All Posts By

Mitch Harle

NEW: Protect Our Care Launches $2 Million TV Ad Campaign With Health Care Workers On Trump’s Failure to Protect America During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care is launching a new $2 million ad campaign criticizing the Trump administration’s failed coronavirus response that put millions of Americans, especially seniors, at grave risk, and demanding that the administration do better. The campaign includes two ads: 

  • Left Behind,” features Tarik Khan, a RN and family nurse practitioner, talking about how President Trump’s coronavirus response has left our older adults, our most vulnerable, extremely unprotected, and that “he had a duty to protect them and that didn’t happen.”
  • Ignored,” features Dr. Risha Khetarpal, talking about how President Trump is clearly not listening to the advice of medical experts, is spreading false information, and allowing for more people to die.

The ads will run in Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin, starting Wednesday on TV and connected devices, and focus on people over the age of 50.

Watch: “Left Behind”

Watch: “Ignored”

As cases of coronavirus continue to spike around the country and the death toll tops 130,000, the ads urge the Trump administration to listen to medical experts and do more to protect Americans, particularly seniors. Both ads make clear that the coronavirus pandemic “didn’t have to be this bad.” 

It is Protect Our Care’s hope that through these ads, the administration will take more serious and effective action to fight the pandemic.

“President Trump’s botched coronavirus response has been catastrophic for America, particularly for seniors who are dying unnecessarily as a result of his administration’s failures,”said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Health care workers know that President Trump’s refusal to listen to medical experts and take this crisis seriously have made the crisis far worse, put millions of Americans in imminent danger and undermined our economy. Americans are increasingly worried about their safety, but instead of taking action, President Trump continues to downplay the threat to the citizens he swore to protect.”

Left Behind” script (:30):

Tarik Khan: During the coronavirus, our older adults are most certainly being left behind.

There’s been over 100,000 Americans that have died from this.

The most people that are dying, are dying in nursing homes.

All it takes is one person to be sick for a lot of people to get ill.

The president has basically left our older adults, he’s left our most vulnerable, extremely unprotected, and he had a duty to protect them and that didn’t happen.

This crisis did not have to be as bad as it was.

Ignored” script (:30): 

Dr. Risha Khetarpal: In the medical ICU I would say almost 80 percent of my patients were dying.

If the Trump administration had been quicker to act, many lives could have been saved.

Trump is clearly not listening to any of the advice of medical experts.

He’s spreading false information and by doing so he is allowing for more people to die from coronavirus.

I wish that Trump would listen to the medical experts so that we can stop this pandemic.

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Rural Health Care

We have reached a critical point for the future of American health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On June 25th, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states submitted their briefs in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, more than 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. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.

No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health and safety than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety during this crisis. When the court hears this case, there will likely be no vaccine and no viable treatment for the virus. When millions of Americans have already lost health insurance due to the pandemic, it’s absurd that President Trump is arguing in court that 20 million more Americans should lose their health care. And when millions of Americans who contract the coronavirus join the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, President Trump will also be arguing in court to allow insurance companies to deny them coverage or charge them more. The submission of these briefs from Republican states will put the Trump administration’s politically-motivated lawsuit on full display for the American people in front of the highest court.

Days of Action: Day 12 of 12 focuses on health care for rural Americans. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Rural Health Care

At a time when millions of people are facing the possibility of coronavirus and devastating health care bills, protecting coverage under the Affordable Care Act is more important than ever. Overturning the ACA would be particularly devastating for rural communities, which are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases nationwide and where the law’s Medicaid expansion plays a pivotal role in supporting rural hospitals and fighting the opioid crisis. 

Rural Americans Stand To Lose If The Texas Lawsuit Overturns The ACA:

  • Nearly 1.7 million rural Americans gained coverage through Medicaid expansion under the ACA. 
  • 24 percent of Americans living in rural areas have health coverage through Medicaid. The uninsured rate for low-income adults dropped from 35 percent to 16 percent in rural areas and small towns in states that expanded Medicaid.
  • In 2017, nearly 1 in 5 marketplace enrollees (1.6 million people) lived in rural areas.
  • Rural Americans are more likely to be uninsured than Americans living in non-rural areas.

Medicaid Is A Lifeline For Rural Hospitals: 

  • The Affordable Care Act led to a $12 billion reduction in uncompensated care costs. Between 2013 and 2015, hospitals’ uncompensated care costs decreased by $12 billion, or roughly 30 percent. The majority of this reduction was concentrated in states that chose to expand Medicaid.
  • 430 rural hospitals are at a high financial risk of closing. This represents roughly 21 percent of the country’s rural hospitals.
  • 120 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. The vast majority closed in states that had not expanded Medicaid at the time of the hospital closure.

