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Mitch Harle

Trump’s Rally in North Carolina Overshadowed by His and Thom Tillis’s Ongoing Attacks on Health Care

Washington, DC — President Trump heads to Greenville, North Carolina for a rally today, just one week after his lawyers were in court arguing in favor of the destruction of American health care in Texas v. United States. The Trump-Texas lawsuit put over 500,000 North Carolinians at risk of losing coverage and would strip protections from nearly four million North Carolinians with a pre-existing condition. Ahead of Trump’s rally, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“President Trump needs to explain to every North Carolina family why he went to court last week to overturn America’s health care laws, strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions and strip coverage from millions. Trump’s lawsuit would raise health care premiums for families who can’t afford it and raise prescription drug costs for North Carolinians who have to choose between pills and rent, all with the support of Senator Tillis. Voters in North Carolina and across the country know that scoring cheap political points at a rally does not make up for trying to rip their health care away.”

BACKGROUND:

If Trump Gets His Way, 503,000 North Carolinians Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 503,000 North Carolinians could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 503,000 North Carolinians would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 43 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 70,000 North Carolina young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • North Carolinians would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $4.6 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on North Carolinians’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $4.6 billion, or 30.3 percent in the first year.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People Nationwide With A Pre-Existing Condition

According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:

    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  •  3,929,400 North Carolinians have a pre-existing condition, including 544,200 North Carolina children, 2,122,000 North Carolina women, and 803,300 North Carolinians between ages 55 and 64. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Deny, Drop Coverage, And Charge More Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies will be able to do this again.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period.
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period.
  • An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” if the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 3,966,308 North Carolinians Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 3,966,308 North Carolinians, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage. 
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $5,720 in North Carolina. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $5,720 in North Carolina, according to the AARP.
  •  426,014 North Carolinians in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 426,014 in North Carolina.
  • 165,931 North Carolina Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In North Carolina, 165,931 seniors each saved an average of $1,117.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 3,091,000 Privately Insured North Carolinians. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

If Trump Gets His Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  • 692,000 North Carolinians who could gain coverage if North Carolina were to expand Medicaid will be denied that possibility. By not fully expanding Medicaid, North Carolina has restricted its Medicaid program, preventing 692,000 residents from gaining coverage.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving North Carolina hospitals with $1.1 billion more in uncompensated care. 

Ahead of Trump’s Visit to North Carolina, Senator Thom Tillis’ War on Health Care is in the Spotlight

As President Trump takes the stage in North Carolina tomorrow night, the record of one of his worst enablers in his war on health care, Senator Thom Tillis, will be on full display. Since he was elected in 2014, Tillis has endorsed and voted for the Trump/GOP repeal and sabotage agenda of fully repealing the Affordable Care Act, gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions, increasing premiums and prescription drug costs, and slashing funding for Medicare and Medicaid. His record is clear: when it comes to health care, Thom Tillis puts the Trump repeal and sabotage agenda above the well-being of every North Carolinian.

Tillis Supports Repealing The ACA And Its Protections For 3.9 Million North Carolinians with Pre-Existing Conditions

2014: Tillis Said Repealing The ACA Was One Of His Top Priorities In The Senate. “A day after his win over Kay Hagan, Republican Thom Tillis is talking about what he wants to get done in Washington. Tillis spoke about the committee he wants to serve on and his plan to try and repeal Obamacare. Tillis met reporters at Cornelius Town Hall on Wednesday and spoke about reaching out to Democrats. ‘I think we should start by finding bipartisan opportunities to move for on the legislative agenda,’ Tillis said. On bills dealing with jobs and the economy, and the proposed oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, Tillis says Democratic leadership stalled in the Senate. He also vowed to fulfill a campaign promise — reversing Obamacare. The president would veto any bill to repeal it, but Tillis said there are other tactics. ‘Take a look at things we can delay like the employer mandates. Other things, if we can delay them or replace them with something more sustainable, that’s what we need to focus on,’ Tillis said.” [WSOC, 11/5/14

2015:  Tillis Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA.  Tillis voted for legislation that gutted the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance exchanges and subsidies, and repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states.  [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15

2017:  Tillis Voted For The Senate “Repeal And Delay” Plan.  Tillis voted for Obamacare Repeal and Replacement Act was a Republican effort to repeal the ACA without a replacement.  Known as “repeal and delay,” the bill repealed major sections of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, in 2020.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #169, 7/26/17

  • If Repeal and Delay became law, 32 million fewer people would have health insurance by 2026. 18 million Americans would lose health coverage just in the first year after repeal. 
  • Health insurance premiums would double for those in the individual market.

