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Mitch Harle

Protect Our Care Launches “Better Care, Lower Costs” Education and Advertising Campaign in 20 Congressional Districts

Seven Figure Education Program Will Promote, Encourage the Work of House Health Care Champions

 

Washington, DC – Protect Our Care is launching a new, comprehensive, seven figure education and paid advertising campaign called “Better Care, Lower Costs” in 20 Congressional districts. Through this campaign, the American people will learn about what their newly-elected representatives are doing to protect health care for people with pre-existing conditions and reduce health care and prescription drugs costs.

Just last week, Protect Our Care launched its first digital ads in support of these 20 House members that promoted their vote for the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (H.R. 987),” that ends the Trump administration’s push for junk health plans, begins to reduce the costs of prescription drugs, and reverses the Trump administration’s sabotage of open enrollment.

“Two years ago, the Republican Congress voted for health care repeal – gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions, slashing coverage and raising premiums and prescription drug costs for millions of Americans,” said Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach. “Now President Trump and his allies are trying to do the same thing in court. The Democratic health care Congress is working to protect health care for people when they get sick and lower costs for hard working Americans. We’re going to make sure that despite the clutter and noise of Washington, constituents know when their Member of Congress stands up for health care and fights to lower costs and improve care.”

The programs will be tailored for each district but will include coalition and partnership development, as well as public education through the media and paid advertising. Protect Our Care will have staff in districts, and the program will also utilize the full resources of the Protect Our Care war room in Washington.

The first phase of this program will include the following districts:

  1. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)
  2. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)
  3. Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06)
  4. Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06)
  5. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)
  6. Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03)
  7. Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14)
  8. Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02)
  9. Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02)
  10. Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03)
  11. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)
  12. Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11)
  13. Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01)
  14. Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03)
  15. Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03)
  16. Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04)
  17. Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07)
  18. Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08)
  19. Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-17)
  20. Rep. Colin Allred (TX-32)

What Did House Democrats Do Yesterday? Voted for the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act”

With the support of every House Democrat, the House passed the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act” last night, with 183 Republicans voting in opposition. The bill takes on the big drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs and cracks down on the Trump administration’s junk insurance plans that discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions. Recent polling shows widespread, bipartisan support for these reforms that end Trump’s ongoing sabotage of America’s health care.

See the impact for yourself…

NEW YORK TIMES – “The House on Thursday passed a suite of health care bills that tied shoring up the Affordable Care Act to lowering drug prices, as Democrats tried to hold Republicans to their campaign promises to secure coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and rein in the cost of prescription medicine.”

POLITICO – “The legislation includes three bipartisan drug pricing provisions restricting anti-competitive behaviors by pharmaceutical companies alongside a slate of proposals reversing Trump administration policies designed to undermine the Affordable Care Act.”  

ASSOCIATED PRESS – “Democrats pushed legislation buttressing the 2010 health care law and curbing prescription drug prices through the House.”

WASHINGTON POST – “House Democrats pushed through legislation Thursday to lower prescription drug prices, strengthen the Affordable Care Act and — most significantly — position themselves as the party on the side of health-care consumers as the 2020 election approaches.”

THE HILL – “As part of the package, Democrats voted on three bills that would help remove barriers to generic drugs entering the market, and would crack down on tactics that lawmakers say pharmaceutical companies use to tamp down competition and keep prices high.”

CNN – “The House on Thursday passed a health care package that included several bipartisan bills to lower drug costs…but the legislation would also reverse President Donald Trump’s extension of short-term insurance plans, which don’t have to adhere to all of Obamacare’s rules, so they can reject people with preexisting conditions or charge them higher premiums.”

SHAREBLUE – “Republicans claim to be in favor of reducing prescription drug costs, but their vote against the measure shows they care more about siding with Trump’s efforts to sabotage the health care of millions of Americans.”

WASHINGTON TIMES – “The bill’s measures are designed to bring cheaper generic drugs to market faster, while killing Mr. Trump’s push to let people buy cheaper, bare-bones health-insurance plans instead of what Obamacare requires.”

