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Mitch Harle

NEW VIDEO: Experts, Analysts Agree Biden’s Pick for HHS Secretary, Xavier Becerra, Is a Health Care Champion

Watch the Video Here

Today, Protect Our Care released a new video highlighting experts and analysts praising President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to become Secretary of Health and Human Services. During his time in Congress, Becerra helped pass the Affordable Care Act, and during his time as California Attorney General, he led the fight to defend the law in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that could rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and end protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. Becerra is a health care champion who will execute President-elect Biden’s bold plans to increase access to quality care, lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, make health care more affordable, strengthen Medicare and Medicaid and work to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.

The release of the video is part of a broader effort by Protect Our Care to highlight Becerra’s qualifications and to generate support for him which includes launching a petition in support of his nomination at https://www.protectourcare.org/support-becerra/.  

Health Care Experts Praise President-Elect Biden’s Selection of California AG Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services

This morning, President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) as his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Health care experts from around the country praised the president-elect’s decision, highlighting Attorney General Becerra’s expensive health care policy record and defense of the Affordable Care Act in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that would rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. 

WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:

Leslie Dach, Protect Our Care Chair and Former Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services: “President-elect Biden has selected a true health care champion in Attorney General Xavier Becerra. As a 12-term member of Congress, he was a leader in the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act, and as California’s AG, he is leading the states that are challenging the disastrous Trump-Republican lawsuit to terminate the law…Protect Our Care has seen first hand Attorney General Becerra’s leadership defending the ACA in court to make sure Americans can get the care they need. He is a passionate and effective fighter for quality, affordable health care and is an ideal pick to lead HHS.” [Protect Our Care, 12/6/20]

Sylvia Burwell, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services: “As a former HHS Secretary, I’m excited by the choice of @AGBecerra to lead the department at this critical time. I had the opportunity to work with Xavier when he was in the Congressional leadership. His understanding of key relationships on Capitol Hill & focus on high quality execution will be invaluable as the @JoeBiden administration addresses the #COVID19 pandemic. Xavier knows the ‘kitchen table’ issues that are at the heart of HHS & his leadership will make a difference in the lives of Americans.” [Sylvia Burwell Twitter, 12/6/20]

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Dr. Anthony Fauci praises picks for @JoeBiden’s health team: ‘I worked with all of them before. They’re excellent choices. I mean, all of them. … I’ve had considerable interactions with all of these individuals, and they’re outstanding.’ (1/2) Fauci says HHS pick @AGBecerra has ‘been in the Congress for a considerable period of time’ and is a ‘very experienced person.’ CDC pick @RWalensky ‘has been a colleague of mine.’ And as for Surgeon General pick @vivek_murthy, ‘I’ve been working with [him] for years.’ (2/2)” [Quint Forgey Twitter, 12/7/20]

Andy Slavitt, Former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “NEW: As HHS, @AGBecerra who will become Secretary, is probably the singular top champion of the ACA. As opposed to the current guy, who, uh, isn’t.” [Andy Slavitt Twitter, 12/6/20

Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation: “KFF congratulates our Attorney General Xavier Becerra on the news of his appointment. We are proud to have the AG from our home state who has been such a leader on health care take the helm at HHS and we look forward to a productive working relationship.” [Drew Altman Twitter, 12/7/20]

Dr. Ada D. Stewart, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians: “But in an interview on Sunday night, Dr. Ada D. Stewart, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the groups that sent the letter, described Mr. Becerra as ‘a good choice’ and ‘an experienced legislator and executive…We’ve already seen his commitment to health and equity, and those things can’t be overlooked,’ she said.” [New York Times, 12/6/20]

Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California: “Xavier Becerra is an exciting and experienced selection to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services…His track record shows he will work to not just undo the damage of the last four years, but to have a pro-active plan to deal with the pandemic and to pursue patient protections and needed reforms going forward.” [Washington Post, 12/7/20

Larry Levitt, Vice President for Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation: “In Xavier Becerra, President-Elect Biden has selected a person who has been perhaps the biggest thorn in President Trump’s side on the ACA, reproductive health, and immigrant rights. If confirmed, he will have an opportunity to overturn much of what Trump has done.” [Larry Leavitt Twitter, 12/6/20]

Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU: “.@SEIU members have been fortunate to work with @XavierBecerra over the years to strengthen our home care workforce, defend Medicaid and protect immigrant families. He is an outstanding addition to the already-strong team @JoeBiden is building. @XavierBecerra knows that having healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege, and that healthcare providers need to have their voices heard. Thrilled that he will be our next HHS Secretary.” [Mary Kay Henry Tweet, 12/6/20]

