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Mitch Harle

Young People Have Suffered Under Trump’s War on Health Care and Failure to Get the Virus Under Control

President Trump’s failure to take decisive action to contain the pandemic has resulted in catastrophic consequences for the United States. Almost nine million Americans have been infected by a virus that shows no signs of slowing down, while more than 226,000 people have lost their lives. Perpetual and worsening outbreaks have created uncertainty for when life will return to normal. Among those paying the price for the President’s incompetence are children and young adults. 

President Trump and his closest allies have regularly insisted that children and young adults are “virtually immune” to the virus. But we know that’s not the case — these groups can contract the virus, become ill, and transmit it to other more vulnerable groups. And as the outbreak spirals out of control and schools are forced to close for the wellness of both students and teachers, these groups suffer serious health, developmental, and emotional consequences. President Trump’s negligence in responding to the pandemic has thus had unique and disastrous consequences for children and young adults. 

President Trump’s Failure To Contain The Virus Has Put Children And Young At Physical, Mental, And Developmental Risk, And Endangered Others

Despite Trump’s Claim That Children And Young People Are Not Affected By COVID-19, Evidence Is Clear That They Can Get Infected, Become Ill And Die From The Virus. By October 22, nearly 800,000 children have been infected in the US with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, making up for 11 percent of all cases to date. As more schools open across the country and states experience spikes, cases among children have increased 14 percent over two weeks and the U.S. reported nearly 95,000 new cases in children between October 8 and October 22. Cases among children spiked 90 percent between mid-July and mid-August as states recklessly reopened. By mid-October, more than 1,000 children across the country who were diagnosed with COVID-19 developed a serious and potentially fatal condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome where symptoms include fever, rashes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. An August study showed that one-third of children hospitalized with COVID-19 were admitted to an intensive care unit, a rate similar to adults.

Black, Indigenous, And Latino Or Hispanic Children Are Much More Likely To Become Ill And Die From The Virus Than White Children. An August study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Hispanic children were eight times as likely as their white counterparts to be hospitalized with coronavirus, while Black children were five times as likely. Similar disparities were found among children who experience Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, a COVID-related illness found among children: a different August report from the CDC found that 40 percent of MIS-C patients were Hispanic or Latino, 33 percent were Black, and only 13.2 percent were white. The vast majority of children who die of COVID-19 are also Black, Hispanic, or Indigenous — a September CDC report found that, of deaths among people under the age of 21, 45 percent were Hispanic, 29 percent were Black and 4 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native. These groups respectively only account for 25.6 percent, 13.4 percent, and .8 percent of children in the United States.

President Trump’s Failure To Contain The Virus Will Have Consequences For The Health Of Children. The perpetual and worsening outbreak in the United States have caused great uncertainty for school districts, who must navigate the health staff and students. While school openings could endanger teachers (especially those with pre-existing conditions) and provide opportunities for students to contract the virus and later transmit it to family members, school closings also jeopardize the wellness of children. The pandemic has brought about a disruption in the routine of millions of students, who are experiencing behavioral challenges as a result. In a June survey, nearly a third of parents had already reported that their child had experienced harm to their mental health.

  • Millions Of Children Access Health Service Through Schools. 6.3 million children — 13 percent of students nationwide — access health services like clinics and counseling through schools. The clinics are primarily located in school districts with high concentrations of low-income students, and only a small share (just over 10 percent) over telehealth services.
  • Schools Provide Children With Opportunities To Exercise And Socialize. Schools also offer opportunities for exercise through organized sports, gym class, and clubs, and more than three quarters of students between the ages of 6 and 17 in the United States participate in some sort of extracurricular activity. These opportunities for exercise and interaction are those that are suspended when outbreaks get out of control. A quarter of students in the United States do not have access to sidewalks or walking paths, so school-based opportunities for exercise are especially important. Social distancing measures, which become necessary to control the virus, result in the elimination of these opportunities and activities. 

Trump’s Own CDC Has Found That Children And Young Adults Can Transmit The Virus To Others. A July report from the CDC found that children of all ages were both susceptible to the virus and capable of transmitting into others. The report analyzed an outbreak at a Georgia summer camp in which 260 campers and staff members contracted the virus in less than a week. The report concluded that, despite efforts by the summer camp to mitigate the transmission, the virus spread “efficiently… resulting in high attack rates among people in all age groups.” The CDC has also found that spikes among young adults precede infections among the older, more vulnerable demographics with whom young adults come into contact. Over the summer, when incidence of the virus was highest amongst those in their 20s, a spike among those in their sixties rapidly followed.

Children Have Already Lost Coverage At Alarming Rates Under Trump

Trump has spent four years sabotaging the ACA and Medicaid, which has had devastating effects on children’s coverage. 

Trump’s War On Medicaid Has Hurt Children. More than one million children lost Medicaid coverage between 2017 and 2019. Experts point to Trump’s immigration rhetoric and Medicaid policies, including onerous paperwork requirements, for having deterred families from obtaining coverage. Coverage losses have hit communities of color the hardest, with the largest drops in coverage being among Hispanic and Latino families. Between 2016 and 2018, the uninsured rate for Hispanic children rose from 7.6 percent to 8.0 percent. 

Thanks To Trump’s Health Care Sabotage, 320,000 Children Became Uninsured Last Year. According to the latest U.S. Census data, 320,000 children became uninsured in 2019 alone. 

Trump’s Lawsuit To Overturn The ACA Would Rip Coverage Away From More Than 6 Million Children & Young Adults

Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA, including 600,000 Latino children. Health care for children and young adults is especially important as the nation continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. As millions of families have lost their health care as a result of coronavirus-related job losses, the ACA and Medicaid expansion give them a place to turn to for comprehensive, affordable coverage. Research from Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families has already revealed an uptick in children’s Medicaid enrollment during the pandemic. 

If The ACA Is Struck Down: 

  • 1.7 Million Children Would Become Uninsured. According to estimates from the Urban Institute, children’s uninsurance would increase by 48 percent if the ACA is overturned. 
  • 4.9 Million Young Adults Would Become Uninsured. The Urban Institute estimated that nearly five million young adults aged 19 to 26 would lose coverage if the ACA is struck down, representing an increase in uninsurance of 76 percent. Before the ACA, this age group was the most likely to be uninsured. 
  • 17 Million Children With Pre-Existing Conditions Would Lose Protections. Without the ACA, more than 17 million children with pre-existing conditions could face discrimination. Insurance companies could once again exclude benefits, raise premiums, or deny all coverage altogether for children with conditions like asthma and diabetes. 
  • 40 Million Children With Private Insurance Would Lose Access To Free Preventive Care. More than 40 million children who have private insurance would lose guaranteed access to free preventive care and could once again face lifetime or annual limits.
  • More Than 2 Million Young Adults Will No Longer Be Able To Stay On Their Parents Insurance. 2.3 million young adults will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 

Eliminating Medicaid Expansion Would Curb Children’s Access To Health Care

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

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

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

Protect Our Care Wraps Up Seventh Week of “Your Health, Your Vote” Virtual Bus Tour After Holding 33 Events with 44 Members of Congress and Congressional Candidates

Over the course of the seven week, 18-state “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour, Protect Our Care held events in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Iowa, Maine, Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. During each stop, members of Congress, U.S. Senate candidates, elected leaders, health care advocates and storytellers from each state met in a virtual format to discuss President Trump’s complete mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and highlight the danger of California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which will be heard in the Supreme Court one week after the election. The lawsuit would take away protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and rip coverage away from over 20 million Americans in the middle of a pandemic. Now, more than ever, Americans’ health care is on the ballot.

Protect Our Care held “closing argument” events focused on what’s at stake for health care in the election in Alaska, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota, Iowa, New Hampshire, Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, Colorado and Wisconsin.

Protect Our Care’s nationwide events included:

  • Seven United States Senate candidates including Speaker Sara Gideon (ME), Captain Mark Kelly (AZ), Dr. Al Gross (AK), Gov. Steve Bullock (MT), Cal Cunningham (NC), Jaime Harrison (SC) and Jon Ossoff (GA)
  • Ten incumbent United States Senate Democrats including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), Senators Bob Casey (PA), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Tina Smith (MN), Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), Jacky Rosen (NV), Jon Tester (MT), Maggie Hassan (NH) and Mark Warner (VA)
  • 22 Democratic Members of Congress including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (SC-06), Reps. Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Jason Crow (CO-06), Dina Titus (NV-01), Susie Lee (NV-03), Colin Allred (TX-32), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL-26) and Gwen Moore (WI-04)
  • Five Democratic Congressional candidates including Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-06), Dr. Cameron Webb (VA-05), former Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson (NC-08), Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Moe Davis (NC-11).