2017: Tillis Voted For The Better Care Reconciliation Act.  Tillis voted for the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which repealed and replaced the ACA.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #168, 7/25/17

2017:  Tillis Voted For “Skinny Repeal” Of The ACA. Tillis voted for “Skinny Repeal” of the ACA, which repealed the individual mandate and delayed the employer mandate while leaving most of the rest of the law in place.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #179, 7/28/17

According To The CBO, Skinny Repeal Would Have Resulted In The Largest Coverage Loss in American History: 

    • At minimum, 15 million Americans would lose coverage in 2018.  This would have been the biggest one-year increase in our nation’s history. 
    • Premiums would go up by roughly 20 percent 

Tillis Has Voted To Slash Medicare and Medicaid

2017: Tillis Voted To Cut Medicare By $473 Billion.  Tillis voted for the FY 2018 budget resolution, which included $473 billion in cuts to Medicare over 10 years. [H Con Res 71, Vote #245, 10/19/17; Vox, 10/26/17

2017: Tillis Voted To Slash $1.3 Trillion From Medicaid.  Tillist voted for the FY 2018 budget resolution, which cut funding for non-Medicare health programs, most notably Medicaid, by 1.3 trillion, a 20 percent cut over the course of 10 years, increasing to a 29.3 percent cut by 2027.  [H Con Res 71, Vote #245, 10/19/17; Vox, 10/26/17

2013: Tillis Supported Legislation To Block North Carolina From Expanding Medicaid.  “Gov. Pat McCrory is backing a move by the legislature to block the state from expanding its Medicaid program or participating in the state health insurance exchanges created by the federal Affordable Care Act. […] House Speaker Thom Tillis expressed similar thoughts during a morning news conference, saying the bill is ‘setting the tone’ for how North Carolina funds Medicaid in the future. ‘Before we have a discussion about really increasing the funding to Medicaid, we need to make sure that the process we’re putting it into is going to make it more likely that those dollars are going to people who need help versus just being churned through an inefficient and wasteful department,’ he said. ‘This (bill) puts the emphasis back on fixing Medicaid,’ Tillis added.” [WRAL, 2/12/13

Senator Tina Smith’s Bill Holds Drug Companies Accountable for Their Predatory Practices and Provides Desperately-Needed Relief to Americans with Diabetes

Washington, DC — Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the Emergency Access to Insulin Act of 2019, a bill that would speed up the availability of insulin and drive down costs for the 7.5 million Americans with diabetes who rely on the medication to survive. Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach issued the following in response:

“Senator Smith’s legislation takes much-needed action to hold drug manufacturers accountable for predatory price gouging while promoting market competition to drive down the price of insulin. While drug companies continue to raise prices on life-saving drugs just to line their pockets, Senator Smith and her Democratic colleagues continue to fight for the lower costs and better care that every American deserves.” 

White House to Host Pep Rally Today With the Architects of a Repeal and Sabotage Strategy Rejected By Voters

Days after the Trump administration argued to destroy our health care in court, the White House is hosting a pep rally today with conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, the American Conservative Union and the National Taxpayers Union; leading architects of destroying American health care. All of these organizations have worked overtime to repeal the health care law, ripping coverage away from millions of Americans and stripping protections for those with pre-existing conditions. And these are the groups Americans are supposed to trust with the future of their health care if the court throws out the health care law? Give us a break.

GOP Health Care Repeal Would Have Raised Health Care Costs, Especially For Older Americans

Raise Premiums By Double Digits. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that a key part of the American Health Care Act, repealing the requirement that most people have health insurance and was enacted as part of the GOP tax bill, will raise premiums 10 percent in the first year.

Impose An Age Tax – Older Americans Pay Nearly $12,000 More. The American Health Care Act would have imposed what the AARP calls an “age tax” on older Americans by cutting the amount of assistance older people receive and by allowing insurers to charge people over 50 five times more. Nationally, out-of-pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $11,917 by 2026. 

Surcharge For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. The American Health Care Act would have allowed states to eliminate community rating, meaning insurers would be able to charge people with pre-existing conditions more. This surcharge could have been in the tens of thousands of dollars and even six figures: up to $4,270 for asthma, $17,060 for pregnancy, $26,180 for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer.

Health Care Repeal Would Have Caused Millions of Americans To Lose Coverage 

23 Million Would Have Lost Coverage. By 2026, 23 million U.S. residents would have lost coverage under this bill. 

14 Million With Medicaid Would Have Lost Coverage. Under the American Health Care Act, 14 million with Medicaid would have lost their coverage by 2026. 

441,300 U.S. Veterans Would Have Lost Coverage. Under the American Health Care Act, 441,400 veterans would have lost their Medicaid coverage nationally.

GOP Health Care Repeal Would Have Meant Weaker Protections For Americans

52 Million Americans Have A Pre-Existing Condition, And Were At Risk For Paying More. The American Health Care Act would have weakened key protections of the Affordable Care Act by allowing states to let insurers charge 52 million Americans with pre-existing conditions more, among other provisions. The bill would have made it more likely insurers would cherrypick young and healthier people, causing costs to skyrocket for older, sicker people. 

Women’s Health Would Be In Jeopardy. The American Health Care Act would have blocked millions from accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care at Planned Parenthood health centers, eliminated the guarantee of maternity coverage, and newborn care, and allowed insurers to discriminate against women.