American Hospital Association, Federation Of American Hospitals, The Catholic Health Association Of The United States, And Association Of American Medical Colleges: “A Judicial Repeal Would Have Severe Consequences For America’s Hospitals, Which Would Be Forced To Shoulder The Greater Uncompensated-Care Burden That The ACA’s Repeal Would Create.” [American Hospital Association et. al, 6/14/18]

The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Plays A Central Role In Fighting The Opioid Crisis

  • In 2014, Medicaid paid for 25 percent of all addiction treatment nationwide.
  • It is estimated that Medicaid expansion covers four in ten people with an opioid use disorder. More than half of people with an opioid use disorder earn incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
  • Among those with opioid addiction, people covered through Medicaid are more than twice as likely as those with private insurance or no insurance to receive treatment. In 2016, 43 percent of people who had substance use disorders received treatment when they were covered through Medicaid, significantly higher than the 21 percent of those privately insured who received treatment and 23 percent of those who were uninsured and received treatment.
  • Medicaid expansion has reduced unmet need for substance use treatment by more than 18 percent. Recent research finds that Medicaid expanding reduced the unmet need for substance use treatment by 18.3 percent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Marketplace Signups & Financial Assistance

We have reached a critical point for the future of American health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On June 25th, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states submitted their briefs in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, more than 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. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.

No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health and safety than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety during this crisis. When the court hears this case, there will likely be no vaccine and no viable treatment for the virus. When millions of Americans have already lost health insurance due to the pandemic, it’s absurd that President Trump is arguing in court that 20 million more Americans should lose their health care. And when millions of Americans who contract the coronavirus join the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, President Trump will also be arguing in court to allow insurance companies to deny them coverage or charge them more. The submission of these briefs from Republican states will put the Trump administration’s politically-motivated lawsuit on full display for the American people in front of the highest court.

Days of Action: Day 11 of 12 focuses on individual marketplace coverage and financial assistance for families. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Marketplace Signups & Financial Assistance

At a time when millions of people are facing the possibility of coronavirus and devastating health care bills, protecting coverage under the ACA is more important than ever. Before the ACA, individual market insurance was out of reach for millions due to pre-existing condition exclusions, coverage loopholes, and skyrocketing premiums. Now, 9 million people benefit from premium tax credits to help lower their health care costs, and everyone purchasing insurance through the marketplaces can have peace of mind knowing they have comprehensive coverage. 

Thanks To The ACA:

  • GAINED: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. 
  • GAINED: Medicaid expansion, which covers 16 million people. 
  • GAINED: Nearly 12 million seniors pay less for prescription drugs. 
  • GAINED: 2.3 million adult children are able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 
  • GAINED: Three million children nationwide gained coverage. 
  • GAINED: Insurance companies are banned from charging women 50 percent more than men.
  • GAINED: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GAINED: Key support for rural hospitals. 
  • GAINED: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GAINED: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.

The ACA’s marketplaces are already serving as an important safety net as the country continues to battle the pandemic: CMS data revealed nearly half a million people enrolled in ACA coverage by May, representing a 46 percent increase in enrollment from the same period last year. Per a brief recently filed in support of the ACA by 220 public health experts, the American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of Nursing: “COVID-19 has made clear that a population-wide means of delivering preventive and diagnostic medical treatment is essential to the health of Americans—and to the health of the American economy. The ACA is the only legislation that fills that important void right now, and it cannot lightly be discarded.”

If The Texas Lawsuit Succeeds, The Individual Marketplace And Financial Assistance That Helps Individuals Purchase Health Insurance Will Be Eliminated: 

  • 11 million people with comprehensive insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage. Without the ACA, more than 11 million people nationwide enrolled in the individual marketplace could lose coverage. 
  • Nine million people in the marketplaces would pay more for coverage. Nearly 9 million people would lose financial assistance that helps them purchase health care in the marketplace. In 2019, the average monthly premium tax credit was $514

Thanks To The Republican Lawsuit, 23 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage: 

Before the pandemic, the Urban Institute estimated 19.9 million people could lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, meaning the number of uninsured Americans would increase from 30.4 million to 50.3 million, representing a leading to a 65 percent increase in the uninsured rate. As the uninsured rate swells, so will the amount of uncompensated care, which Urban predicts will grow by at least 82 percent.

Now, in light of the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis, the Center for American Progress estimates that at least 3 million additional people could lose coverage. CAP estimates that 23 million people stand to lose coverage if the ACA is overturned in court. 