“YOUR HEALTH, YOUR VOTE” VIRTUAL BUS TOUR EVENTS

NATIONAL KICK OFF:
Monday, September 14, 2020: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Protect Our Care to kick off the “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour to make sure voters know health care is on the ballot in November. Since taking office, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have been waging a war on health care including their botched coronavirus response, refusal to provide Americans with meaningful COVID relief through legislation, proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare and failure to lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Tour Announcement
Politico Pulse: PROTECT OUR CARE HITS “ROAD” WITH VIRTUAL TOUR

PENNSYLVANIA
Tuesday, September 15, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Pennsylvania to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) Marked by COVID founder Kristin Urquiza and health care advocated Erin Gabriel, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Pennsylvanians’ care. They also called on Republicans to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Coverage:
The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA): Casey, Cartwright Highlight What’s at Stake for Health Care in Election

WISCONSIN
Thursday, September 17, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Wisconsin to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Wisconsinites’ care. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Coverage
WSAW (Wausau, WI): Wis. Democrats Hold Virtual Panel Events as Pres. Trump Visits Mosinee
Channel 3000 (Madison, WI): Democrats Hold ‘Your Health, Your Vote’ Event Ahead of President’s Wisconsin Visit
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Donald Trump Tears Into Joe Biden in Return Visit to Wisconsin

MICHIGAN
Tuesday, September 22, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Michigan to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08), the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Michiganders’ health care. They also called on Republicans to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Thursday, September 24, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in the Granite State to highlight the ongoing war on health care and failed local and federal coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and Marked By Covid founder Kristin Urquiza, the event highlighted how Donald Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic. 

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
WMUR-9: NH Primary Source: Pappas, Shaheen to Join ‘Protect Our Care’ Virtual Bus Tour

MINNESOTA
Friday, September 25, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Minnesota to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and U.S. Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN-03), the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Minnesotans’ care. Sarah Stoesz, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, Clara Boykin, a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Kenza Hadj-Moussa of TakeAction also joined the event. Speakers discussed the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act as well as the upcoming battle over Trump’s intent to fill a U.S. Supreme Court seat with a Justice who opposes the ACA, which would throw our entire health care system into chaos.

Watch the Event Here

IOWA
Thursday, October 1, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Iowa to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by former Sen. Tom Harkin along with U.S. Representatives Cindy Axne (IA-03) and Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Iowans’ care. They also called on Sen. Joni Ernst to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

MAINE
Friday, October 2, 2020: This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Maine to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by Maine Speaker of the House Sara Gideon and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Mainers’ care. They also called on Sen. Susan Collins to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

ARIZONA
Tuesday, October 6, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Arizona to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), United States Senate candidate Captain Mark Kelly, State Senator Jamescita Peshlakai, and U.S. House candidate Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (D-AZ-06), the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Arizona’s care. They also called on Martha McSally to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
Tucson Local Media: O’Halleran, Democrats Keep Campaign Focus on Health Care Issues
AZ Central: ‘A Pretty Lethal Pandemic’: Arizona Deaths Have Spiked 22% So Far This Year

ALASKA
Wednesday, October 7, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Alaska to highlight how Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response has left Alaskans at risk. Headlined by Dr. Al Gross, a former orthopedic surgeon and candidate for the US Senate, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Alaskans’ care. Speakers also called on Senator Dan Sullivan to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

COLORADO
Monday, October 12, 2020: Protect Our Care Colorado was joined by U.S. Representative Jason Crow (D-CO-06), and Colorado health care advocates to discuss how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Coloradans’ care. Participants also called on Senator Cory Gardner to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans. Advocates urged Senator Cory Gardner to take steps to protect them, and end his attacks on Coloradans’ health care. 

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
Colorado Times Recorder: Crow Criticizes Republicans for Trying to Kill the Affordable Care Act Instead of Working To Improve It

NEVADA
Tuesday, October 13, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in southern Nevada to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV-01) and Susie Lee (D-NV-03), the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Nevadans’ care. Speakers included Kevin Scott Carey, President SEIU Nevada Local 1107, Laura Martin, PLAN (Progressive Leadership Alliance Nevada), Raquel Cruz-Juarez, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and Erika Washington, Make it Work Nevada, who also called on the GOP to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
Las Vegas Sun: Top Nevada Democrats Urge GOP to Put Health Care Above Court Politics

TEXAS
Wednesday, October 14, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Texas to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX-32) and Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07), the event highlighted how Trump’s ongoing war on America’s health care, his lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, and his failed coronavirus response have had devastating impacts on Texans. They also held Sen. John Cornyn for his failure as part of the Republican Senate leadership to failure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to negotiate or pass a meaningful coronavirus relief package for Americans who are suffering from the impacts of the pandemic. The House, including Reps. Allred and Fletcher, passed a relief bill 152 days ago, with no meaningful response from the Senate.

Watch the Event Here

VIRGINIA
Friday, October 16, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Virginia to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), U.S. House candidate Dr. Cameron Webb (D-VA-05) and Marked by COVID founder Kristin Urquiza, the event highlighted Trump’s selection of an anti-ACA justice for the Supreme Court and his lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, which would have devastating impacts on Virginians’ care. They also discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

MONTANA
Friday, October 16, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual tour arrived in Montana, headlined by U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Governor Steve Bullock (D-MT), to discuss the importance of the Affordable Care Act to Montanans and to highlight what’s at stake for Montanans’ health care if the ACA is repealed. They also discussed the significance of access to affordable healthcare particularly in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members, including Dr. Anne Giuliano and Rep. Sharon Stewart Peregoy, carried messages from communities directly impacted by the ACA and Medicaid expansion, highlighting the importance of access to preventative and consistent care. Speakers included Amy Allen of the Forward Montana Foundation, Elizabeth Marum, a member of Big Sky 55+, and Emily Allison of Forward Montana and Bridgercare.

Watch the Event Here

NORTH CAROLINA
Monday, October 19, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in North Carolina to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, Attorney General Josh Stein, U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) and U.S. House candidate, former Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson (D-NC-08), the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact North Carolinians’ care. They also called on Senator Thom Tillis to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans. 

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
The News & Observer: Cunningham won’t talk personal scandal, keeps his focus on health care in Senate race
WJZY, WFXB, WGHP, WNCN, WNCT: Coverage of Event

SOUTH CAROLINA
Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in South Carolina to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Representative Joe Cunningham (D-SC-01) along with U.S. Senate candidate and former South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact South Carolinians’ care. They also called on Senator Lindsey Graham to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans. 

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
NBC News 2: Congressman Joe Cunningham and Senate candidate Jaime Harrison participating in virtual tour stop
ABC News 4: Rep. Cunningham and Jaime Harrison headline virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour stop

GEORGIA
Thursday, October 22, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Georgia to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA-06), U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Georgians’ care. They also called on Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here

FLORIDA
Thursday, October 29, 2020: U.S. Representatives Val Demings (D-FL-10) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL-26) joined health care advocates and local residents from South and Central Florida as the last stop on Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual bus tour to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Floridians’ health care.

Watch the Event Here

CLOSING ARGUMENT EVENTS:

ALASKA
Saturday, October 24, 2020: Meda Dewitt, Allie Phillips, Leighan Gonzales, Richard Drake, Susanna Orr, Derek Reed, and Joni Bruner joined Protect Our Care Alaska and S’Up Alaska for a press conference outside Senator Dan Sullivan’s office in Anchorage to discuss what is at stake for Alaskans’ health care in the 2020 election, and highlight the threat that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee represents to the thousands of Alaskans who rely on the Affordable Care Act for access to quality, affordable health care. 

Watch the Event Here

Wednesday, October 28, 2020: Alaskans Media Dewitt, Nick Moe, James C. Paoli, Lee Haywood, and others held an event outside of Sens. Sullivan and Murkowksi to speak out about what’s at stake for the health care of Alaskans in this election. Advocates also spoke out against these Republican senators voting to approve Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and the threat that poses to the Affordable Care Act.