Topher Spiro, Senior Fellow and Vice President for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress: “Xavier Becerra was laser-focused on protecting your health care. I know this because his team reached out many times. He is the right person to protect and expand health care at HHS.” [Topher Spiro Twitter, 12/6/20

Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California: “Peter Lee, who heads California’s insurance marketplace, Covered California, lauded Becerra’s work in Congress and as attorney general to defend access to affordable medical care. ‘It’s a great choice,’ Lee said. ‘He is a thoughtful, strategic leader who gets the importance of not only expanding healthcare coverage, but also addressing high costs for patients.’” [Los Angeles Times, 12/6/20

Mara Rudman, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress “Having managed the nation’s largest state justice department and having been a longtime champion for expanding access to health care, Becerra brings the experience needed to do the job—experience that is sorely lacking as the nation contends with the greatest public health crisis in generations. He has also led the current legal fights to protect the Affordable Care Act and Title X, making him an excellent pick to reverse President Donald Trump’s health care sabotage.” [Center For American Progress, 12/7/20

Matthew Cortland, Lawyer and Health Care Advocate:.@XavierBecerra is a good choice to lead HHS in this moment. We need someone with executive management experience. And, with the GOP death cult still wielding power, someone who understands the legal tools at the executive’s disposal. Becerra covers both bases.” [Matthew Cortland Tweet, 12/6/20]

Protect Our Care Applauds President-Elect Biden’s Selection of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Secretary of Health and Human Services

AG Becerra, Who Fought to Pass and Protect the ACA, is Leading the Charge to Protect Americans’ Health Care Before the Supreme Court

Washington, DC — Today, reports indicated President-elect Joe Biden’s intention to nominate Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“Attorney General Xavier Becerra has all the skills and qualifications necessary to execute President-elect Biden’s bold plans to increase access to quality care, lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, make health care more affordable, strengthen Medicare and Medicaid and work to get the coronavirus pandemic under control,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Becerra has the experience needed to lead a large federal agency which impacts the lives of nearly every American citizen. His background makes him an outstanding nominee for HHS Secretary.”

“President-elect Biden has selected a true health care champion in Attorney General Xavier Becerra. As a 12-term member of Congress, he was a leader in the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act, and as California’s AG, he is leading the states that are challenging the disastrous Trump-Republican lawsuit to terminate the law,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Protect Our Care has seen first hand Attorney General Becerra’s leadership defending the ACA in court to make sure Americans can get the care they need. He is a passionate and effective fighter for quality, affordable health care and is an ideal pick to lead HHS.”

Incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers Has an Extensive Anti-Health Care Record

Despite relentless attacks on health care, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05) was elected Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Throughout her time in Congress, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has voted time and again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides to 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. She also supports the Trump administration’s lawsuit to completely dismantle the health care law which, if successful, would rip coverage away from more than 20 million Americans and throw the entire health care system into chaos — all in the middle of an ever worsening pandemic. Rep. McMorris Rodgers has done nothing to address skyrocketing drug prices and has voted to slash funding for Medicare and Medicaid. 

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Supports Repealing The ACA And Its Protections For 135 Million Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions

Cathy McMorris Rodgers has made it her “mission” to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including at least four votes for a total repeal of the Affordable Care Act with no replacement since 2011. 

Cathy McMorris Rodgers: “We Are On A Mission To Repeal And Replace Obamacare.” “Good morning, everyone. We are on a mission. We are on a mission to repeal and replace Obamacare. It’s a rescue mission to save families and patients all across this country.” [Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican Leadership Press Conference, 3/8/17

2011: McMorris Rodgers Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. McMorris Rodgers voted for The “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act” would have repealed all of the Affordable Care Act. [HR 2, Roll Call Vote #14, 1/19/11

2011: McMorris Rodgers Voted To Repeal And Defund The ACA. McMorris Rodgers voted for the fiscal 2012 budget that would have repealed and defunded the Affordable Care Act. [HCR 34, Roll Call Vote #277, 4/15/11

2013: McMorris Rodgers Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. McMorris Rodgers voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13

2015: McMorris Rodgers Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. McMorris Rodgers voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15

2017: McMorris Rodgers Voted For AHCA. McMorris Rodgers voted for passage of the American Health Care Act. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #256, 5/4/17

McMorris Rodgers Claimed To Oppose The Trump Administration Lawsuit That Would Rip Coverage Away From More Than 20 Million Americans, But Voted Multiple Times To Allow It To Proceed 

2018: McMorris Rodgers Claimed To Oppose The Trump DOJ’s Decision Not To Defend The Affordable Care Act. “Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers criticized the Justice Department’s decision not to defend portions of the Affordable Care Act in court, calling it ‘an attack on pre-existing conditions protections.’ Her announcement on Wednesday followed criticism from her election opponent, Democrat Lisa Brown, that McMorris Rodgers isn’t doing enough to protect patients with pre-existing conditions in the aftermath of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to stop defending the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit. Republican leaders of 20 states are seeking to invalidate the nation’s health care law.” [Spokane Spokesman-Review, 6/13/18

McMorris twice opposed blocking the Trump Department of Justice from undermining the ACA McMorris Rodgers voted against Lauren Underwood’s 2019 and 2020 legislation to prevent the Department of Justice (DOJ) from spending federal funds on litigation that undermines the Affordable Care Act, including Texas v. United States. 