GOP Health Care Repeal Would Have Ended Medicaid As We Know It 

Medicaid Would Have Been Slashed By $839 Billion. The American Health Care Act would have ended Medicaid as we know it, a 50 year old program that helps seniors, children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations get the care they need. It would have slashed Medicaid by $839 billion, ended the funding needed to expand Medicaid, and converted the program into a “per capita cap”, thus ending guaranteed coverage for everyone who has it. As a result, the Republican repeal bill put the health of 77 million, or one in five Americans, who count on Medicaid in grave danger. These cuts would have strained state budgets and undermined efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

GOP Health Care Repeal Would Have Cut Health Care To Give Tax Breaks To The Rich

 

Democratic Leaders Remind Americans of the Stakes in the Trump-Republican Lawsuit to Destroy Health Care

Yesterday, Democratic elected officials from across the country spoke out against Texas v. United States, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act and devastate Americans’ health care nationwide. Ahead of oral arguments in the case, Democrats sent a clear and unified message: They will fight for every American against the Trump-Republican crusade on their health care. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Under the ACA, the 130 million Americans w/ pre-existing conditions cannot be discriminated against by their insurer. Their health care costs could skyrocket if the GOP’s Texas v. US lawsuit succeeds in throwing out years of progress on health care. #ProtectOurCare.” [Speaker Pelosi Twitter, 7/9/19]

Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “The stakes can’t be higher: @realDonaldTrump & Republican AGs are arguing in court that MILLIONS of Americans should lose their health care & the protections included in our health care law. I took to the Capitol steps with Speaker Pelosi and Senate & House Democrats to protest.” [Senator Chuck Schumer Twitter, 7/9/19]

Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX-32): “President Trump’s lawsuit will gut the ACA & protections for people w/ pre-existing conditions, hurting folks like Rob & Debbie Rose of Rowlett, TX. Like so many, they rely on the ACA to get health insurance. This is not partisan. Let’s stop this sabotage.” [Rep. Colin Allred Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO): “The #TxvUS lawsuit is yet another attempt by Republicans to sabotage the #ACA. #WhatsAtStake if they win? Health care coverage for millions of Americans – including those with pre-existing conditions. We won’t stop the fight to #ProtectOurCare.” [Senator Michael Bennet Twitter, 7/9/19

Vice President Joe Biden: “Today, the Affordable Care Act is back in the courts — putting the health care of millions of Americans at risk. It’s clear some will stop at nothing to sabotage Obamacare and roll back the progress we’ve made.” [Joe Biden Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ): “The continued Trump-GOP efforts to repeal the #ACA would leave nearly 20 million Americans—and 595,000 New Jerseyans—without health insurance. As oral arguments begin in #TXvUS, we must continue to defend this fundamental right. Lives are at stake. #ProtectOurCare” [Senator Cory Booker Twitter, 7/9/19

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA): “This is unacceptable and reprehensible. The Court must prevent the administration and Republicans from succeeding in their quest to deny millions of Americans health care.” [Senator Bob Casey, 7/9/19]

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro: “The Trump administration is actively working to undermine our health care system and jeopardize the coverage of 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. We must #ProtectOurCare and work to expand, not restrict, access to quality health care.” [Secretary Julian Castro Twitter, 7/9/19

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA): “As California Attorney General, I fought to protect the ACA in court. As Senator, I’ve fought its repeal at every turn. And to the millions of people who depend on the ACA’s protections: as President, I will stop these attacks and fight to expand your care. We won’t go back.” [Senator Kamala Harris Twitter, 7/9/19]

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV-04): “I’m fighting every day in Congress for people like Joe–for more than half of all Nevadans who could lose their health care coverage if the #ACA is eliminated in #TexasvUS. #ProtectOurCare” [Steven Horsford Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Doug Jones (D-AL): “1/3 of Alabamians under 65 have a pre-existing condition – all of whom are at risk of losing health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is dismantled in federal court. Once again, families across America are at risk of losing their health care. We must #ProtectOurCare!” [Senator Doug Jones Twitter, 7/9/19

Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV-03): “I spoke on the floor today for the millions of Americans scared right now that they might lose their health care with the dismantling of the ACA. No matter what happens in #TexasvUS, we need to protect their health care. #ForThePeople” [Rep. Susie Lee Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): “Given how oral arguments went today in the 5th circuit ACA case, every reporter within earshot of a Senate Republican tomorrow should ask what their plan is should the entire ACA be struck down and 20 million lose coverage.” [Senator Chris Murphy Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA): “Speaking on the Senate floor about how Republicans are bringing a partisan lawsuit to try to give power back to insurance companies and leave millions of patients and families without access to the quality, affordable care they need. #ProtectOurCare” [Senator Patty Murray Twitter, 7/9/19

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX): “We will defend the ACA. We will protect the care of those whose lives depend on it. And we will fight for universal, guaranteed, high-quality health care so every person can see a doctor, afford their prescriptions, and live to their full potential.” [Beto O’Rourke Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI):TODAY The Trump Admin. is arguing before a federal appeals court to invalidate the entire health care law. If successful, Michiganders would see higher health care costs, including for prescription drugs & millions with preexisting health conditions would lose protections.” [Senator Gary Peters Twitter, 7/9/19

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-03): “I’m checking in from Washington to let you know that I’m doing everything I can to not just ensure that the #ACA remains, but to improve it.” [Rep. Dean Phillips Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Tina Smith (D-MN): “Today—in protest of the GOP’s cruel push to kill the #ACA—I held up a photo of Raquel. A strong Minnesotan who beat cancer & substance abuse. The ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions helped her get the care she needed. 1 of countless reasons why we must #ProtectOurCare.” [Senator Tina Smith, 7/9/19

Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI-01): “On Day One of the 116th Congress, I voted to put the full legal weight of the House behind protecting the ACA. I will continue to stand strong against these outrageous attempts to take away Michiganders’ access to quality, affordable health care.” [Rep. Haley Stevens Twitter, 7/9/19

Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14): “I have a pre-existing condition. I represent a district where 300,000 people have pre-existing conditions. I refuse to let this Administration put them in danger any longer – I’m leading the fight to #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Lauren Underwood Twitter, 7/9/19]

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “The Trump administration is in court today in their never-ending crusade to destroy health care for millions of Americans. If they succeed, families like Chantel’s would go bankrupt. People would die. #ProtectOurCare” [Senator Elizabeth Warren Twitter, 7/9/19]

Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA-07): “I’ll continue standing up to these attacks on the #ACA.  That’s why I voted to strengthen Congress’ hand to intervene in this lawsuit. I will also continue leading legislation to #ProtectOurCare for people with pre-existing conditions & lower prescription drug costs.” [Rep. Susan Wild Twitter, 7/9/19]

Elected Officials, Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care for Events Nationwide to Denounce the Trump, Republican Lawsuit to Destroy Health Care Amid Oral Arguments

Washington, DC — Across the country on Monday and Tuesday, elected officials, health care advocates, doctors and patient storytellers came together at 19 separate events in 14 states hosted by Protect Our Care to highlight the devastating impact that overturning the health care law would have in their communities, on their families and for millions of Americans. Participants at Protect Our Care’s events made crystal clear that our health care laws are in imminent danger due to Trump’s lawsuit and spoke out in defense of the health care law and the millions who will lose coverage should it be dismantled. 

Additionally, Protect Our Care aired a new ad Tuesday warning the American people about the Trump lawsuit. The ad ran on cable in DC, and digitally in-state targeting GOP senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) – who all support Trump’s Texas lawsuit that would decimate their constituents’ health care.

ALASKA

Tuesday, July 9th – Override the Vetoes Rally

Protect Our Care Alaska joined thousands of Alaskans at the Override the Vetoes rally in  response to Governor Dunleavy’s devastating budget vetoes, which include $77 million in cuts to the state Medicaid program and loss of what is projected to be upwards of $50 million dollars in matching federal funds. The rally comes the same day as day oral arguments for the Texas v. United States case occur—marking an attack on the state’s Medicaid expansion in addition to the Governor’s assault on the program. View video of the event here

ARIZONA

Tuesday, July 9th – Event with DNC Chair Tom Perez and State Rep. Kelli Butler

DNC Chair Tom Perez, State Rep. Kelli Butler, and health care advocates from across the state joined Protect Our Care Arizona for an event to highlight the devastating impacts on Arizonans’ health care if the Texas v. United States lawsuit prevails. Participants described the value of the ACA across Arizona and called on Arizona officials to stand up against this war on health care.View the post-event release here and video of the event here.

COLORADO

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Call with State Reps. Dylan Roberts, Daneya Esgar and Patient Advocates

Protect Our Care Colorado hosted a press call with State Rep. Dylan Roberts and Adam Fox of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative to highlight the devastating impact the Texas v. United States lawsuit could have on Coloradans. Participants described the progress made across Colorado under the ACA and what is at stake for Coloradans, particularly those living with a pre-existing condition. Laura Packard, who survived stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, credits the Affordable Care Act with saving her life, blasted Republicans for refusing to stand up for others like her. View the post-call release here and audio of the call here.  

GEORGIA

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Conference at State Capitol

State Rep. David Dreyer and concerned Georgians joined Protect Our Care Georgia at the State Capitol to call attention to the potential repercussions of the Texas v. United States for a variety of people, including young adults on their parents’ plan, the disabled community, and those with pre-existing conditions. They also called out Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who is one of the Republicans who brought the lawsuit. View the post-event release here and video of the event here.

IOWA

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Conference at State Capitol 

Progress Iowa and Protect Our Care Iowa joined State Sen. Janet Petersen in Des Moines for a press conference outside the State Capitol condemning the Trump lawsuit that would eliminate coverage for thousands of Iowans. 

Tuesday, July 9th  – Press Conference at U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s Office in Cedar Rapids

Progress Iowa, Protect Our Care Iowa, State Sen. Janet Petersen, and a group of Iowans gathered in Cedar Rapids outside of Senator Joni Ernst’s office to call attention to her support for the dangerous this lawsuit and repeal of the ACA. Ernst has refused to sign onto a Senate resolution that would allow Senate counsel to go to court and defend the Affordable Care Act. 

 

 

MAINE

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Conference at State House Welcome Center

Protect Our Care Maine was joined by State Rep. Thom Harnett, State Sen. David Miramant, and Consumers for Affordable Health Care to call attention to the Texas v. United States lawsuit and the continued war on the Affordable Care Act. State Rep. Donna Doore could not make the event due to radiation. The very idea that people like myself and millions of other Americans with preexisting conditions would not be able to obtain insurance under the ACA is ridiculous.” View the post-event release here and video of the event here

MICHIGAN

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Call with State House Democratic Leader and State Representatives

Protect Our Care Michigan joined with State House Democratic Leader Rep. Christine Greig and State Reps. Abdullah Hammoud and Frank Liberati to shed light on the detrimental impact that the Texas v. United States lawsuit could have on Michiganders’ health. They noted that if the lawsuit is successful, more than 720,000 Michigan residents could lose their health care coverage. View the post-event release here and audio of the call here

MINNESOTA

Monday, July 8th – Press Call with U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips, and AG Keith Ellsion

Senator Tina Smith, Representatives Angie Craig (MN-02) and Dean Phillips (MN-03), and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison joined Protect Our Care Minnesota to discuss Trump’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Dawn Burnfin, a home health care worker from Chisholm, Minnesota, also shared her own experiences as a mother raising five children with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, and a pre-existing condition which could cost the family their health coverage in the absence of the Affordable Care Act’s protections.  View the post-call release here and audio of the call here.