Watch the Event Here

ARIZONA
Tuesday, October 27, 2020: U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07), State Representative Kelli Butler, Tucson Emergency Medical Doctor Larry DeLuca, and rare illness survivor Alicia DeWitt joined Protect Our Care Arizona for a virtual press conference to discuss Senator Martha McSally’s final health care betrayal — voting to confirm an anti-ACA Supreme Court Justice while millions of Arizonans’ health care hangs in the balance.

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
Tucson Weekly: Healthcare Advocacy Group Blasts McSally for Supreme Court Vote

MICHIGAN
Tuesday, October 27, 2020: Ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to Lansing, doctors and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Michigan in urging voters to cast their ballots for candidates who will protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The doctors aimed to emphasize that health care is on the ballot because of Trump and Republican efforts to repeal the ACA via a lawsuit the Supreme Court will begin to hear arguments for one week after the election. Republicans have also confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, who has spoken against the ACA. Health care workers urged voters to cast ballots for Joe Biden and Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, as well as local Democratic candidates.

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
Newsweek: Michigan Doctors Say Trump’s Lansing Rally Will ‘Only Make Things Worse’ as COVID Cases Rise
CNBC: Health Care Workers in Michigan Criticize Trump’s Rally Amid Record Covid Cases

SOUTH CAROLINA
Thursday, October 29, 2020: House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC-06), Former Gov. Jim Hodges, Antjuan Seawright, and Olivia Rothstein joined Protect Our Care South Carolina to discuss what is at stake for South Carolinians’ health care in this election. On November 10, one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, the lawsuit led by the Trump administration and 18 Republican state Attorneys General to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. For years, Republicans have attempted to sabotage and destroy the ACA. If Republicans succeed, they threaten to destroy access to health care for millions of Americans and 288,000, and to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including 2,027,400 South Carolinians. Speakers highlighted the dire emergency created by the Trump administration and Republicans pushing to repeal the ACA when South Carolinians need it the most.

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
WCIV: Majority Whip Clyburn, Former Gov. Hodges Speak on Health Care and the Election

MINNESOTA
Thursday, October 29, 2020: Attorney General Keith Ellison, State Senator Matt Klein, State Rep. Jennifer Schultz and Minnesotans joined Protect Our Care Minnesota for a virtual press conference to discuss what is at stake for Minnesotans’ health care in this election. On November 10, one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, the lawsuit led by the Trump administration and 18 Republican state Attorneys General to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Watch the Event Here

IOWA
Thursday, October 29, 20200: Iowans and health care advocates joined Progress Iowa and Protect Our Care Iowa for a press call to discuss what is at stake for Iowans’ health care in this election, and to release a health care voter guide for the state.

Watch the Event Here

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Thursday, October 29, 2020: New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Chris Nicopoulos, U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Professor Lucy Hodder, and NH Navigator Program Director Jeremy Smith joined Covering New Hampshire and Protect Our Care New Hampshire for a virtual press conference to preview the upcoming Open Enrollment period and to provide Granite Staters with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act during this critical time. 

Watch the Event Here

Coverage
Concord Monitor: ACA Health Insurance Enrollment Period Starts Nov. 1

GEORGIA
Thursday, October 29, 2020: Concerned women of Georgia joined Protect Our Care Georgia for a virtual press conference to discuss what is at stake for Georgia women’s health care in this election. President Trump’s failure to adequately respond to the pandemic has had unique social, economic, and health implications for women. Making matters worse, President Trump is currently backing a lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the nation is still reeling from the pandemic. Without the ACA, women would lose critical protections and face even higher costs for care. Speakers highlighted the dire emergency created by the Trump administration and Republicans pushing to repeal the ACA when the women of Georgia need it the most.

Watch the Event Here

NORTH CAROLINA
Friday, October 30, 2020: U.S. House candidates Deborah Ross (D-NC-02) and Moe Davis (D-NC-11), State Rep. Carla Cunningham, and health care advocates from across North Carolina joined Protect Our Care North Carolina for a virtual press conference to discuss what is at stake for North Carolinians health care in this election. On November 10, one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, the lawsuit led by the Trump administration and 18 Republican state Attorneys General to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Watch the Event Here

MAINE
Friday, October 30, 2020: Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey, state lawmakers, patient storytellers and advocates joined Protect Our Care Maine for a press call to discuss what is at stake for Mainers’ health care in this election. On November 10, one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Trump administration and Republicans’ lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.

Listen to Call Recording Here

COLORADO
Friday, October 30, 2020: Coloradans with pre-existing conditions joined Protect Our Care to discuss what is at stake for Coloradans’ health care in this election. Health care advocates will be joined by representatives of organizations for reproductive health, voters’ rights, and racial and social justice to tell Senator Gardner how he’s failed to represent Coloradans. On November 10, one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Trump administration and Republicans’ lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. 

Watch the Event Here

WISCONSIN
Friday, October 30, 2020: U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Dr. Amy Fiedler and Wisconsin resident Megan McGee joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin for a virtual press conference focusing on what is at stake for Wisconsinites’ health care in this election. On November 10, just one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Trump administration and Republicans’ lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. 

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SABOTAGE WATCH: Trump’s War on Open Enrollment

At a time when Americans need affordable health insurance the most, Donald Trump is asking the Supreme Court one week after Election Day to take health insurance away from more than 20 million Americans and eliminate the financial assistance and the consumer protections provided by the Affordable Care Act. Republicans in the Senate have just put an anti-ACA Justice on the court. In the four years since Donald Trump took office, he has relentlessly attacked the Affordable Care Act, resulting in millions of Americans losing insurance coverage. Now, as our nation faces the worst public health crisis in a century, President Trump is continuing to block Americans from getting the health care they need by once again making it more difficult for Americans to sign up for coverage during the ACA’s Open Enrollment Period, which begins on November 1. He has slashed funding for groups that help people sign up for health care and removed information on applying for coverage from HealthCare.gov, all while more than 14 million people have lost their employer sponsored health care coverage due to the coronavirus pandemic. From trying to completely overturn the ACA to creating uncertainty around the law and making it harder to sign up for coverage, President Trump’s health care sabotage agenda has been a total disaster for Americans. 

Even As Millions Lost Coverage As A Result Of The Pandemic, President Trump Refused To Open A Special Enrollment Period. Research has shown that more than 14 million people could have lost employer-sponsored health coverage as a result of the pandemic. Yet the Trump administration refused to reopen the federal marketplaces to allow people to more easily enroll in coverage. President Trump’s refusal to create a special enrollment period ignored calls from experts who argued it would slow the spread of the virus and save American lives. By refusing to open a SEP, President Trump could have blocked millions from gaining coverage. Now, during regular open enrollment, it could be the first time millions have an opportunity to purchase health insurance as the nation continues to battle the coronavirus crisis. 

The Trump Administration Removed Information On Applying For Coverage From HealthCare.gov. The Trump Administration overhauled the “Apply for Health Insurance” section of HealthCare.gov, removing the options of signing up for coverage via mail and phone and directing people to sign up for coverage through enrollment sites run by private companies.

Between 2016 And 2020, The Trump Administration Cut Funding For Groups That Help People Sign Up For Coverage By 90 Percent. After cutting funding for navigator groups that help people sign up for coverage from $63 million in 2016 to $36 million in 2017, the Trump Administration made yet another round of cuts in 2018, leaving just $10 million in funding for health navigator groups in 2019 and 2020. Since 2016, Trump has cut navigator funding by 90 percent.

  • Health Navigators, Like Jodi Ray At The University Of South Florida, Say Cuts To Navigator Programs Prevent Them From Adequately Letting People Know That Open Enrollment Is Happening. Ray said, “We don’t have the people to provide the enrollment assistance nor to do the outreach and marketing to let people know what’s happening.”

This Year, Six States Have Extensive Areas Where No Navigators Provide In-person Service. In 2020, six states – Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, and Texas – have extensive areas where no Navigators provide in-person service. In many other states where the federal Navigators’ service area is statewide, funding reductions mean that only phone or on-line help can be offered in some areas where in-person help was once available. 

The Trump Administration Cut The Open Enrollment Period In Half. Starting in 2017, the Trump administration halved the duration of the open enrollment period, reducing the time consumers have to enroll annually from three months to only 45 days for states reliant on the HealthCare.gov portal. 