Millions of children could lose their coverage. Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. If the law is overturned, many of these children will lose their insurance.

The Black uninsured rate would nearly double. If the ACA is overturned, the uninsured rate among Black Americans would spike from 11 percent to 20 percent. 

More than 5 million Latinos would lose coverage. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos would lose coverage if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Health Care for Latinos

We have reached a critical point for the future of American health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On June 25th, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states submitted their briefs in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, more than 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. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.

No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health and safety than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety during this crisis. When the court hears this case, there will likely be no vaccine and no viable treatment for the virus. When millions of Americans have already lost health insurance due to the pandemic, it’s absurd that President Trump is arguing in court that 20 million more Americans should lose their health care. And when millions of Americans who contract the coronavirus join the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, President Trump will also be arguing in court to allow insurance companies to deny them coverage or charge them more. The submission of these briefs from Republican states will put the Trump administration’s politically-motivated lawsuit on full display for the American people in front of the highest court.

Days of Action: Day 10 of 12 focuses on health care for Hispanic and Latino Americans. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Coverage for Latinos

The ACA helped reduce longstanding racial disparities in coverage rates, improving health care access for communities of color across the board. Destroying the ACA would be especially harmful as the country is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted Latino communities nationwide. 

Latinos Stand To Lose If The ACA Is Overturned. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to a study from Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos would lose coverage if the Texas lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.

Repealing Medicaid Expansion Would Disproportionately Harm Latinos. After the implementation of the ACA, gaps in insurance coverage narrowed the most in states that adopted Medicaid expansion. Attacks on Medicaid hurt Latinos, who make up 30 percent of total Medicaid enrollees while only accounting for 18.3 percent of the U.S. population. 

Research Confirms That The ACA Improved Health Care Access For Hispanic And Latino Communities: 

Commonwealth Fund Study Found That The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Has Been Key To Improving Racial Equity In Health Insurance Coverage And Access To Care. “Uninsured rates for blacks, Hispanics, and whites declined in both expansion and nonexpansion states between 2013 and 2018. In addition, disparities in coverage between whites and blacks and Hispanics also narrowed over that time period in both sets of states… People living in Medicaid expansion states benefited the most in terms of coverage gains. All three groups reported lower uninsured rates in expansion states compared to nonexpansion states, and larger coverage improvements between 2013 and 2018. Coverage disparities in expansion states narrowed the most over the period, even though the disparities were smaller to begin with. The black–white coverage gap in those states dropped from 8.4 percentage points to 3.7 points, while the difference between Hispanic and white uninsured rates fell from 23.2 points to 12.7 points.” [Commonwealth Fund, 1/16/20

  • Commonwealth Fund: The Hispanic-White Disparity In Cost-Related Access Problems Narrowed From 12.7 Percentage Points In 2013 To 8.3 Points In 2018. Cost-related access problems among Hispanic adults fell from 27.8 percent to 21.2 percent, while those reported by whites dropped from 15.1 percent to 12.9 percent. As a result, differences narrowed between white adults and black and Hispanic adults in cost-related access problems. The black–white disparity shrank from 8.1 percentage points in 2013 to 4.7 points in 2018, while the Hispanic–white difference fell from 12.7 points to 8.3 points.” [Commonwealth Fund, 1/16/20

Washington Post: ACA Linked To Reduced Racial Disparities, Earlier Diagnosis And Treatment In Cancer Care. “Proponents of the embattled Affordable Care Act got additional ammunition Sunday: New research links the law to a reduction in racial disparities in the care of cancer patients and to earlier diagnoses and treatment of ovarian cancer, one of the most dangerous malignancies. According to researchers involved in the racial-disparity study, before the ACA went into effect, African Americans with advanced cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely to start treatment for their disease within 30 days of being given a diagnosis. But today, black adults in states that expanded Medicaid under the law have almost entirely caught up with white patients in getting timely treatment, researchers said. Another study showed that after implementation of the law, ovarian cancer was diagnosed at earlier stages and that more women began treatment within a month. The speedier diagnoses and treatment were likely to have increased patients’ chances of survival, the researchers said.” [Washington Post, 6/2/19]

Georgetown University Center For Children And Families: “…Medicaid Expansion Is An Important Means of Addressing Persistent Racial Disparities In Maternal Health And Maternal Mortality.” “New research shows states that expand Medicaid improve the health of women of childbearing age: increasing access to preventive care, reducing adverse health outcomes before, during and after pregnancies, and reducing maternal mortality rates. While more must be done, Medicaid expansion is an important means of addressing persistent racial disparities in maternal health and maternal mortality. The uninsured rate for women of childbearing age is nearly twice as high in states that have not expanded Medicaid compared to those that have expanded Medicaid (16 percent v. 9 percent).” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, May 2019]

If The ACA Is Overturned, 5.4 Million Latinos Would Lose Coverage: 

Coverage losses incurred by overturning the ACA would be devastating for Latinos and reverse the significant gains in health care access made by the law. 