McMorris Rodgers opposed allowing the House to intervene against the Texas lawsuit. McMorris Rodgers voted against a House rules resolution that allowed Congress to intervene against the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit. The resolution affirms the House Counsel’s authorization to intervene as a party in the lawsuit, asserting the House of Representative’s authority to defend laws it has passed and enacted into law.

McMorris Rodgers Voted For The Tax Bill Which Forms The Basis For The Trump-Republican Lawsuit. McMorris enthusiastically supported the Republican tax bill, which repealed a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that required most people to have health coverage and which is the basis of the Trump-Republican lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act. 

If the Texas lawsuit is successful:

  • 20 million Americans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 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.
  • 2.3 million 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. 
  • Americans would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $135 billion in the first year. States would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $135 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $135 billion, or 34.6 percent in the first year.
  • Insurance companies would be put back in charge, ending protections for the 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition. 135 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, more than 17 million children, 68 million women, and 32 million people aged 55-64.

McMorris Rodgers Has Voted To Slash Medicare And Medicaid 

McMorris Rodgers Voted To Cut Medicare By $473 Billion. McMorris Rodgers voted for the FY 2018 budget resolution, which included $473 billion in cuts to Medicare over 10 years. [H Con Res 71, Vote #557, 10/5/17; Vox, 10/26/17

McMorris Rodgers Voted To Slash $1.3 Trillion From Medicaid. McMorris Rodgers 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 #557, 10/5/17; Vox, 10/26/17

McMorris Rodgers’ Vote For AHCA Cut $880 Billion From Medicaid. McMorris Rodgers voted for AHCA, which included $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid. [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #256, 5/4/17]

  • Vox Called AHCA A “Sneaky” Reversal Of The Medicaid Expansion. “Medicaid, a government program that simply compensates health care providers at stingy rates, is much cheaper than private insurance. So the ACA’s authors chose to expand it to cover all families with incomes below 138 percent of the poverty line, rather than shelling out the money it would have cost to have the government pay for them to buy private insurance. The AHCA reverses this expansion. But to avoid the criticism that the law throws poor children off their health insurance, it reverses it in a somewhat sneaky way. Rather than taking Medicaid away from families who have it, it simply caps new enrollments in Medicaid so no new poor families can sign up. But the way this cap works, you can’t get back on Medicaid if you go off of it. So a poor family that gets a raise and becomes non-poor for a year will lose access to Medicaid permanently.” [Vox, 5/9/17

McMorris Rodgers Has Accepted Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Pharma Contributions, Voted Against Lowering Drug Prices For Millions Of Americans 

McMorris Rodgers Voted Against Historic Legislation To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. McMorris Rodgers voted against the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), historic legislation to drastically reduce Americans’ prescription drug prices by up to 55% and save taxpayers nearly $500 billion over the next 10 years. H.R. 3 included the most comprehensive drug pricing reform in American history and the largest expansion to Medicare’s vision, dental and hearing benefits in decades. [HR 3, Roll Call Vote #682, 12/12/19

McMorris Has Received Over $350,000 In Contributions From Big Pharma During Her Career. Since 2007, Cathay McMorris Rodgers has received $355,250 in contributions from pharmaceutical companies. [Kaiser Health News, 5/22/20

Protect Our Care Congratulates Rep. Frank Pallone on His Election to Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Washington, DC — In response to the House Democratic Caucus unanimously electing Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06) Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 117th Congress, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“Chairman Pallone is a health care champion who has shown tremendous leadership. He has overseen the passage of historic legislation to lower drug prices, strengthen Medicare, build on the protections of the Affordable Care Act by making health care more affordable and accessible, and used his oversight authority to hold Donald Trump and his administration accountable for their war on health care. The same leadership Chairman Pallone demonstrated the last two years is needed now more than ever as his Committee addresses health care affordability, drug prices, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and California v. Texas, the Supreme Court case which could throw the entire health care system into chaos. And Chairman Pallone’s leadership will be key in implementing the Biden administration’s vision to expand health care access and defeat the coronavirus. His unanimous selection is well deserved.”