The Trump Administration Wants Navigator Groups To Push Consumers To Sign Up For Junk Coverage That Is Exempt From Covering Prescription Drugs And Hospitalization Instead Of Comprehensive Plans. The Administration encourages navigator groups to use their remaining funding to push consumers to sign up for junk health plans, which do not need to cover pre-existing conditions and cover few benefits. They are also notorious for the fraud they attract. Junk plans are particularly dangerous during the coronavirus crisis: One analysis found widespread misleading marketing of short-term plans during the pandemic. Reports have already shown that patients covered by these plans have been left with thousands of dollars in medical bills for seeking treatment for coronavirus symptoms. 

A full timeline of the Trump Administration’s crusade to sabotage open enrollment is below:

January 2020

  • CMS proposes ending automatic re-enrollment for certain low-income ACA exchange enrollees, meaning that those who pay $0 in premiums with the help of tax credits would have to actively update their application during open enrollment or risk losing this essential financial assistance.

December 2019

  • Reports surface of website glitches during the final day of open enrollment. This is the second known widespread technical problem during the 2020 open enrollment period, with the first preventing an estimated 100,000 people from signing up. After facing public pressure from lawmakers and patient advocates, CMS extended the enrollment deadline, however CMS Administrator Seema Verma did not specify how the agency would ensure the extension was communicated to the public. 

December 2018

  • Sunlight Foundation investigation finds that Trump Administration removed information about ways to apply for coverage on HealthCare.Gov and is directing people to sign up for coverage through enrollment sites run by for-profit companies.

October 2018

  • The Trump Administration issues guidance that allows federal subsidies to be used to purchase junk plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, a move expected to worsen ACA risk pools.
  • Trump Administration announces scheduled maintenance on the open enrollment website, preventing people from signing up for coverage on Sundays from 12:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

September 2018

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services removes a training guide for Latino outreach from a CMS website just over a month before the beginning of open enrollment. Latinos are at a disproportionately high risk of being uninsured compared to white non-hispanic Americans.

August 2018

  • Trump Administration finalizes rule for bare-bones short-term plans that are exempt from key consumer protections, such as the requirement that insurance covers prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization.

July 2018

  • Trump Administration slashes funding for non-profit health navigator groups that help people shop for coverage, from $36 million to $10 million. CMS encourages groups to use the remaining funds to push people to sign up for junk plans that skirt important consumer protections.

July 2018

  • Trump Administration limits access to assistance for consumers who want to enroll in marketplace coverage. This change removes the requirement that every area has at least two “navigator” groups to provide consumer assistance and that one be local. Now, just one group could cover entire states or groups of states.

December 2017

  • Congressional Republicans pass their tax scam, which doubles as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

October 2017

  • The Trump Administration dramatically cuts in-person assistance to help people sign up for 2018 health coverage.

September 2017

  • The Administration orders the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in Open Enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell says, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”

August 2017

  • The Administration cuts the outreach advertising budget for Open Enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – which resulted in as many as 1.1 million fewer people getting covered. Emails obtained by Democracy Forward reveal that the administration chose to cut outreach despite having been warned that over 100,000 fewer people would enroll in coverage.

July 2017

  • The Trump Administration uses funding intended to support health insurance enrollment to launch a multimedia propaganda campaign against the Affordable Care Act.

April 2017

  • The Trump Administration cuts the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days.

January 2017

  • Also on January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services begins to remove information on how to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Trump Administration pulls funding for outreach and advertising for the final days of 2017 enrollment. This move is estimated to have reduced enrollment by nearly 500,000.

Trump’s Failed Pandemic Response and Continued War on Health Care Hurts Communities of Color

President Trump’s failure to take decisive action to contain the pandemic has resulted in catastrophic consequences for the United States. Almost nine million Americans have been infected by a virus that shows no signs of slowing down, while more than 226,000 people have lost their lives. Perpetual outbreaks have created dire economic consequences with 65 million people having filed for unemployment since the pandemic began. But rather than take responsibility for the worst crisis in modern American history, Trump is continuing to downplay the danger of the virus — baselessly insisting that the United States is “rounding the turn” even as cases spike and hospitals are overwhelmed. 

Among those most impacted by President Trump’s ongoing abdication of responsibility are Black people, Indigenous people, Latinos, and other people of color across the United States. Years of structural racism have left these communities especially vulnerable to the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis. People of color are far more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses and face barriers to accessing health care, and are thus at higher risk for developing serious complications if they contract the coronavirus. Meanwhile, members of these communities are heavily represented on the frontlines of the battle against the virus, acting as health care workers, farm workers, and in other essential roles — putting them at higher risk of exposure. 

The Coronavirus Crisis Is Disproportionately Impacting The Health Of Black People, Indigenous People, Latinos, And Other People Of Color

Across The United States, Black People Have Died Of COVID-19 At 2.3 Times The Rate Of White People. According to the COVID Tracking Project’s racial disparity dashboard, Black people in the United States have lost their lives to the virus at 2.3 times the rate of white people. In fact, the Black community has one of the worst mortality rates in the country — as of October 13, one in 920 Black people had lost their life to the virus, and Black people account for one in five deaths where race is known. The intersection of systemic racism and the administration’s failed response put the Black community at particular risk. Black Americans have disproportionately high rates of pre-existing conditions (like heart disease) which are associated with higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths to the virus. Black patients are hospitalized with the virus at three times the rate of white patients.

Indigenous Americans Have Died Of The COVID-19 At 1.5 Times The Rate Of White People. The COVID Tracking Project’s racial disparity dashboard reflects that Indigenous groups like Alaska Natives and American Indians have died of the virus at 1.5 times the rate of white people. The APM Research Lab reports that this rate amounts to as many as 1 in 1,100 Indigenous people in the United States losing their life to the virus. In almost half the states, the incidence of the virus is 3.5 times more frequent among Indigenous people than among white people. After being cut off from traditional diets and lifestyles and prevented access to adequate medical care, American Indians and Alaska Natives have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease than white Americans — putting them at higher risk of complications for COVID-19. It’s also unlikely that available information paints a full picture of the devastating effect the virus has had on Indigenous communities — these groups are often misclassified or excluded entirely from datasets and analyses used to make health policy decisions.

Hispanic Or Latino People Have Died Of COVID-19 At 1.5 Times The Rate Of White People Across The United States. The COVID Tracking Project shows that Hispanic or Latino people in the United States have lost their lives at 1.5 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people to COVID-19. As of mid-September, Hispanic people in the United States were the most likely of any demographic group to test positive for the virus — doing so at more than two and a half times the rate of non-Hispanic white people. Hospitalization rates are also four times higher for Hispanic patients than white patients. Hispanic people are highly represented in the health care sector and in other lines of essential work, and only one in six had the ability to telework, increasing their vulnerability to exposure. 

Black, Indigenous, And Latino Or Hispanic Children Are Much More Likely To Become Ill From The Virus Than White Children. An August study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Hispanic children were eight times as likely as their white counterparts to be hospitalized with coronavirus, while Black children were five times as likely. Similar disparities were found among children who experience Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, a COVID-related illness found among children: a different August report from the CDC found that 40 percent of MIS-C patients were Hispanic or Latino, 33 percent were Black, and only 13.2 percent were white. The vast majority of children who die of COVID-19 are also Black, Hispanic, or Indigenous — a September CDC report found that, of deaths among people under the age of 21, 45 percent were Hispanic, 29 percent were Black and 4 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native. These groups respectively only account for 25.6 percent, 13.4 percent, and .8 percent of children in the United States.

Healthcare Workers Of Color Have Been Especially Hard Hit By The Pandemic. Hispanic people account for 17.1 percent of the United States’ health aide workforce, while almost 1 in 5 health workers are immigrants. Black women and Latina women make up large portions of the United States’ direct care workers. Amid the President’s failure to contain the virus and shore up supplies of PPE, health care workers of color have been put in particular danger: these workers are 20 percent more likely than white health care workers to care for patients with COVID-19, are more likely to report inadequate PPE, and are nearly twice as likely as their white counterparts to contract the virus. A Kaiser Health analysis of deaths among health care workers found that 62 percent were people of color, while a survey by National Nurses United has found that while only a quarter of nurses in the United States are people of color, nurses of color account for half the deaths among nurses to COVID-19.