Vox: Overturning The ACA Would Cause “A Dramatic Spike” In Uninsurance Among Hispanic People. “Everything would go: protections for preexisting conditions, subsidies that help people purchase insurance, the Medicaid expansion…States that expanded Medicaid would get the worst of it: Urban projected their uninsured rates would nearly double if the law were overturned. The uninsured rate for black Americans would increase from 11 percent today to 20 percent without Obamacare; there would also be a dramatic spike in uninsurance among Hispanics.” [Vox, 3/2/20

5.4 Million Latinos Would Lose Coverage If The ACA Is Overturned. “Plaintiffs in Texas v. United States are asking the courts to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A judicial repeal of this significant domestic policy legislation would cause tremendous harm, including the loss of health insurance for millions of Latinos. As the ethnic group most likely to work in jobs without health benefits, Latinos experienced enormous coverage gains under the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and creation of premium tax credits (PTCs) for private coverage…According to the Urban Institute, if Texas v. United States leads to the ACA’s repeal, 5.4 million Latinos would lose their health insurance.” [Families USA, June 2019

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Health Care for Black Americans

We have reached a critical point for the future of American health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On June 25th, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states submitted their briefs in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans have their way, more than 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. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.

No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health and safety than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety during this crisis. When the court hears this case, there will likely be no vaccine and no viable treatment for the virus. When millions of Americans have already lost health insurance due to the pandemic, it’s absurd that President Trump is arguing in court that 20 million more Americans should lose their health care. And when millions of Americans who contract the coronavirus join the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, President Trump will also be arguing in court to allow insurance companies to deny them coverage or charge them more. The submission of these briefs from Republican states will put the Trump administration’s politically-motivated lawsuit on full display for the American people in front of the highest court.

Days of Action: Day 9 of 12 focuses on health care for Black Americans. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Coverage for Black Americans

The ACA helped reduce longstanding racial disparities in coverage rates, improving health care access for communities of color across the board. Destroying the ACA would be especially harmful as the country is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately devastated Black communities nationwide. 

The ACA Helped Lower The Uninsured Rate For African Americans By More Than One Third. Before the passage of the ACA, more than 16 percent of the nearly 50 million Americans lacking health insurance were African Americans. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the ACA helped lower the uninsured rate for nonelderly African Americans by more than one third between 2013 and 2016 from 18.9 percent to 11.7 percent. 

Medicaid Expansion Played A Key Role In Increasing Coverage Rates For Black Communities. After the implementation of the ACA, gaps in insurance coverage narrowed the most in states that adopted Medicaid expansion. Today, a Black person living in an expansion state is more likely to be insured than a white person residing in a state that rejected Medicaid expansion. Per the Commonwealth Fund: “Five years after the ACA’s implementation, black adults living in states that expanded Medicaid report coverage rates and access to care measures as good as or better than what white adults in nonexpansion states report.”

Research Confirms That The ACA Improved Health Care Access For Black Americans: 

Commonwealth Fund Study Found That The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Has Been Key To Improving Racial Equity In Health Insurance Coverage And Access To Care. “Uninsured rates for blacks, Hispanics, and whites declined in both expansion and nonexpansion states between 2013 and 2018. In addition, disparities in coverage between whites and blacks and Hispanics also narrowed over that time period in both sets of states… People living in Medicaid expansion states benefited the most in terms of coverage gains. All three groups reported lower uninsured rates in expansion states compared to nonexpansion states, and larger coverage improvements between 2013 and 2018. Coverage disparities in expansion states narrowed the most over the period, even though the disparities were smaller to begin with. The black–white coverage gap in those states dropped from 8.4 percentage points to 3.7 points, while the difference between Hispanic and white uninsured rates fell from 23.2 points to 12.7 points.” [Commonwealth Fund, 1/16/20

  • Commonwealth Fund: The Black-White Disparity In Cost-Related Access Problems Shrank From 8.1 Percentage Points In 2013 To 4.7 Points In 2018. “Twenty-three percent of black adults reported avoiding care because of cost in 2013, compared to 17.6 percent in 2018…As a result, differences narrowed between white adults and black and Hispanic adults in cost-related access problems. The black–white disparity shrank from 8.1 percentage points in 2013 to 4.7 points in 2018, while the Hispanic–white difference fell from 12.7 points to 8.3 points.”  [Commonwealth Fund, 1/16/20

