have stood up to the drug lobbyists and supported my amendment in the Senate Finance Committee to give Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices. This is the single most effective thing we can do to lower drug prices for American families today.”

“We must focus much more on the massive theft happening before our eyes as Trump and Republican state Attorneys General collude to rip health care away from millions of Americans,” said former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt. 

“While Democrats go home this August recess and talk about the actions they’ve taken to lower the cost of prescription drugs and make health care more affordable, Republicans will have to answer for why they continue supporting Trump’s lawsuit and block meaningful progress to lower costs,” said Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse. “Throughout August, Protect Our Care’s bus tour will travel the country highlighting the health care emergency Trump and his Republican allies have created for the American people with their lawsuit to overturn health care.” 

Listen to audio from the call here

Rep. Annie Kuster, Protect Our Care, Public Policy Polling Discuss New Poll Showing Broad Support For Democrats’ Health Care Agenda

Full press call audio HERE

New Survey From Public Policy Polling Comes As U.S. House Prepares to Consider Legislation to Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions As White House Threatens To Veto Those Efforts

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH-02) along with Protect Ouhuur Care and Public Policy Polling held a press call today to highlight legislation introduced by House Democrats being voted on this week and next that will improve the nation’s health care system by strengthening protections for people with pre-existing conditions and lowering the cost of health care. Participants highlighted the results of a new poll that showed the majority of Americans support House Democrats’ lower costs, better care agenda.

Rep. Kuster’s bill H.R. 986, the “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019,” is one of several bills introduced by House Democrats and being voted on this week to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions from the Trump administration’s health care sabotage and to lower the costs of health care. Rep. Kuster’s bill is scheduled for a vote on Thursday, but the White House has already threatened to veto it.

“We cannot go back to a time when Americans with pre-existing conditions can be charged more or denied care,” said Rep. Kuster. “My legislation provides the much-needed pushback against the Trump Administration’s repeated and ongoing sabotage of the Affordable Care Act and our healthcare system. I remain focused on how we can strengthen our healthcare system and I will continue fighting to make the ACA work better for all Americans.”

“Health care champions like Rep. Kuster are working every day to protect millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions from the ongoing sabotage from the Trump administration,” said Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse. “While the president is hellbent on destroying the nation’s health care system, poll after poll shows us that Americans are fed up with his constant sabotage and support legislation from Democrats like Rep. Kuster that protect patients with pre-existing conditions and make health care more affordable.”

White House Threatens Veto of “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act”

Washington, DC – Late yesterday, the White House threatened to veto H.R. 986, the “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019,” ahead of its scheduled vote on the House floor tomorrow. The bill introduced by Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) would protect patients with pre-existing conditions from abuse by insurance companies that is enabled by new Trump administration regulations that sabotage our health care. The Trump administration has also filled a lawsuit to overturn health care laws including protections that stop insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

In response to their shameless veto threat, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Democrats are working to protect patients with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes and asthma but the Trump administration is now threatening to veto those efforts. Trump and his Republican allies have tried to repeal these protections for people with pre-existing conditions, then they went to court to strike them down and now they’re threatening to veto them. No matter how many false promises they make to the American people, the record shows they’ll do everything they can to let insurance companies gut coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions.”