  • People Of Filipino Descent Make Up Only 4 Percent Of Nurses In The United States, But A Third Of COVID-19 Deaths Among Registered Nurses. A September report by National Nurses United illustrates the disproportionate toll suffered by Filipino workers in the health industry. Filipinos are four times as likely as any other group to be nurses, and a quarter of Filipino adults in the United States works in hospitals or other medical fields. But while only about 4 percent of registered nurses in the United States are of Filipino ancestry, this group accounts for more than 31 percent of deaths among nurses, of which there have been more than 200. 

Nursing Homes With Higher Shares Of Black And Latino Residents Have Been Hit Especially Hard By The Virus. Nursing homes with significant numbers of Black or Latino residents — “no matter their location, no matter their size, no matter their government rating” — have been twice as likely as nursing homes with overwhelmingly white populations to be hit hard by the virus. More than 60 percent of nursing homes where at least a quarter of the residents are Black or Latino had reported at least one case as of September 10, which was double the rate of homes where these groups account for less than 5 percent of the population. Though it’s impossible to determine the full scope of the pandemic’s impact on people of color in nursing homes and assisted care facilities due to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ failure to collect comprehensive racial data on cases and deaths, a Kaiser analysis has found that COVID-19 deaths were more common among nursing homes with shares of Black or Hispanic residents that were 20 percent or greater than in homes with lower shares.

The Coronavirus Crisis Is Taking A Devastating Economic Toll On Communities Of Color

The Pandemic Has Had An Outsized Economic Impact On Asian-Americans. Pew Research reports that the unemployment rate for Asian-Americans may have been as high as 20.3 percent in May, compared with 13.5 percent for white workers. The US Department of Labor recorded an unemployment spike of 450 percent among Asian Americans from February to June. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that Asian-Americans experienced the economic implications of the pandemic earlier and more acutely than other groups, in part because of racist and xenophobic rhetoric (like that used by President Trump). The likely interaction of racial discrimination and the pandemic had resulted in the closure of roughly 233,000 Asian-owned small businesses between February and April, representing a decline of 28 percent. In contrast, non-Hispanic white-owned small businesses declined by only 17 percent in the same time period.

The Pandemic Has Had Devastating Economic Consequences For Hispanic People In The United States. As the country shut down in April, unemployment among Hispanic people rose to 18.9 percent, higher than that of any other racial or ethnic group at the time. In comparison, the unemployment rate among non-Hispanic white people was only at 14.2 percent. Latinos as a group were less likely than any other demographic to be able to work from home when the pandemic hit, and the most likely to have lost their jobs, having been highly represented in industries that suffered the worst losses as the pandemic broke out. In the service industry, for example, Latina women constituted 30 percent of the workforce while Latino men constituted 20 percent of the workforce. That sector lost nearly 30 percent of its jobs between February and May.

  • Hispanic Women Experienced Especially High Rates Of Job Loss. Hispanic women have experienced especially high rates of job loss, their unemployment rising from 5.5 percent in February to 20.5 percent in April. Nearly half a million Hispanic women have left the workforce entirely since the pandemic began.
  • Hispanic People Have Experienced A Slower Recovery Than Other Groups. Eight months into the pandemic, Hispanic people still have more ground to make up to reach pre-pandemic employment levels than any other group. As of September, 72 percent of Latino households say that they are facing serious financial problems due to the pandemic, while almost 9 in 10 Latinos report experiencing serious financial problems themselves.

The Economic Consequences Of COVID-19 Have Had A Disproportionate Impact On Black Workers And Black-Owned Businesses. 12 percent of Black Americans are currently jobless, more than double the pre-pandemic rate of 5.8 percent in February. The economic impact of COVID-19 on Black workers was swift and historic, with the Black labor force participation rate dipping to 58.6 percent in April, the lowest level since 1974. Black owned businesses have also been devastated during the pandemic. Data from the New York Fed indicates that there was a 41 percent decrease in Black owned businesses between February and April. Research conducted at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses—roughly 440,000 enterprises—had closed by July.

  • Black People In The United States Have Been Less Likely To Receive Benefits And Pandemic Relief. Black people have been less likely to receive unemployment benefits throughout the pandemic, with just 13 percent of out of work Black people receiving benefits from April to June, compared to 24 percent of white workers. A July study showed that Black owned businesses were less likely to receive federal aid as part of the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Black Workers Were More Likely Than Their White Counterparts To Face Workplace Retaliation Over COVID Concerns. A June report from the National Employment Law Project showed that Black workers were more than twice as likely to be retaliated against for raising COVID-19 concerns in a workplace than white workers were. 

Indigenous Americans Have Suffered Disproportionate Economic Consequences As A Result Of The Pandemic. When the national unemployment rate reached a record high of 14.7 percent, Native American unemployment was at 26.3 percent. As the virus spread and forced tribal casinos to shut down (leaving 700,000 native and non-native people out of work), tribal nations lost a key source of revenue used to provide basic services. Joseph Kalt, co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at the Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, highlighted in May that many Native American tribes’ tax bases were “cut literally to zero” after tribal casinos and businesses were forced to close. A September poll found that 41 percent of Native American households reported using up their savings through the pandemic, while 55 percent of Indigenous respondents reported experiencing a serious financial problem as a result of the pandemic.

People Of Color Have Already Lost Coverage At Alarming Rates Under Trump

The Affordable Care Act helped reduce longstanding racial disparities in coverage rates, improving health care access for communities of color across the board. However, Trump has spent his presidency sabotaging the ACA and Medicaid, leaving more people of color without coverage. According to the Commonwealth Fund, coverage loss under Trump has “largely halted the improvement in coverage disparities” seen after the implementation of the ACA. 

Millions Of People Have Lost Coverage Under Trump. Census data revealed in 2018 that the uninsured rate rose for the first time since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, increasing from 7.9 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018. The uninsured rate reached 9.2 percent in 2019, meaning 30 million Americans went without health insurance last year. This represents a 2.3 million increase in the number of people without insurance since Trump took office — and these estimates do not even account for the record coverage losses driven by Trump’s failure to respond to the pandemic. 

Hispanic People Have Seen The Highest Rates Of Coverage Loss Since Trump Took Office. Hispanics were already the most likely racial/ethnic group to lack health insurance, but they also experienced the greatest increase in uninsurance in 2019, growing from 17.9 percent in 2018 to 18.7 percent. Experts point to Trump’s immigration rhetoric and Medicaid policies, including onerous paperwork requirements, for having deterred many Hispanic and Latino families from obtaining coverage. Alarmingly, these steep coverage losses have impacted children. Between 2016 and 2018, the uninsured rate for Hispanic children rose from 7.6 percent to 8.0 percent. 

  • Three Million Hispanic People Are Expected To Lose Their Employer-Sponsored Coverage As A Result Of The Pandemic. A recent analysis from Avalere found that 3 million Hispanic people are likely to lose their employer-sponsored health insurance in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

Trump’s Lawsuit To Overturn The ACA Would Devastate Communities Of Color

President Trump is currently supporting a lawsuit that could overturn the entire ACA and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from more than 20 million Americans, raise premiums, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. Destroying the ACA would be especially harmful as the country is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color nationwide. 

If The Affordable Care Act Is Struck Down:

  • GONE: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 69 percent. 
  • GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers more than 15 million people. 
  • GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
  • GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. 
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.
  • GONE: 60 million Medicare beneficiaries will face higher costs and disruptions to their medical care. 

Overturning The ACA Would Exacerbate Racial Disparities In Coverage

If Trump’s lawsuit is successful, the uninsured rate would spike to 20 percent for Black Americans, 24 percent for American Indian/Alaska Natives, 19 percent for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 30 percent for Hispanics — compared to 15 percent for white Americans. 