NEVADA

Monday, July 8 – Event with Battle Born Progress and Rep. Susie Lee

Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03) appeared at a Battle Born Progress event to discuss the Texas v. United States lawsuit that threatens to derail health care for millions of Nevadans. Rep. Lee said, “attacking and dismantling the Affordable Care Act will destabilize our individual market, send premiums skyrocketing and dismantle protections for those with pre-existing conditions and cut out access to health care for millions of Americans.” State Assemblywoman Lesley Cohen also highlighted the bills in Nevada’s state legislature meant to strengthen state protections in the face of the Republican assault on federal heath care laws. 

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Conference at State Legislative Building

Protect Our Care Nevada was joined by SEIU, Planned Parenthood, and Children’s Advocacy Alliance to call attention to the effects of the Texas lawsuit on Nevadans, including eliminating protections for pre-existing conditions. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Monday, July 8 – New Hampshire Congressional Delegation Press Event 

New Hampsire’s entire congressional delegation – Sen. Jeanne Shahhen, Sen. Maggie Hassan, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), and Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01) – gathered for a press conference to speak out against the lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and highlight the potentially devastating repercussions for Granite Staters’ health care.

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Conference at New Hampshire State House

Local doctors, an advocacy group leader, and a patient joined Protect Our Care New Hampshire to call attention to the Texas v. United States lawsuit and call on Governor Chris Sununu to sign SB 4, which would codify the protections of the ACA in state law should the law be repealed at the federal level through the courts. During the press conference, Gov. Sununu announced he would sign the bill. View the post-event release here and video of the event here. 

NORTH CAROLINA

Tuesday,July 9th – Press Conference with AG Josh Stein and Health Care Advocates

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined Protect Our Care North Carolina and health care advocates from across the state for a press conference to denounce the Trump administration’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and highlight the need for officials to stand-up against attacks on North Carolinians’ health care. View the post-event release here and video of the event here

OHIO

Monday, July 8th – Roundtable with Senator Sherrod Brown

A day ahead of oral arguments in the Texas v. United States lawsuit, Senator Sherrod Brown joined health care experts, doctors, advocates, and patients to discuss health care and how the lawsuit would impact Ohioans. Representatives from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition, UHCAN Ohio, National Physicians Alliance, Policy Matters Ohio, and others joined the event.

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Conference with Rep. Marcy Kaptur in Toledo

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), State Rep. Paula Hicks Hudson, and health care advocates from across the state joined Protect Our Care Ohio for a press conference to discuss the Trump administration’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Participants denounced Republicans’ ongoing efforts to strip millions of Americans of their health care, and undo protections for people with pre-existing conditions. View the post-event release here.

Tuesday, July 9th – Press Conference in Columbus

In Columbus, Protect Our Care Ohio was joined by Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, State Rep. Erica Crawley, Dr. Ean Bett, and representatives from local advocacy groups to speak out against the current Trump lawsuit to overturn the ACA. Attorney Klein also spoke about the lawsuit he is leading, along with other U.S. cities, against the Trump administration for its continued sabotage of American health care. View the post-event release here

PENNSYLVANIA & NEW JERSEY

Monday, July 8th — Press Call with Reps. Susan Wild and Andy Kim 

Reps. Susan Wild (PA-07) and Andy Kim (NJ-02) joined Protect Our Care for a press call to denounce Trump’s disastrous Texas lawsuit to destroy America’s health care ahead of oral arguments, and focused on the impacts that Texas v. United States would have on their districts. Listen to audio of the call here.

Tuesday, July 9th — Press Call with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey 

Senator Bob Casey joined advocates and patients with pre-existing conditions today on a press call to discuss the Trump lawsuit’s threat to Pennsylvanians’ health care. Senator Casey was joined by Antoinette Kraus at the Pennsylvania Health Action Network and two Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions to share their experiences as well as what the lawsuit could mean for their livelihoods. View the post call release here and audio of the call here.

WISCONSIN

Tuesday, July 9th — Press Call with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and AG Josh Kaul

Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul joined a press call with Protect Our Care Wisconsin to talk about the implications of the Trump lawsuit on Badgers’ health care. Kaul pulled Wisconsin out of the Trump lawsuit after being elected last November, and has made protecting the ACA a top priority. View the post call release here and audio of the call here.

A Dark Day In Court For Americans’ Health Care

Yesterday, state Republican and Trump administration lawyers took to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to double down on their argument that the Affordable Care Act should be overturned. If they succeed in court, 20 million Americans would lose coverage,130 Americans with pre-existing conditions would lose critical protections, the uninsured rate would increase by 65 percent, and the American health care system would be thrown into chaos

The facts of the matter are simple: Republicans are behind this politically-motivated lawsuit. The administration and Republicans in Congress and have had ample opportunity to defend Americans’ health care and have refused to do so time and again. If the Affordable Care Act is struck down, lives will be lost, and Trump and his Republican allies will be to blame. Yesterday’s hearing made crystal clear that we have very real reason to be concerned.