Washington Post: ACA Linked To Reduced Racial Disparities, Earlier Diagnosis And Treatment In Cancer Care. “Proponents of the embattled Affordable Care Act got additional ammunition Sunday: New research links the law to a reduction in racial disparities in the care of cancer patients and to earlier diagnoses and treatment of ovarian cancer, one of the most dangerous malignancies. According to researchers involved in the racial-disparity study, before the ACA went into effect, African Americans with advanced cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely to start treatment for their disease within 30 days of being given a diagnosis. But today, black adults in states that expanded Medicaid under the law have almost entirely caught up with white patients in getting timely treatment, researchers said. Another study showed that after implementation of the law, ovarian cancer was diagnosed at earlier stages and that more women began treatment within a month. The speedier diagnoses and treatment were likely to have increased patients’ chances of survival, the researchers said.” [Washington Post, 6/2/19]

Georgetown University Center For Children And Families: “…Medicaid Expansion Is An Important Means of Addressing Persistent Racial Disparities In Maternal Health And Maternal Mortality.” “New research shows states that expand Medicaid improve the health of women of childbearing age: increasing access to preventive care, reducing adverse health outcomes before, during and after pregnancies, and reducing maternal mortality rates. While more must be done, Medicaid expansion is an important means of addressing persistent racial disparities in maternal health and maternal mortality. The uninsured rate for women of childbearing age is nearly twice as high in states that have not expanded Medicaid compared to those that have expanded Medicaid (16 percent v. 9 percent).” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, May 2019]

JAMA: Medicaid Expansion Tied To Positive Gains For Black Babies. “A major part of the Affordable Care Act — the expansion of the Medicaid program — may play a role in shrinking the gap in premature birth and low birth weight between black and white infants born in the United States, according to a new study…Black infants are about twice as likely to be born at low birth weight and 1.5 times as likely to be born prematurely than white infants. Yet the new study finds that Medicaid expansion was linked with closing that gap. Between 2011 and 2016, this expansion was associated with significant improvements in disparities among black and white infants, according to the study, published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.” [CNN, 4/23/19]

Black Women Were More Likely To Receive Care Because Of The ACA. “There has been an increase in the share of black women with a ‘usual source of care’—meaning a particular doctor’s office, clinic, or health center. In 2010, 83 percent of black women had a usual source of care. By 2014, the share had risen to 88.1 percent. Furthermore, black women have experienced a reduction among those who delayed or went without care due to cost. In 2010, 18.6 percent of black women ‘who had to delay or forgo care because of cost’; by 2014, only 15.1 percent of black women did so.” [Center for American Progress, 2/28/17

If The ACA Is Overturned, The Black Uninsured Rate Would Nearly Double: 

The Black Uninsured Rate Would Spike To 20 Percent. “Everything would go: protections for preexisting conditions, subsidies that help people purchase insurance, the Medicaid expansion…States that expanded Medicaid would get the worst of it: Urban projected their uninsured rates would nearly double if the law were overturned. The uninsured rate for black Americans would increase from 11 percent today to 20 percent without Obamacare; there would also be a dramatic spike in uninsurance among Hispanics.” [Vox, 3/2/20

Bottom Line: “Health coverage is especially important for African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities because they often have worse health status than their white counterparts,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Coverage losses incurred by overturning the ACA would be devastating for Black Americans and reverse the significant gains in health care access made by the law. 

Oklahoma Voters Expand Medicaid In a Rebuke of the Trump-Republican War on Health Care and Referendum on the Importance of the Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC — Last night, Oklahoma passed a ballot measure to implement Medicaid expansion, bringing health care to an additional 200,000 Oklahomans. Despite intense opposition by state Republicans, Oklahoma voters made clear that they wanted to expand Medicaid, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that has already provided health care to 16 million Americans nationwide. In response to the vote, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Oklahomans’ vote to expand Medicaid is a rebuke of Donald Trump’s war on health care. Voters in this deep red state passed Medicaid expansion, a key aspect of Obamacare, because they want expanded access to health care and are fed up with President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and his lawsuit that would rip their health care away. As a result of Medicaid expansion, more than 200,000 Oklahomans will now have access to lifesaving treatment and coverage, which has never been more important as Americans grapple with the worst public health crisis in a century.” 