  • 3.1 Million Black Americans Would Lose Coverage. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the ACA helped lower the uninsured rate for nonelderly African Americans by more than one third between 2013 and 2016 from 18.9 percent to 11.7 percent. The Urban Institute estimates that 3.1 million Black Americans would become uninsured if the ACA were overturned. 
  • 5.4 Million Latinos Would Lose Coverage. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to a study from Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos would lose coverage if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.
  • 1.3 Million Asian/Pacific Islanders Would Lose Coverage. 1.3 million Asian/Pacific islanders would become uninsured if the ACA were overturned, according to estimates from the Urban Institute. Research shows the ACA cut uninsurance rates among Asian Americans by more than half–from nearly 20 percent to just under 8 percent– eliminating coverage disparities with white Americans. 
  • 488,000 American Indians And Alaska Natives Would Lose Coverage. According to the Urban Institute, the uninsurance rate would more than double among American Indians and Alaska Natives in 10 states if the ACA is overturned. Nationwide, 488,000 would lose coverage. 

Eliminating Medicaid Expansion Would Harm Communities Of Color. Research has shown that Medicaid expansion has resulted in healthier people, communities, and economies. After the implementation of the ACA, gaps in insurance coverage narrowed the most in states that adopted Medicaid expansion. Today, a Black person living in an expansion state is more likely to be insured than a white person residing in a state that rejected Medicaid expansion. 

As the Virus Rages and President Trump Attacks Health Care, Women’s Lives and Livelihoods Are on the Line

President Trump’s failure to adequately respond to the pandemic has had unique social, economic, and health implications for women. Women are both on the front lines of responding to the crisis as care workers and on the front lines at home – many having left the workforce to care for their children as an unrelenting virus has forced schools to move online. This exodus from the workforce has likely resulted in the loss of health care coverage for women, as the pandemic continues to ravage the United States. Making matters worse, President Trump is currently backing a lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the nation is still reeling from the pandemic. Without the ACA, women would lose critical protections and face even higher costs for care. The lawsuit will be heard on November 10 — exactly one week after the election. Now, more than ever, women’s health care is on the ballot.

Women Have Suffered Disproportionate Economic Implications As A Result Of The Pandemic

Women Have Been Disproportionately Impacted By Pandemic-Related Job Losses. Before the pandemic, women outnumbered men in the workforce; however, due in part to their roles in vulnerable industries like food service, retail, and personal care, women have lost employment at higher rates than men. According to the Pew Research Center, 11.5 million women lost their jobs from February to May, compared to 9 million men. During the peak of pandemic-related job losses, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for women climbed to 15.5 percent, compared to 13 percent for men.

  • Hispanic And Latina Women Have Been Especially Hard Hit By Pandemic-Related Job Losses. In April, unemployment for Hispanic women rose to 20.2 percent, highlighting that a larger proportion of Hispanic were unemployed compared to women overall. One reason for steeper unemployment among Hispanic women is that they are more likely than other groups to be represented in the leisure and hospitality industry, which shed almost 40% of its workforce between February and May (worse than any other sector). Last month, the jobless rate among Latina women was at 11 percent. 
  • Black Women Have Been Especially Hard Hit By Pandemic-Related Job Losses. In April, unemployment for Black women rose to 16.4 percent, compared to 15.5 percent for women overall. Compared with the job recovery rate of white women, Black women’s jobs have come back at a much slower rate. According to the Center for American Progress, white women currently hold 7.1 percent fewer jobs than in February, while Black women’s jobs are still down 11.9 percent. 

Women Are Still Facing Higher Levels Of Unemployment Than Men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7.7 percent of women over the age of 20 remain unemployed, compared to 7.4 percent of men, though the gap has likely narrowed due to surges of women leaving the workforce. Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute told The 19th: “…there is a real possibility many jobs lost by women will never come back.” 

Working Mothers Are Exiting The Workforce At Alarming Rates. According to The 19th, working mothers have reduced their work hours four to five times more than fathers to care for children during the pandemic. A survey from the Census Bureau conducted in July found that nearly 31 percent of women ages 25 to 44 with children at home were not working because of coronavirus-related child care problems, compared to just 11.6 percent of men. “Put another way, working mothers are three times more likely to have been sidelined from their jobs by COVID-19 child care issues than working fathers,” per HuffPost. According to NPR, 865,000 women left the US workforce in September alone — four times more than men. The share of women in the workforce is now down to levels not seen since 1988.

  • Latina Women Left The Workforce At Three Times The Rate Of Women Overall In September. According to NPR, Latina women left the workforce at three times the rate of white women and at four times the rate of Black women in September. The number of Latina women in the workforce dropped by 2.7 percent between August and September, compared to 1.2 percent among all women — even as 87,000 Latino men joined the workforce.

Pandemic-Related Job Losses Will Have A Longstanding Toll On Women’s Careers And Exacerbate The Gender Pay Gap. Women who are forced to even temporarily exit the workforce as a result of job loss or caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic may see lower pay in the future. On average, salary offers for women who take time off are 7 percent lower than other candidates, according to an analysis by Payscale. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the pandemic will increase the gender pay gap by 5 percentage points. Per Bloomberg: “In a regular recession, the pay gap between men and women shrinks by two percentage points as men tend to get hit harder by job losses, according to the paper published this month. But in a pandemic recession, that gap increases by five percentage points.” 

Women Have Suffered Unique Health Implications During The Pandemic

Women Make Up More Than Half Of Essential Workers, And More Than Three-Quarters Of Health Care Workers. According to a New York Times analysis, 52 percent of essential workers are women. Notably, women make up 77 percent of the 19 million health care workers nationwide. In other words, nearly four out of every five workers in health care are women. As the pandemic worsens, health care workers have been among the hardest hit. 6 percent of adults hospitalized with coronavirus between March and May were health workers and the CDC warns that nurses remain at high risk of being infected. An October analysis by the CDC of 13 states found that women accounted for 72 percent of hospitalizations among health care workers during the first three months of the pandemic. 

Research Indicates That Women May Be Disproportionately Losing Health Insurance As A Result Of The Pandemic. Research has shown that more than 14 million people could have lost employer-sponsored health coverage as a result of the pandemic. Because women are losing employment at higher rates, it is likely they are more likely to be losing employer-sponsored coverage as well. At the same time, the Trump administration has refused to take commonsense steps to increase coverage, like opening a special enrollment period or further incentivizing states to expand Medicaid. Lack of health care may be contributing to women forgoing essential medical care like mammograms and pap smears. In June, 49 percent of women reported postponing medical care because of the virus, compared to 33 percent of men. Delaying preventive care can have devastating consequences. The National Cancer Institute projected more than 5,000 excess breast cancer deaths over the next decade as a result of the pandemic’s disruption in medical care. The 19th noted that this almost certainly will have a disproportionate impact on Black women, who already face a breast cancer mortality rate 42 percent higher than white women.

Maternal Health Is Suffering During The Pandemic. The pandemic is worsening already poor maternal health outcomes in the United States. After months of silence on the issue, the CDC reported that pregnant women are at high risk of serious illness if they contract the coronavirus. A June 2020 CDC study found that pregnant women with coronavirus had a 50 percent higher chance of being admitted to intensive care and a 70 percent higher chance of being intubated. Already, 27,566 pregnant women have been infected with the virus and 44 have died as of late October. Pregnant women of color have been infected at significantly higher rates than white women. By August, CDC data showed Hispanic and Latina mothers made up nearly half of coronavirus cases among pregnant women nationally. One study found that pregnant Black and Hispanic women in Philadelphia were five times more likely to be exposed to coronavirus. 

Health Care Coverage For Women Remains At Risk

If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from more than 20 million Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. Health care coverage for women is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic. Women are on the front lines of responding to the crisis as health care workers and other essential jobs and are therefore more likely to be exposed to the coronavirus. At the same time, the economic toll of the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, with millions losing jobs and health care coverage. 

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

  • GONE: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 69 percent. 
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Contraception coverage for 60 million people who now have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • GONE: A ban on discrimination for women, LGBTQ Americans, and individuals with disabilities in health care settings. 
  • GONE: Essential protections for breastfeeding parents, including workplace standards and access to breast pumps with no out-of-pocket costs.

68 Million Women With Pre-Existing Conditions Would Lose Protections. An estimated 68 million women and girls have pre-existing conditions that would be grounds for insurance companies charging more or denying them coverage without the ACA. According to Planned Parenthood, before the ACA: “Millions of women were denied coverage because of a range of health issues labeled as pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy, breast cancer, and irregular periods. Black and Latino women face higher rates of many chronic illnesses. As a result, higher premiums or denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions threaten the health and financial security of women of color the most.” 