WASHINGTON EXAMINER – “The bill’s drug provisions, which passed at the committee level with Republican support, aim to outlaw what lawmakers call unfair barriers that impede generic drug entry into the marketplace. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said the new measures would ‘prevent some manufacturers from manipulating the system to extend their monopolies at the expense of consumers.’”

NEW ADS: House Democrats Vote To Reduce Drug Prices & Protect Health Care For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Ads Will Run in 20 Districts of Members Who Voted For the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (H.R. 987)”

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care is running a new advertising campaign in the districts of 20 Members of Congress who voted for the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (H.R. 987)” today. Those same members also voted for the “Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions Act (H.R. 986),” last week.

Democrats in the House passed the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (H.R. 987)” despite overwhelming Republican opposition. The bill takes on the big drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs and cracks down on the Trump administration’s junk insurance plans that discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions. Recent polling shows widespread, bipartisan support for these reforms that end Trump’s ongoing sabotage of America’s health care.

In response to the passage of this bill, and House Democrats’ commitment to their lower costs, better care and end sabotage agenda, Protect Our Care is releasing ads today thanking 20 House Members for their vote.

The ads will run in-district for the following members:

Colin Allred (TX-32)

Cindy Axne (IA-03)

Matt Cartwright (PA-08)

Angie Craig (MN-02)

Jason Crow (CO-06)

Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)

Jared Golden (ME-02)

Steven Horsford (NV-04)

Andy Kim (NJ-03)

Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)

Conor Lamb (PA-17)

Susie Lee (NV-3)

Lucy McBath (GA-06)

Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)

Chris Pappas (NH-01)

Dean Phillips (MN-03)

Elissa Slotkin (MI-8)

Haley Stevens (MI-11)

Lauren Underwood (IL-14)

Susan Wild (PA-7)

“Democrats took bold action today to protect our health care against an administration hellbent on destroying it,” said Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse. “With the passage of this bill, people with pre-existing conditions would be protected from predatory junk insurance plans, and drug companies won’t be able to engage in anti-competitive practices that are making prescription drugs unaffordable for millions of Americans. While Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration continue to wreak havoc on our health care system with their reckless sabotage, Democrats are fighting for the lower costs and better care that every single American deserves.”

Ad Script:

We have big news… Congressman Colin Allred just voted to lower your health care costs and protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Congressman Colin Allred stood up to the big drug companies and made it harder for them to rig the system just so they can rake in bigger profits by charging you more.

And he stood up to the insurance companies…

… so they can’t sell you junk insurance that won’t cover you if you have a pre-existing condition or pay for the treatments you need if you get sick.

Congressman Colin Allred is leading the fight to protect our care.

Call him and tell him to keep fighting.

American Cancer Society Report: Trump Administration’s Short-Term Junk Plans Hurt People With Pre-Existing Conditions

As the House Votes This Week to Ban the Sale Of Junk Plans, A New Report From the American Cancer Society Makes Clear Just How Devastating Junk Plans Are For Millions of Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions

 

Washington, DC — In advance of House action this week to ban junk health plans, the American Cancer Society released a new report that highlights how “devastatingly inadequate” these ‘junk’ insurance plans are for Americans with serious illnesses like cancer. The report says that these plans “fail to provide the kind of comprehensive coverage an individual would need if they were diagnosed with a serious and unplanned disease such as cancer.” In addition, the report, which examined the impact of these plans in Florida, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, found that those enrolled in short-term plans would have astronomically higher out-of-pocket costs if diagnosed with a serious condition than those enrolled in a plan purchased through the marketplace – sometimes paying more than ten times more out-of-pocket.

This week, the House will vote on H.R. 987, the “Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act” introduced by Democrats, that includes provisions to stop the sale of junk plans championed by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress. Last week, nearly every House Republian voted against a companion bill, H.R. 986 the “Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act” that overturns President Trump’s efforts to encourage more states to allow insurance companies to sell junk plans.