HEADLINES:

Forbes: Medicaid Expansion Wins In Red State Oklahoma

Associated Press: Oklahoma Voters Narrowly Approve Medicaid Expansion

Politico: Oklahoma Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion as Coronavirus Cases Climb

The Oklahoman: Oklahoma Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion at the Ballot Box

Raw Story: ‘The People Have Spoken’: Thwarting GOP Push For Cuts, Oklahoma Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion

Courthouse News Service: Oklahoma Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion

HuffPost: Oklahoma Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion For 200,000

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Health Care for Children & Young Adults

We have reached a critical point for the future of American health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On June 25th, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states submitted their briefs in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans 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. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.

No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health and safety than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety during this crisis. When the court hears this case, there will likely be no vaccine and no viable treatment for the virus. When millions of Americans have already lost health insurance due to the pandemic, it’s absurd that President Trump is arguing in court that 20 million more Americans should lose their health care. And when millions of Americans who contract the coronavirus join the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, President Trump will also be arguing in court to allow insurance companies to deny them coverage or charge them more. The submission of these briefs from Republican states will put the Trump administration’s politically-motivated lawsuit on full display for the American people in front of the highest court.

Days of Action: Day 8 of 12 focuses on health care for young Americans. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: Coverage for Children & Young Adults

Health care for children and young adults is especially important as the nation continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. As millions of families have lost their health care as a result of coronavirus-related job losses, the ACA and Medicaid expansion give them a place to turn to for comprehensive, affordable coverage. Research from Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families has already revealed an uptick in children’s Medicaid enrollment during the pandemic. 

The ACA made significant gains in children’s access to health care. If the health care law is struck down in court:

  • Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. If the law is overturned, many of these children will lose their insurance.
  • More than 17 million children with pre-existing conditions could face discrimination. Insurance companies could once again exclude benefits, raise premiums, or deny all coverage altogether for children with conditions like asthma and diabetes. 
  • More than 40 million children who have private insurance would lose guaranteed access to free preventive care and could once again face lifetime or annual limits.
  • 2.3 million young adults will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 

Medicaid Expansion Helps Children. 

Expanding access to Medicaid for parents has had ripple effects for their children. If the ACA is struck down, this progress could be reversed. 

When Parents Have Medicaid, Their Children Are More Likely To Have Regular Care. As summarized by Georgetown University’s Center on Children and Families, recent research finds that “Parents enrolled in Medicaid have children who are 29 percentage points more likely to receive a well-child visit. The relationship is strongest for families with household incomes between 100% and 200% [of the federal poverty line]. In these families, parents enrolled in Medicaid have children who are 45 percentage points more likely to receive a well-child visit.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

Medicaid Expansion Led To Gains In Coverage For Children As Well As Parents. A study in Health Affairs found that “710,000 children gained public coverage when their parents enrolled in Medicaid between 2013 and 2015. If the remaining 19 non-expansion states expanded Medicaid, 200,000 additional children would gain health coverage through existing programs. The effect was largest among children whose parents gained Medicaid eligibility through the expansion.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

Senator Casey and Senate Democrats Introduce Bill to Streamline Medicaid Assistance to Americans During Coronavirus Crisis

Washington, DC — Today, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) along with Senate Democrats introduced the Coronavirus Medicaid Response Act, a bill that expedites support for state Medicaid programs as more Americans are unemployed and more urgently need access to health care as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Specifically the bill will create an automated process to increase the Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) in states as unemployment levels increase, enabling states to receive federal assistance through a quicker process while providers get additional support as Medicaid rolls increase. In response to the bill, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement: 

“Senator Casey and Senate Democrats understand the dire situation so many Americans face when it comes to their health care and have taken much needed action to streamline the Medicaid process so that more people get access to critical care. With so many Americans unemployed as a result of the pandemic, Senate Democrats’ bill will automatically connect states’ Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to its unemployment levels, prioritizing quicker Medicaid assistance to those who have lost their jobs. Democrats are making clear that their top priority when it comes to health care is to make it swifter and easier for Americans to access the care they need especially during this crisis, unlike President Trump and Republicans who are dead set on ripping it away.” 

HEADLINES: Democrats’ Bill to Improve and Strengthen Health Care Passes House While Trump and Republicans Double Down on Terminating the ACA

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act” a landmark bill introduced and championed by House Democrats to improve health care for Americans by building on key provisions in the Affordable Care Act. News coverage quickly pointed out that House Democrats kept their 2018 campaign promise to protect and build on the ACA just days after the Trump administration and Republican attorneys general filed briefs in support of California v. Texas, their lawsuit to overturn the ACA, rip health care from 23 million people and strip protections from 135 million people with pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic. 