Los Angeles Times: Federal Appeals Court Appears Skeptical Of Obamacare, Putting Future Of Law In Doubt. “The three judges on the appeals court panel in New Orleans asked few questions about how the latest legal challenge could affect Americans’ access to health insurance. Instead, two of the judges – both appointed by Republican presidents – focused more on why the law should remain on the books after Congress in 2017 scrapped a tax penalty against people who didn’t have health insurance. That provision was once deemed essential to the law’s program for guaranteeing Americans insurance. The penalty was also crucial to the healthcare law’s survival when it first came before the Supreme Court in 2012 in a lawsuit that alleged the insurance requirement was unconstitutional.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/9/19]

New York Times: Appeals Court Seems Skeptical About Constitutionality Of Obamacare Mandate. “The two Republican appointees, Jennifer Walker Elrod, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007, and Kurt Engelhardt, appointed by President Trump in 2018, seemed particularly skeptical of the Democratic defendants’ argument that Congress had fully intended to keep the rest of the law when it eliminated the penalty for going without insurance as part of its 2017 tax overhaul. The arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit were a stark reminder of the enormous stakes of the case, not only for millions of people who gained health insurance through the law but for the political futures of Mr. Trump and other candidates in the 2020 elections.” [New York Times, 7/9/19]

Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Signals Peril For Affordable Care Act. “Texas and the other Republican plaintiffs argued that the ACA’s insurance mandate couldn’t be upheld under the Constitution if there was no financial penalty, because the Supreme Court previously upheld the mandate based on Congress’s taxing power…A three-judge Fifth Circuit panel on Tuesday appeared receptive to that argument. ‘If you no longer have the tax, why isn’t it unconstitutional?’ asked Judge Jennifer Elrod, a George W. Bush appointee.” [Wall Street Journal, 7/9/19]

Washington Post: “Federal Appeals Court Judges Expressed Skepticism Tuesday That The Nearly Decade-Old Law That Refashioned The Nation’s Health-care System Should Remain Intact…” “Federal appeals court judges expressed skepticism Tuesday that the nearly decade-old law that refashioned the nation’s health-care system should remain intact after Congress eliminated a tax penalty for Americans who fail to carry health insurance. During oral arguments in a case with momentous stakes for consumers and politicians ahead of the 2020 elections, two members of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit grilled lawyers representing Democratic-led states and the U.S. House to explain why the Affordable Care Act remains valid.” [Washington Post, 7/9/19]

CNN: Republican-appointed Judges Appear To Side With Texas Challenge To Obamacare. “Two Republican-appointed judges hearing a Trump-backed challenge to Obamacare strongly suggested Tuesday that when Congress eliminated the penalty for not buying health insurance it threw the entire landmark health care law into question, including protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Such a ruling would threaten to wipe away coverage for millions of Americans and have a dramatic impact on a presidential race that is already focused on access to and costs of health care, nearly 10 years after President Barack Obama signed his signature domestic achievement.” [CNN, 7/9/19]

CBS News: Appeals Court Appears Ready To Rule Obamacare Unconstitutional. “The Affordable Care Act, and the health coverage of millions of Americans, could face a major threat to its future.  A federal appeals court in New Orleans appears ready to rule that a core provision of Obamacare is unconstitutional.” [CBS News, 7/10/19]

Politico: Appeals Court Skeptical Obamacare Can Survive. “In December, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor sided with the Republican-led states, shocking legal experts. The lawsuit was once seen as a long-shot, but it’s received serious consideration by Republican-appointed judges. Appellate Judge Jennifer Elrod, a George W. Bush appointee, on Tuesday posited that lawmakers — who failed to agree on an Obamacare replacement plan two years ago — deliberately eliminated the mandate penalty because they knew the rest of the law would have to fall. She said perhaps lawmakers thought, ‘Aha, this is the silver bullet that’s going to undo Obamacare.’” [Politico, 7/9/19]

HuffPost: Future Of Obamacare Uncertain As Appeals Court Grills Democratic Defenders. ”A federal appeals court panel grilled Democratic attorneys general on Tuesday about whether Obamacare violates the U.S. Constitution, as it weighs whether to uphold a Texas judge’s ruling striking down the landmark healthcare reform law…Republicans have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal Obamacare since its 2010 passage. The Justice Department would normally defend a federal law, but the Trump administration has declined to take that position against a challenge by 18 Republican-led states.” [HuffPost, 7/9/19]

Washington Examiner: ‘Congress Can Fix This’: Judges Weigh Striking Down Obamacare. “Federal appeals judges in New Orleans are entertaining the idea of striking some or all of Obamacare, appearing uncertain during oral arguments Tuesday over whether Congress intended to toss the entire healthcare law…Judge Kurt Engelhardt, who was appointed by President Trump, questioned why Congress couldn’t step in to remedy the situation. He argued that lawmakers could pass legislation to clarify that the law could remain in place even without the penalty in order to render moot the question about severability.” [Washington Examiner, 7/9/19]