Women Can 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 men for the same coverage. Without the ACA, women would also lose guaranteed coverage of preventive care services, like pap smears and mammograms. Before the ACA, 1 in 5 women reported postponing or going without preventive care due to cost.

More Than 60 Million People Could Lose Access To Birth Control With No Out-Of-Pocket Fees. The ACA guarantees that private health plans cover 18 methods of contraception and make them available to 62.4 million patients with no out-of-pocket costs. More than 99 percent of sexually-active women have used contraceptives at some point in their lifetimes, and approximately 60 percent of women of reproductive age currently use at least one birth control method. In addition to increasing access to this essential treatment, this ACA provision has saved money for women and their families: women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013.

Women, LGBTQ Americans, And Individuals With Disabilities Can Face Discrimination In Health Care Settings. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits discrimination the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any health program or activity receiving federal assistance. It also prohibits these types of discrimination in health programs and activities administered by HHS as well as the ACA marketplaces. 

Nursing Parents Would Lose Breastfeeding Support And Critical Workplace Protections. The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover breastfeeding support and counseling, as well as breast pumps without cost-sharing for pregnant and nursing women. 

Top Ways Trump Has Sabotaged Seniors’ Health Care

As President Trump makes a last-ditch effort ahead of the election to appeal to seniors, his record on health care speaks for itself. From the beginning of his presidency, Trump has waged a war on seniors. As the nation is continuing to battle a once-in-a-generation health care crisis, it has never been more clear that President Trump’s sabotage of seniors’ health care is especially dangerous. 80 percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths have been among people aged 65 and older, and more than 84,000 people have died in nursing homes nationwide. Meanwhile, Trump has continued his attacks on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — even as millions of seniors and older adults rely on these essential programs for care. Despite Trump’s repeated promises to protect seniors, his actions speak louder than his words. The danger of electing Donald Trump for a second term cannot be overstated. Now, more than ever, seniors’ health care is on the ballot.

Trump’s Failed Coronavirus Response Has Uniquely Impacted Seniors

The United States Has The Worst Coronavirus Death Toll In The World — And Eight In Ten Of Those Who Have Lost Their Lives Are Seniors. According to data from the CDC, roughly eight in ten of those who have lost their lives to coronavirus were 65 or older.

The White House’s Endorsement Of “Herd Immunity” Endangers Senior Citizens. Donald Trump has embraced the notion of herd immunity, advocating that the virus should spread through younger populations to hasten the end of the pandemic. Trump is operating off of the baseless assertion that the United States can achieve herd immunity if enough young people become infected, and is falsely claiming that the United States can protect vulnerable populations as it does so. But data suggests that increased spread among younger groups regularly precedes accelerated spread among seniors — demonstrating that Trump’s plan is just another abdication of responsibility that directly endangers senior citizens.

Donald Trump’s Rallies Have Directly Jeopardized The Health Of Seniors. Donald Trump has insisted upon hosting dangerous campaign events with seniors or in retirement communities, with no regard for social distancing measures, rising cases, or community spread. Some of these events have even taken place indoors. Experts widely agree that Trump’s campaign events are dangerous and targeting them toward seniors Trump is deliberately putting their health at risk. 

Forty Percent Of Coronavirus Fatalities In The United States Have Been Among Residents And Staff Of Assisted Living Facilities. According to AARP, more than 84,000 residents and staff of nursing homes have died from COVID-19, representing 40% of all fatalities in the United States. But federal policy has been slow to respond, and even now, cases are rising in these facilities. Nursing homes in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey and Wisconsin are experiencing surges in cases. At one facility in Kansas, every single resident was infected this month and ten have died.

  • The Trump Administration Rolled Back Oversight Of Nursing Homes Before The Pandemic. The Trump administration cut the size of fines for health violations in nursing homes. Federal records show that the average fine dropped to $28,405 under Verma’s tenure, down from $41,260 in 2016. Experts say that for large nursing homes, these smaller fines are merely a “rounding error” giving them less incentive to fix faulty and dangerous practices before someone gets hurt. According to Toby Edelman, a senior policy attorney and expert on nursing home regulation at the Center for Medicare Advocacy, found that the administration has largely pulled back its enforcement of “special focus facilities” –nursing homes cited for a pattern of serious infractions– issuing increasingly small fines even though the government continued to cite them for serious violations.
  • President Trump’s Failure To Ramp Up Testing Allowed Cases To Surge Among Nursing Home Residents. As coronavirus reached the United States, nursing homes were hard hit after President Trump failed to aggressively ramp up testing. Acute shortages of testing supplies blocked facilities from isolating infected residents, and soon, outbreaks were decimating entire facilities. Months into the pandemic, two-thirds of facilities still lacked test kits and supplies. When the Trump administration finally provided rapid tests to nursing homes to facilitate identification of traces, the tests provided faulty results, and nursing homes were saddled with the exorbitant costs of replenishing extremely limited supplies.
  • Donald Trump’s Failure To Ramp Up Supplies Of Protective Equipment Is Still Endangering Residents At Assisted Care Facilities. Donald Trump’s steadfast refusal to ramp up domestic supplies of protective equipment made infection control at assisted care facilities especially challenging. Unprotected workers unknowingly became infected with the virus, soon spreading it to more and more vulnerable residents. But little has been done to remedy these shortages — even now, every single state has nursing homes that are reporting less than a one week supply of protective equipment, while roughly a quarter of homes are experiencing a shortage. Meanwhile, nearly half of US nursing homes have staff infected with the virus. 
  • The Trump Administration Isn’t Sufficiently Tracking Nursing Home Outbreaks. Even as infections in nursing homes across the country skyrocketed, the Trump administration failed to track the number of cases and deaths in nursing homes until more than 100 days after coronavirus was detected in the United States. Experts say more comprehensive data is critical to battling the virus and understanding why it is spreading faster in some nursing homes than others. David Grabowski, professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School, noted that information-gathering and transparency could help prevent future outbreaks: “It’s impossible to fight and contain this virus if we don’t know where it’s located.” 

Trump Continues To Attack Medicare 

Medicare is a lifeline for seniors across the country. Despite promising to protect Medicare during his campaign, President Trump signed a tax bill that weakened the Medicare Trust Fund and repeatedly sought severe funding cuts for the program in his budget proposals. At the same time, he is refusing commonsense measures to lower drug prices for seniors. 

Trump Has Repeatedly Made Clear That If He Wins Re-Election In 2020, He’s Going To Cut Medicare. In January 2020, Trump made it clear he remained open to slashing benefits for vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security during an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum. 

Trump Has Proposed Steep Cuts To Medicare In His Budget Requests. Despite repeatedly promising not to cut Medicare, Trump’s 2020 budget proposal would have cut more than $800 billion from Medicare over a decade, or roughly 10 percent of Medicare’s funding over the next ten years to help pay for tax cuts to insurance and big drug companies. Most recently, Trump’s 2021 budget would have reduced Medicare spending by about $500 billion, in addition to more than $1 trillion in cuts to the ACA and Medicaid. 

Trump Signed A Tax Bill That Weakened Medicare Funding. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Trump’s signature tax law reduced federal income tax rates, which lowers payroll tax revenues, and repealed the ACA individual mandate penalty, which increases Medicare spending — “both of which adversely affected the solvency of the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund.” 

President Trump And His Republican Allies In Congress Will Not Allow Medicare To Negotiate For Lower Drug Prices Even As The Cost Of Drugs Skyrocket. Though 88 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, Republicans refuse to let Medicare negotiate. In December 2019, House Democrats passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to reduce the price of drugs for every American family by allowing the government to directly negotiate for lower drug prices for people with private insurance as well as Medicare. The bill would save households $158 billion over seven years. Despite his multiple campaign promises to let Medicare negotiate, Trump opposes the House’s plan. Meanwhile, more than 4,000 drugs saw price increases averaging 21 percent in 2019, and drug prices are steadily rising even as the nation fights the coronavirus crisis. 

Trump’s Efforts To Overturn The ACA Would Come At The Direct Expense Of The Medicare Trust Fund. A significant portion of the tax cuts resulting from ACA repeal would come “at the direct expense of the Medicare Trust Fund,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy priorities. Meanwhile, overturning the ACA would cut taxes for the top 0.1 percent of earners by an average of $198,000, and pharmaceutical companies would pay $2.8 billion less in taxes each year.