Headlines:

Washington Post: House Democrats Push Through First Bill in A Decade Expanding Affordable Care Act

The Hill: House Fires Back at Trump by Passing ObamaCare Expansion

Politico: House Democrats Approve Health Bill, Seeking Contrast with Trump’s Obamacare Assault

Associated Press: Dems Push Campaign-Season Health Care Bill Through House

Extended coverage of the House’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act:

Washington Post: House Democrats Push Through First Bill in A Decade Expanding Affordable Care Act. “The House Monday passed the first significant expansion of the Affordable Care Act since its birth a decade ago, providing Democrats a high-wattage platform to castigate President Trump for his efforts to overturn the landmark law during a pandemic and an election year…the vote was laden with political implications. Less than five months before presidential and congressional elections, it forced Republicans to go on the record about the ACA and showed anew the parties’ highly charged ideological differences on health care — an issue that consistently polls as a prime concern among U.S. voters. Democrats portrayed themselves as champions of access to affordable care at a critical time.” [Washington Post, 6/29/20]

Politico: House Democrats Approve Health Bill, Seeking Contrast with Trump’s Obamacare Assault. “House Democrats on Monday approved a major expansion of Obamacare, underscoring the health care law’s central role in their campaign pitch and drawing sharp contrast with President Donald Trump’s efforts to eliminate the entire law…Democrats believe their defense of Obamacare — in particular, the law’s insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions — will again boost their electoral prospects. The bill approved Monday also targets the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health insurance plans, which often exclude coverage of preexisting conditions.” [Politico, 6/29/20]

New York Times: House Votes to Limit Health Costs as Drug Maker Adds Price Tag to Virus Treatment. “House Democrats, moving to sharpen the distinction between themselves and Republicans as the coronavirus pandemic rages, passed legislation on Monday that would ensure that Americans paid no more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance and would allow the government to negotiate prices with drug makers…Democrats — who reclaimed the House majority in 2018 on a promise to lower health costs and expand access — intend to use it to reprise that playbook in November. The bill, unveiled last week, would expand the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, just as the Trump administration and Republican state attorneys general are asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 10-year-old law.” [New York Times, 6/29/20]

The Hill: House Fires Back at Trump by Passing ObamaCare Expansion. “Democrats timed the vote to contrast with the Trump administration’s legal brief filed with the Supreme Court last week calling for the ACA to be struck down, a move Democrats said would be even more harmful during the coronavirus pandemic…Defending the ACA was a key strategy used by Democrats in 2018, when they won back the House. The party is returning to the same playbook for the 2020 elections as it attempts to win back the White House and Senate as well.” [The Hill, 6/29/20]

Bloomberg Law: House Passes Obamacare Upgrades to Bolster Democratic Campaigns. “Legislation to boost Obamacare subsidies and direct the government to demand lower prices on certain drugs won House passage Monday, in an election-year reprise of earlier votes that Democratic leaders engineered to highlight differences with the Republican-controlled Senate and the Trump administration. The bill (H.R. 1425) would expand the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits, pressure states to expand Medicaid programs with the promise of more federal funds, and cap what any person may pay for coverage premiums at 8.5% of income. It would also let immigrants living in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program get access to subsidized insurance plans…Democratic leaders said they’re making good on a 2018 campaign promise to protect the Affordable Care Act.” [Bloomberg Law, 6/29/20]

Modern Healthcare: House Passes Tweaks to Shore Up ACA, Lower Premiums. “House Democrats on Monday passed a bill that would bolster the Affordable Care Act by hiking premium subsidies and incentivizing states to expand Medicaid…House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) criticized Republicans’ lack of a detailed alternative healthcare plan if the ACA is struck down…House Democrats’ proposal also targets the Trump administration’s healthcare agenda, and would rescind the Trump administration’s rule expanding short-term, limited-duration insurance plans and revoke guidance on 1332 waivers.” [Modern Healthcare, 6/29/20]

Associated Press: Dems Push Campaign-Season Health Care Bill Through House. “Democrats pushed a package expanding ‘Obamacare’ coverage through the House on Monday, a measure that’s doomed to advance no further but spotlights how the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump’s efforts to obliterate that law have fortified health care’s potency as a 2020 campaign issue…Democrats used Trump’s and the GOP’s failed 2017 efforts to erase Obama’s law as their chief issue in the 2018 elections, helping them capture House control by gaining 40 seats. They’ve talked ever since about reprising that theme in this year’s campaigns by focusing on curbing drug and health care costs and saying Republicans want to dismantle the Obama law’s patient protections…Democrats criticized Republicans for repeatedly claiming that after repealing Obama’s law they would pass legislation protecting patients, though they’ve never presented a viable replacement package.” [Associated Press, 6/29/20]