In response to this report, and the House’s upcoming vote to ban junk plans, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“This report shows that President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ support for junk plans could have devastating impacts on people with cancer and other pre-existing conditions. Millions of Americans with cancer face unaffordable and devastating health care bills under the Republican health care agenda that puts insurance companies first and patients last. If Republicans actually cared about Americans’ health, they would stop their relentless war on America’s health care and join Democrats in restricting the sale of junk plans that line insurance company pockets while letting them gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”

New Ads Call Out GOP Members Who Voted Against the “Protecting Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions Act”

Washington, DC — Yesterday, the Democratic House passed the “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act (H.R. 986),” blocking the Trump administration’s plan to allow insurance companies to sell junk insurance plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.

Nearly every Republican voted against the bill. Today, Protect Our Care is launching digitals ads to hold those Republican members accountable for voting in favor of dramatically weaker protections for people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, asthma and diabetes.

 

The ads will target the following members of congress who voted against the “Protecting Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions Act.”:

Rep. Don Bacon, NE-02

Rep. John Carter, TX-31

Rep. Steve Chabot, OH-01

Rep. Rodney Davis, IL-13

Rep. Jim Hagedorn, MN-01

Rep. French Hill, AR-02

Rep. George Holding, NC-02

Rep. Will Hurd, TX-23

Rep. Mike Kelly, PA-16

Rep. Scott Perry, PA-10

Rep. David Schweikert, AZ-06

Rep. Fred Upton, MI-06

Rep. Lee Zeldin, NY-01

In response, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Every Republican who voted against this bill voted against protecting health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Democrats are delivering on their lower costs, better care agenda, while Republicans continue to follow the Trump administration’s lead in their war on America’s health care.”

Democrats Move To Protect Patients With Pre-existing Conditions Against Trump’s Attacks

Yesterday, on the same day a CDC report showed 1.1 million Americans lost health insurance coverage in 2018 following the Trump administration’s sabotage, the House passed the Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act of 2019. The contrast between Democrats and Republicans could not be clearer: while Democrats move to protect Americans from junk plans that discriminate against those who are sick, Republicans continue to fight against those with pre-existing conditions by backing the Trump lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and support his sabotage agenda.

Washington Post: Democrats Launch Health-care Law Rescue In Face Of Trump’s Threat Of Repeal. “House Democrats began making good on their campaign promise to shore up the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, passing a bill that would bar the Trump administration from granting states some waivers to the landmark health-care law. Next week, the House will vote on a package of seven health-care bills, several of which would reverse administration actions that Democrats have described as efforts to sabotage former president Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. The votes come as President Trump recently renewed his vow to repeal the 2010 law and directed the Justice Department to support a lawsuit aimed at invalidating the law entirely — including its popular protections for Americans with preexisting medical conditions.” [Washington Post, 5/9/19]

New York Times: With Insurance Bill Passage, House Democrats Begin Health Care Blitz. “Returning to a central issue of the 2018 campaign, House Democrats on Thursday passed legislation to reverse Trump administration rules that allow expansion of health care plans that do not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s mandated coverage of pre-existing medical conditions. The vote — 230 to 183 — was a jab at President Trump, who has pressed for ways around the coverage mandates of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement while claiming he is committed to protecting Americans with chronic illnesses.” [New York Times, 5/9/19]

CQ: House Passes Bill To Protect Health Care Law. “In October, the administration released a guidance to give states more flexibility by exempting them from some of the waiver requirements. The administration later suggested ways states could change their insurance markets, including revising the rules for consumers to qualify for premium subsidies, allowing those subsidies to go toward plans that don’t comply with all of the 2010 law’s regulations or setting up high-risk pools or reinsurance programs to help cover the most expensive patients.” [CQ, 5/9/19]

ThinkProgress: 183 Republicans Vote Against Bill To Protect People With Pre-existing Conditions. “The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would block the Trump administration from granting states the leeway to skirt Obamacare rules —- a measure designed to ensure that patients with pre-existing conditions continue to receive affordable robust coverage — in a 236 to 183 vote. The bill is not expected to pass the GOP-controlled Senate, but even if it does, the president has threatened to veto the measure. Every House Democrat and four Republicans voted in favor of the bill, H.R. 986, known as the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019. Meanwhile, 183 Republicans voted against it — including members who vowed in 2018 that they would protect people with pre-existing conditions.” [ThinkProgress, 5/9/19]