Mother Jones: A Federal Court Appears Ready To Buy The GOP’s Argument To Kill Obamacare. “The fate of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain following a hearing about the law at a federal appeals court in New Orleans. The hearing concerned a lawsuit originally filed by Republican state attorneys general in a Texas district court in 2018, which alleges that the entirety of Obamacare should be invalidated because Congress used the 2017 tax cut law to zero out the financial penalty for the ACA’s individual mandate. In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the ACA on the grounds that the individual mandate counted as a tax.” [Mother Jones, 7/9/19]

Nicholas Bagley, Professor Of Health Law At University Of Michigan: “It’s Safe To Say That The ACA’s Defenders Had A Tough Day In Court.” “Just how receptive is hard to say, and it’s always hazardous to read too much into oral argument. But it’s safe to say that the ACA’s defenders had a tough day in court…Neither Judge Elrod and Judge Engelhardt appeared troubled about whether the red states had standing to sue. And they were downright hostile to the argument that the ACA should be understood to leave people a choice about whether to buy insurance. Doesn’t the law say that people ‘shall’ buy coverage? And doesn’t Congress know how to repeal or amend a law when it wishes to? The judges listened respectfully when the lawyer for the House of Representatives patiently explained that the Supreme Court has authoritatively interpreted that language to give people a choice about whether to buy insurance or not. And Marty Lederman is right that the argument is embarrassing on its own terms. But they appeared unmoved.” [The Incidental Economist, 7/10/19]

Trump-Republican Arguments In Texas Lawsuit Today Make Clear Their Desire To Destroy America’s Health Care

Washington, DC — Following oral arguments today in Texas v. United States, the lawsuit brought by the Trump administration and 19 Republican Attorneys General to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and destroy America’s health care, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“The arguments President Trump made today to terminate American health care represent a clear and imminent threat to the health and well-being of millions of Americans. What happened in court was an unambiguous call for the destruction of American health care; stripping coverage from millions, ending protections for pre-existing conditions, and allowing insurance companies to raise costs across the board. Make no mistake, Trump is now one step closer in his years-long quest to dismantle the health care system, and the consequences for Americans could not be graver. While President Trump’s war on health care continues onward, Protect Our Care is mobilizing across the country to send a loud and clear message to Republicans: denounce this lawsuit and stop sabotaging health care, or face the political consequences.”

“Headache,” “Mess,” “Political Havoc”: Headlines Drive Home Political Consequences for the GOP Due to the Trump, Republican Lawsuit to Destroy Health Care

If the Trump administration and its Republican allies were seeking validation for their lawsuit to destroy America’s health care – they aren’t getting it. Headlines across the country are sounding off about the dire political consequences that Trump’s lawsuit will have for Republicans headed into the 2020 election as oral arguments in the case begin today. 

ABC News’s The Note: Trump Creates Fresh Health Care Mess For GOP. “The Trump administration is leading an effort to have all of Obamacare — yes, even preexisting conditions — ruled unconstitutional, after a judge in Texas ruled in their favor late last year. Another legal victory for the administration would be a win for a GOP base that’s long treated Obamacare as a curse word — or worse. But until, or unless, the president unveils his promised “phenomenal” health care plan, it would be a win that’s widely viewed as a political loss for the Republican Party. Just 38% of Americans overall and 41% of independents approve of the job Trump is doing on health care, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. GOP leaders on Capitol Hill have made clear they want to fight on more favorable terrain next year.” [ABC News, 7/9/19]

Washington Post: 5th Circuit Decision On ACA Could Create Political Havoc For GOP. “’The difference on health care are Democrats who want to expand coverage and decrease costs and Republicans, whose policies would get rid of coverage, lower coverage for millions of people and increase costs,’ said Brad Woodhouse, the executive director of Protect Our Care, a group that advocates for the 2010 health care law.” [The Washington Post, 7/7/19

US News & World Report: “The Unraveling Of The Affordable Care Act Poses Risks For Republicans.” “Even if there’s a courtroom victory for the red states and Trump administration, the unraveling of the Affordable Care Act poses risks for Republicans who haven’t shown much of an appetite for working on a replacement plan ahead of the 2020 elections, particularly after a few failed attempts to pass a health care plan in 2017. Trump, who has vowed to protect coverage for preexisting conditions despite supporting the lawsuit to unwind the law, has sent mixed signals about when the party will come up with a new health care proposal. Whether or not that happens in the near future, Republicans will need to fend off the likely onslaught of health care attacks as they protect their grip on the White House.” [US News & World Report, 7/8/19]

NBC News: “A Victory For Obamacare’s Opponents Could Turn Out To Be A Mixed Blessing For The Republicans.” “A victory for Obamacare’s opponents could turn out to be a mixed blessing for the Republicans. ‘It has the potential to backfire on them, because it would put health care front and center on the agenda for the 2020 election,’ Mark Murray, senior political editor at NBC News, said. ‘Going back to the last election cycle, Democrats have the big advantage when it comes to health care.’” [NBC News, 7/9/19]

The Hill: “The Lawsuit Has Proved To Be A Headache For Congressional Republicans.” “Democrats are using the lawsuit to argue Republicans are a threat to the 20 million people who rely on ObamaCare for health insurance. The lawsuit has proved to be a headache for congressional Republicans seeking to turn the page on their efforts to repeal ObamaCare after the issue helped Democrats win back the House in last year’s midterm elections.” [The Hill, 7/7/19]