The Fiscal Times: House Dems Pass Obamacare Expansion, Seeking to Draw Contrast With Trump. “The Democratic-led House on Monday passed a bill to bolster Obamacare — and ramp up the political pressure on President Trump on the issue of health care as coronavirus cases surge across many U.S. states…the legislation gives Democrats another chance to attack Trump’s record on health care — an issue they hope to make central to this election much as they did in 2018, and it does so days after the administration filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare in its entirety, including the law’s protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Overturning the health care law would take away health insurance coverage from about 20 million people. The administration’s support for the legal challenge to the law has sparked strong condemnation from Democrats and criticism from some Republicans concerned that their party is once again being tied to the elimination of Obamacare, especially as Covid-19 case counts continue to rise.” [The Fiscal Times, 6/29/20]

NJ.com: House Votes to Strengthen Obamacare, Issue That Helped N.J. Democrats in Last Election. “Health care was the No. 1 issue two years ago…The House on Monday returned to that issue as lawmakers voted largely along party lines, 234-179, to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, even as President Donald Trump renewed his plea to the Supreme Court to kill it and threatened to veto this legislation…Trump and several Republican-run states have asked the Supreme Court to throw out the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for those with pre-existing conditions, the expansion of Medicaid, and the subsidies that make insurance affordable.New Jersey is one of the states that have asked the Supreme Court to uphold the law.” [NJ.com, 6/29/20]

Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Health Care for LGBTQ Americans

We have reached a critical point for the future of American health care and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On June 25th, Trump’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Republican-led states submitted their briefs in support of California v. Texas, the lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA. If President Trump and Republicans 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. The consequences of the lawsuit for America’s health care are particularly devastating at a time the country is gripped by the coronavirus crisis which threatens the health and safety of the entire nation.

No action would be more damaging to Americans’ health and safety than if the Trump administration achieves their desired goal of overturning the ACA in its entirety during this crisis. When the court hears this case, there will likely be no vaccine and no viable treatment for the virus. When millions of Americans have already lost health insurance due to the pandemic, it’s absurd that President Trump is arguing in court that 20 million more Americans should lose their health care. And when millions of Americans who contract the coronavirus join the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, President Trump will also be arguing in court to allow insurance companies to deny them coverage or charge them more. The submission of these briefs from Republican states will put the Trump administration’s politically-motivated lawsuit on full display for the American people in front of the highest court.

Days of Action: Day 7 of 12 focuses on protections for LGBTQ Americans. To learn more about our Days of Action, visit our website.

What’s At Stake: LGBTQ Health Care

The LGBTQ community has unique health care needs and has often experienced high rates of uninsurance and barriers to coverage and care, such as discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. A study by the Center for American Progress found that 15 percent of LGBTQ Americans were uninsured in 2017, compared to only seven percent of non-LGBTQ Americans.

Before the ACA came into effect, one in three (34 percent) LGBTQ people making less than $45,000 per year were uninsured. Just one year after the health care law was implemented, in 2014, the rate of uninsurance for this group dropped to 26 percent and by 2017, it was 22 percent. The ACA ensures that insurance companies cannot deny coverage, drop coverage for no reason, or charge LGBTQ people more because of a pre-existing condition. The ACA’s Medicaid expansion also plays a key role in ensuring LGBTQ adults are covered.

LGBTQ people are especially at risk during the coronavirus pandemic. They are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions that put them at higher risk for developing serious complications if they contract the coronavirus, and research shows LGBTQ Americans are extremely vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic. It’s critical that Americans understand just what’s at stake if this lawsuit succeeds as the nation is still reeling from the pandemic. 

If the ACA is overturned, key protections for LGBT Americans would be ripped away overnight: 

LGBTQ Americans, women, and individuals with disabilities could face discrimination in health care settings. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits discrimination the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any health program or activity receiving federal assistance. It also prohibits these types of discrimination in health programs and activities administered by HHS as well as the ACA marketplaces. 

LGBTQ adults covered under Medicaid expansion would lose coverage. The ACA expanded Medicaid to childless adults and increased income eligibility levels nationwide, helping many LGBTQ Americans gain coverage. Among all LGBTQ respondents in a 2017 Center for American Progress study, 18 percent had Medicaid coverage. By comparison, Medicaid covered eight percent of non-LGBTQ respondents. An estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ adults have Medicaid coverage. 

Protections for pre-existing conditions would be eliminated. Because of the ACA, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to individuals because of pre-existing conditions. This includes transgender-related medical history as well as substance use disorders, HIV, depression, and other conditions disproportiately affecting LGBTQ Americans.