CNN: House Democrats Pass Bill To Roll Back Trump Guidance Related To Obamacare. “The House passed a bill Thursday afternoon aimed at shoring up protections for those with pre-existing health conditions, part of Democrats’ plans for protecting the Affordable Care Act under the Trump administration. The legislation was approved 230 to 183, mostly along party lines with four Republican members joining Democrats. While it’s not expected to be picked up by the Republican-controlled Senate, the vote gives Democrats another messaging tool in the politically divisive fight over health care. The bill would nullify a Trump administration guidance that would allow states to ask for waivers to make major changes to their Obamacare markets.” [CNN, 5/9/19]

Associated Press: House Votes To Block Trump’s Eased Health Coverage Rules. “The Trump administration would be blocked from easing coverage rules required by President Barack Obama’s health care law under legislation Democrats pushed through the House on Thursday as the two parties rejoined a battle that roiled last year’s congressional elections. Under guidance the administration issued last year, states could allow insurers to offer low-cost, low-coverage policies that could deny coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Democrats said that by blocking that language, Thursday’s bill would protect patients with pre-existing conditions.” [Associated Press, 5/9/19]

The Hill: House Votes To Overturn Trump ObamaCare Move. “The House voted Thursday to overturn one of President Trump’s key ObamaCare moves, advancing a bill that Democrats have framed as protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Passed in a largely party-line vote of 230-183, the bill seeks to overturn guidance the Trump administration released last year expanding a program that allows states to innovate and waive certain ObamaCare rules.” [The Hill, 5/9/19]

Shareblue: GOP Votes Against Protecting People With Preexisting Conditions. “A majority of Republicans once again voted to let health insurance companies discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. On Thursday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act of 2019 by a vote of 230 to 183. Democrats unanimously supported the bill, joined by only four Republicans. Every single vote against the bill came from Republicans. On the issue of preexisting conditions, most Republicans sided with Trump, who announced on Tuesday that he would veto the bill if it ever made it to his desk. The Trump administration ‘strongly opposes’ the bill because it ‘runs counter to the President’s healthcare vision.’” [Shareblue, 5/9/19]

Democrats Take Steps to Strengthen Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions And Reverse GOP Health Care Sabotage

With Passage of H.R. 986, House Democrats Are Making Good on Their Promise to Crack Down on Junk Insurance Plans Pushed By the Trump Administration

Washington, DC – Today, Congress passed H.R. 986, the “Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act,” a bill spearheaded by Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) to block a major aspect of the Trump administration’s sabotage agenda that allows insurance companies to sell junk insurance plans that discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions. The White House has already threatened to veto the bill, making clear their intention to continue to gut these protections.

In response to today’s vote, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“The House Democrats voted to end the Trump administration’s policy that gave power back to insurance companies to sell ‘junk’ plans that gut protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. No matter how many times President Trump and his Republican allies lie to the American people, it is clear they want to destroy our health care laws no matter the consequences for people with cancer, diabetes or other pre-existing conditions. The White House veto threat makes that crystal clear.

“Today’s vote is the first of many House Democrats will take to pursue their lower cost, better care agenda. In the next few weeks, Democrats will vote to overturn the sabotage of open enrollment, make health insurance affordable and reduce the costs of prescription drugs, sending a clear message to President Trump that Americans will not tolerate his war on health care.”

Wisconsin Republicans Vote NO on Medicaid Expansion Despite Support from 70% of Wisconsinites

GOP blocks proposal to invest $1.6 Billion in Wisconsin’s health care and lower premiums by 7-11%.

Madison, WI – Today, Wisconsin Republicans stripped Medicaid expansion from Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed state budget in a preliminary vote, setting the stage for the larger budget battle to come before the full legislature.

Expanding Medicaid in Wisconsin will provide affordable health insurance coverage to 82,000 Wisconsinites, bring investments totaling more than $1.6 billion into Wisconsin’s health care system for local hospitals, dental care, childhood lead poisoning, long term care and behavioral health. Evers’ proposal is also expected to lower premiums in the individual marketplace by as much as 7 to 11 percent.