Protect Our Care Congratulates Rep. Rosa DeLauro on Her Election to Chair of House Appropriations Committee

Washington, DC — In response to the House Democratic Caucus electing Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) Chair of the House Appropriations Committee for the 117th Congress, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“No one fights harder to make government work for people than Rosa DeLauro. Rep. DeLauro is a tireless health care champion who has always been at the forefront of providing and protecting health care for all Americans. As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. DeLauro will be at the forefront of securing sufficient funding for the response to the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic, distribution of vaccines and PPE and funding America’s public health infrastructure. We look forward to Chairwoman-elect DeLauro’s continued health care leadership in the 117th Congress.”

NEW AD: Protect Our Care Launches National TV Ad on GOP’s COVID Relief Sabotage, Releases New Polling on Battle Over Relief Package

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care launched a new TV ad today showing the impact of Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans’ monthslong sabotage of meaningful relief measures Americans need during the coronavirus pandemic. “Relief Now” will run on cable, including on Morning Joe and Fox & Friends. According to new polling, the Democratic position on the content and size of a coronavirus relief package is considerably more popular with voters than that of Mitch McConnell and Republicans, who’ve placed a higher priority on looking out for big corporations than everyday Americans suffering the health and economic consequences of President’s Trump’s failed response to the pandemic.

Watch: Relief Now

“As the pandemic continues its uncontrolled spread, Americans are also facing a flatlining economy. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are dead set on blocking robust relief for people who are unable to pay rent, put food on the table and are struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, we’re seeing skyrocketing unemployment and businesses closing,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “New polling makes clear what we’ve known all along — Americans want and need comprehensive COVID relief immediately. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are destroying our economy by obstructing meaningful measures to control the virus and provide economic relief to Americans.”

Read the New Polling Memo Here

SCRIPT:

Nine months into this pandemic, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are sabotaging our economic recovery. 

Historic levels of unemployment. 

Thousands of small businesses closed for good. 

Uncertainty about the future of our economy.

Millions of Americans have fallen into poverty.

Millions of hardworking families need meaningful relief now, but Mitch McConnell and Republicans in Congress are making things worse, refusing to take action that could get this virus under control and save lives and American jobs.

They are blocking real relief like a second stimulus check for qualified Americans, health insurance coverage for those laid off and urgent aid for Red and Blue states to pay for first responders and essential workers.

Without this robust relief package, our economy faces the prospect of another great recession that will hurt families and businesses.

Tell Mitch McConnell and Republicans in Congress that they must work with Democrats to take strong action now to combat the virus and fix the economy. 

Paid for by Protect Our Care.

Protect Our Care Looks Forward to Continued Leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Washington, DC — As Democrats maintain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and ahead of the House Leadership Election where Nancy Pelosi is running uncontested for Speaker of the House, Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Speaker Pelosi is a true health care champion. In her time as Speaker, she has been leading the fight to make sure Americans can access affordable health care,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “We have Speaker Pelosi to thank for the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and since then she has worked tirelessly to block Republican sabotage of the health care law and expand its protections. With continued threats to the ACA and the coronavirus crisis continuing to careen out of control, we look forward to Speaker Pelosi’s proven health care leadership.”

“Americans are tired of Republicans’ decade-long war on health care, and no one is a better choice to lead the Democratic caucus in building on the foundation of the Affordable Care Act to improve American health care than Speaker Pelosi,” added Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Protect Our Care knows as Pelosi continues her historic speakership, her leadership and her commitment to health care are what we need to move forward. She is a strategic leader who will continue to lead the charge to protect and expand Americans’ health care.”

NEW VIDEO: Health Care Is at Stake in Georgia Runoff Elections

Watch the Video Here

The fate of Americans’ health care and control of the U.S. Senate hang in the balance of Georgia’s two runoff Senate races on January 5. Incumbent Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have made their position on health care crystal clear. Since taking office, both have been relentless in their attacks on health care. Now, they are supporting Trump’s lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to do what Republicans couldn’t accomplish legislatively — completely overturn the Affordable Care Act. If successful, the lawsuit would rip health care from more than 20 million Americans, remove protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and throw our entire health care system into chaos in the midst of an ever-worsening pandemic. Georgians can’t trust David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler on health care. 

Protect Our Care Praises President-Elect Biden’s Choice of Ron Klain for White House Chief of Staff

Washington, DC — In response to President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff, former Health and Human Services global Ebola coordinator and Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“While serving as the Ebola response coordinator for HHS, I worked with Ron Klain every day as we battled a global pandemic. I saw firsthand his deep grasp of policy, his strategic skills, his ability to get results and his dedication to the American people. Ron is an outstanding public servant, and he has the deep knowledge and invaluable skills needed to make America a more perfect union. President-elect Biden’s selection for White House Chief of Staff demonstrates how seriously he cares about this country and his commitment to steering the country forward through this public health crisis.”