Vox: “Republicans May Be Eager For The Focus On It To Die Down So They Don’t Get Beat With This Same Playbook Again.” “In the event that the Fifth Circuit opts to overturn the district court ruling, its decision could potentially be the final say on the matter, giving Democrats another major win on this subject. The ongoing back-and-forth on this case could also catapult the fight over the ACA and protections for those with preexisting conditions to the forefront of the 2020 election. Democrats ran heavily on this issue to win over key swing districts in 2018. Republicans may be eager for the focus on it to die down so they don’t get beat with this same playbook again.” [Vox, 7/9/19]

CNN: “Congressional Republicans Are Keeping Their Distance Since It Gives Democrats Fodder To Attack The GOP.” “Trump is pinning his hopes on the court striking down the law, allowing him to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal it, but congressional Republicans are keeping their distance since it gives Democrats fodder to attack the GOP for not protecting those with pre-existing conditions — a hallmark of the landmark health reform law. Trump has repeatedly said he is working on a replacement plan that will preserve those protections but has yet to release any details.” [CNN, 7/9/19]

Trump’s One Accomplishment on Drug Prices: Lying About Them

President Trump likes to tout his record on drug prices to obscure his abysmal record on health care. But there’s a big problem: It’s all a lie. Today marks at least the fifth time this year that the Trump administration has been fact-checked on their claim that drug prices are going down. The truth is that drug prices continue to go up and Trump’s policies have done nothing to stop it. Not only that, we’re just one day away from Trump’s lawyers going to court for the oral arguments of the Texas lawsuit, which if successful would give insurance companies power to charge as much as they want and cover as little as they want, costs will go up, coverage will get worse, and millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.

July 2019: The Hill: President Trump “Wrongly Claimed Drug Prices Declined In 2018.” “President Trump on Sunday wrongly claimed drug prices declined in 2018, saying bipartisan cooperation on the issue would ‘get big results.’  ‘Last year was the first in 51 years where prescription drug prices actually went down, but things have been, and are being, put in place that will drive them down substantially,’ Trump tweeted Sunday. ‘If Dems would work with us in a bipartisan fashion, we would get big results very fast!’” [The Hill, 7/7/19

May 2019: PolitiFact: Trump’s Claims That Drug Prices Are Going Down Are “Mostly False.”  “Trump said, “Drug prices are coming down, first time in 51 years because of my administration.” There is data that could conceivably support the argument that the list prices for some prescription drugs dipped in 2018. But that data doesn’t include many high-priced specialty drugs that drive costs up or the fact that some individual drug prices have increased. Nationally, spending on drugs has continued to climb, even if that growth has slowed. There is also no evidence to support the argument that Trump himself is responsible for changes in drug pricing. This claim has an element of truth, but it ignores key facts and context that would give a very different impression. We rate this claim Mostly False.”  [PolitiFact, 5/22/19

April 2019: PolitiFact: White House Chief Of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s Claim That Trump Has Brought Down Drug Prices Is “Mostly False.”  “Mulvaney said, ‘Drug prices in this country actually came down last year for the first time in 50 years. That’s because Donald Trump’s president.’  At first glance, CPI data could conceivably support the argument that the list prices for some prescription drugs dipped. But that data doesn’t include many high-priced specialty drugs that drive costs up, and the pattern it illustrates can change based on the time frame selected. The CPI data set obscures the individual drugs for which the list prices have increased — with far more going up than down. It also does not account for a drug’s true ‘net price.’  Mulvaney’s statement also does not reflect trends showing that, nationally, spending on drugs has continued to climb, even if that growth has slowed. There is also no evidence to support the argument that Trump himself is responsible for changes in drug pricing. This claim has an element of truth, but it ignores key facts and context that would give a very different impression. We rate this claim Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 4/15/19

February 2019: AP: Trump “Selectively Citing Statistics To Exaggerate” Drug Pricing Claims. “A look at one of President Donald Trump’s statements from his State of the Union address on Tuesday night and how it compares with the facts: TRUMP: ‘Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.’  THE FACTS: Trump is selectively citing statistics to exaggerate what seems to be a slowdown in prices. A broader look at the data shows that drug prices are still rising, but more moderately. Some independent experts say criticism from Trump and congressional Democrats may be causing pharmaceutical companies to show restraint. The Consumer Price Index for prescription drugs shows a O.6 percent reduction in prices in December 2018 when compared with December 2017, the biggest drop in nearly 50 years. The government index tracks a set of medications including brand drugs and generics. However, that same index showed a 1.6 percent increase when comparing the full 12 months of 2018 with the entire previous year. […] Separately, an analysis of brand-name drug prices by The Associated Press shows there were 2,712 price increases in the first half of this January, as compared with 3,327 increases during the same period last year.” [Associated Press, 2/5/19

January 2019: Stat: Trump’s Statements About Drug Prices Are “Demonstrably False.”  “President Trump asserted late Friday that drug prices declined for the first time in nearly 50 years, implying in a tweet that his administration’s efforts to speed generic drugs to market were responsible for that historic feat. But in the context of America’s prescription drug market, the statement is both a non sequitur and demonstrably false. A recent analysis of brand-name drugs by the Associated Press found 96 price increases for every price cut in the first seven months of 2018. At the start of last year, drug makers hiked prices on 1,800 medicines by a median of 9.1 percent, and many continued to increase prices throughout the year.” [Stat, 1/12/19