Wisconsin Republicans chose partisan politics over their constituents today in voting against Governor Evers’ proposal. A recent Marquette Poll found that 70 percent of Wisconsinites support the plan to expand the state’s Medicaid program.  

“Wisconsin Republicans are defying the will of the people by blocking Medicaid expansion. Voters in Wisconsin made clear by electing Governor Evers they wanted to fully expand Medicaid and end the relentless attacks from Republicans on their health care. Unfortunately, Wisconsin Republicans are hellbent on destroying Medicaid and their decision not to expand the program proves they’d rather score political points with the Trump administration than see Wisconsinites get the coverage they need,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care.

In the months to come, Protect Our Care will continue to advocate on behalf of every Wisconsinite, all of whom will benefit from the improvements to healthcare accepting the Medicaid expansion would bring – including lower premiums, local investments, and expanded coverage.

Protect Our Care Responds to President Trump’s Speech on Surprise Medical Bills

Washington, DC — This morning, President Trump delivered a speech on surprise medical billing, and while bipartisan support exists for protecting people from this phenomenon, Trump’s continued war on health care, and especially his push to sell junk insurance plans that also leave patients with outrageous medical bills and crappy coverage make his words today on this issue exceedingly hypocritical. In response, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement in response;

“Surprise medical billing is a serious issue for patients navigating our health care system, and the Trump administration’s mission to wreak havoc on American health care has made the problem even worse. This administration’s continued promotion of junk plans and support for the disastrous Texas lawsuit to rip away peoples’ coverage make the words in the president’s speech today ring hollow. If President Trump actually cared about Americans’ health care, he will withdraw from the Texas lawsuit, disavow junk plans, and end the relentless sabotage he has inflicted on our system.”

Trump’s Florida Rally Today Overshadowed By His Ongoing War On Health Care That Would Devastate Floridians

Washington, DC — As President Trump heads to Panama City, Florida for a rally today his war on health care wages on, jeopardizing the care and well-being of millions of Floridians. Trump’s Texas lawsuit puts 1.6 million Floridians at risk of losing coverage and if successful would strip protections for more than 7.8 million Floridians with a pre-existing condition. Ahead of the president’s rally today, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“President Trump’s relentless war on health care is putting millions of Floridians at risk of losing coverage. If Trump’s Texas lawsuit to terminate our health care laws is successful, it will strip coverage from over one million Floridians, raise premiums, end protections for millions more with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. Maybe instead of coming to Florida to play politics and vent his frustrations at a political rally, the president should explain to Floridians why he’s so hellbent on taking away their health care.”

 

BACKGROUND:

How Trump’s Texas Lawsuit Would Devastate Floridians

  • 1.6 Million Floridians Could Lose Coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 1.6 million Floridians would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 67 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 132,000 Florida 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.
  • Protections For The 130 Million People Nationwide With A Pre-Existing Condition Will End.  7,810,300 Floridians have a pre-existing condition, including 973,800 Florida children, 4,086,000 Florida women, and 1,760,800 Floridians between ages 55 and 64.
  • 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.
  • 344,343 Florida 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 Florida, 344,343 seniors each saved an average of $1,068.

 

How the GOP War on Medicaid Would Devastate Floridians

  • By Refusing To Expand Medicaid, Florida Is Preventing 1,596,000 Floridians From Gaining Coverage. By not fully expanding Medicaid, Florida has restricted its Medicaid program such that only parents earning up to 32 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. If Florida expanded its program, 1,596,000 more adults could gain coverage through Medicaid.
  • 4,207,568 Floridians With Traditional Medicaid Coverage, Including Seniors, People With Disabilities, And Children, Are At Risk. The Graham-Cassidy bill that President Trump revived in his FY20 budget proposal would turn traditional Medicaid into a per capita cap, meaning the 4,207,568 Floridians who are enrolled on Medicaid would have their care jeopardized. Medicaid disproportionately helps children, seniors in nursing home care and people with disabilities. A study by Avalere found that Graham-Cassidy would cut funding for people with disabilities by 15-percent and 31-percent for children by 2036.
  • 2,487,155 Florida Children’s Care Is At Risk. 2,487,155 Florida kids are currently enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, and their care could be at risk because of funding cuts in the Trump budget.