Trump Waged A War On Medicaid

More than 7.2 million American seniors and 8.5 million adults aged 50 to 64 have Medicaid coverage. The Medicaid program funds 53 percent of long-term care nationwide, providing critical support for America’s seniors relying on home care to meet their daily needs and for those living in nursing homes.

Trump Wants To Gut The Medicaid Budget. Despite promising not to cut Medicaid when he ran for office, President Trump has repeatedly asked for steep budget cuts to Medicaid and other essential health programs through his budget proposals. Most recently, Trump sought more than $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and the ACA for fiscal year 2021. His budget essentially ends Medicaid expansion by eliminating the enhanced federal payment and proposes nationwide work requirements, which experts estimate would cause up to 4 million people to lose coverage. 

Trump Has Championed Burdensome Paperwork Requirements. For years, Trump has empowered states to impose red tape and paperwork requirements as part of his ongoing efforts to dismantle Medicaid. Work requirements have been at the center of these efforts. After Arkansas imposed the nation’s first work requirements program, more than 18,000 residents lost Medicaid coverage. While work requirements have been blocked by a federal judge several times, the Trump administration keeps fighting to impose these onerous rules in Medicaid. A recent GAO report found that the administrative costs to implement the failed work requirement programs in five states topped $400 million. In addition to work requirements, the administration has encouraged states to impose other barriers such as increased eligibility verification as well as premiums and other cost-sharing. 

  • Requiring People To Work To Maintain Medicaid Coverage Is Particularly Burdensome For Older Adults. Less than half of American adults ages 55 to 64 work. Some are retired, and for many others, chronic health conditions make it difficult to maintain steady employment.

Trump Continues To Support Medicaid Block Grants. Ahead of the pandemic, the Trump administration announced guidance that could severely limit state funding for those enrolled in Medicaid expansion. Block grants are a blatant attempt to limit funding, gut coverage and kick people off the rolls. Importantly, under a block grant, federal funding would no longer necessarily increase in response to a public health emergency like coronavirus, potentially forcing states to limit enrollment or benefits. This could lead to people losing coverage and access to care, undermining prevention and treatment of diseases nationwide. 

Trump Wants To Eliminate Medicaid Expansion Through His Texas Lawsuit To Overturn The ACA. If successful, the lawsuit would terminate Medicaid expansion, threatening to rip away coverage from 15 million people and cut key funding for already-struggling rural hospitals during the pandemic. Research has shown that Medicaid expansion has resulted in healthier people, communities, and economies. One study even found that Medicaid expansion saved the lives of at least 19,200 older adults.

Trump Is Fighting To Overturn The ACA

Trump notoriously tried and failed multiple times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. All of the repeal bills that went through Congress would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums for millions more. Now the Trump administration has thrown its full support behind a lawsuit that would do the same. If the Republican lawsuit is successful, more than 20 million Americans will lose their coverage and more than 135 million people will lose protections for pre-existing conditions, including the millions of Americans who contracted the coronavirus. The lawsuit will be heard just one week after the election.

Trump’s lawsuit would result in devastating coverage losses and higher costs for seniors and older adults. Trump’s effort to overturn the ACA threatens to raise seniors’ drug costs and impose an “age tax” that would make them pay more for care. 

If The ACA Is Struck Down In Court:

  • 32 Million Older Adults With Pre-Existing Conditions Will Lose Protections. 135 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, including 17 million children, 68 million women, and 32 million people aged 55-64. Making matters worse, without the ACA, millions of Americans who have contracted the coronavirus would likely be deemed as having a pre-existing condition and be at the mercy of their insurance companies who could refuse to pay for needed care.
  • People Over The Age of 50 Would Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies could 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, according to the AARP.
  • Seniors Will Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. If the Republican lawsuit is successful, seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got 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 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report
  • 5.6 Million Million Older Adults Aged 50 To 64 Would Become Uninsured. According to estimates from the Urban Institute, the number of uninsured Americans would increase from 30.8 million to 51.9 million without the ACA. Americans of all ages would be impacted by coverage losses, but older adults would be hit the hardest, with an increase in uninsurance of 95 percent. 
  • Seniors Will No Longer Be Guaranteed Free Preventive Services And Annual Check-Ups. 60 million people with Medicare have access to free preventive services because of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Seniors Could Once Again See Less Coordinated Care. Provisions in the ACA encouraged groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers to come together to provide coordinated high-quality care to the Medicare patients they serve. In fact, 8.9 million Medicare beneficiaries are now benefiting from higher quality, more coordinated care. 
  • 60 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Could Face Higher Costs. In addition to paying more for preventive care and prescription drugs, Medicare beneficiaries could face higher premiums without the cost-saving measures implemented under the ACA. 

Republicans Put Politics Ahead of Health Care, Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court

Washington, DC — Today, Republican Senators voted to confirm anti-ACA Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. This confirmation means Justice Coney Barrett will be on the court to rule on the Trump-Republican lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas one week after the election, and if successful, the lawsuit would rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and remove protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions, in the middle of a pandemic. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“A vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is a vote against Americans’ health care, and today, Republican Senators once again made their position clear. They voted to rip health care away from more than 20 million Americans and remove protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions — in the middle of this pandemic — and they did it even though millions of voters were already casting their ballots. This is a health care election, and Republican Senators will see the consequences of their decade-long war on health care at the ballot box.” 

NEW VIDEO: U.S. Senate Democrats Discuss What’s at Stake for the ACA and Health Care Ahead of Final Confirmation Vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett

“Democrats Are Very Clear on Who We’re Listening to in This Fight: Patients and Families Who Are Terrified About What’s at Stake for Their Health Care and Rights” 

Last night, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Protect Our Care to discuss what’s at stake for health care and the Affordable Care Act ahead of the final Senate vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. One week after Election Day, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, Trump’s lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democrats highlighted that, if successful, the Trump-Republican lawsuit would strip over 20 million Americans of their health coverage and end protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions in the midst of the worst public health crisis in a century.

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U.S. Senate Democrats Join Protect Our Care Ahead of Final Senate Confirmation Vote for Anti-ACA Judge Amy Coney Barrett

Watch the Event Here

Washington, DC — Tonight, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Protect Our Care to discuss what’s at stake for health care and the Affordable Care Act ahead of the final Senate vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. One week after Election Day, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, Trump’s lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and Senate Republicans are rushing through Judge Coney Barrett’s nomination because they are confident she will vote to overturn the ACA in court. Senators highlighted the impacts of President Trump’s lawsuit to terminate the Affordable Care Act, which would strip millions of Americans of their health coverage in the middle of a global pandemic made worse by this administration’s failure to protect the American people.

“Democrats are very clear on who we’re listening to in this fight: patients and families who are terrified about what’s at stake for their health care and rights. And so, up until the very last minute, we are going to keep fighting against this nomination, delaying it as long as we can, and making it absolutely impossible for any Republican to claim, ever, that they didn’t understand what was at stake for patients and families in this vote,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).

“There’s no mystery here. Republicans say plainly that this nomination is an attack on Americans’ health care,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). “The Republican presidential platform calls for nominating judges who will reverse the Affordable Care Act. The Trump Justice Department is before the Supreme Court right now arguing to tear down the health care law. Just the other day, President Trump said ‘it’ll be good if they end’ the ACA. And this nominee has made it plain that respect for precedent in cases like the Supreme Court’s decisions to uphold the ACA isn’t a ‘hard and fast rule.’ The writing is on the wall.”

“I want to introduce you to someone who is a hero of mine, and who I brought into the committee hearing for the last couple of weeks: behind me is Conner Curran, he’s a ten-year-old boy who lives in Ridgefield. He suffers from a hideously debilitating form of muscular dystrophy. It’s a pre-existing condition. He is alive today because of treatment that his parents couldn’t have afforded without the Affordable Care Act. I brought Conner into that hearing room – his face and voice – to show the real harm to real people that will be done by striking down the Affordable Care Act. Last week, we boycotted the committee meeting, but Conner Curran was there. We left him and others so they could watch my Republican colleagues run away from this issue, because they know the American people are on our side,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

“There is a lot at stake with the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Republicans have rushed through the nomination of a judge who will almost certainly vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act and thus rip health care away from tens of millions of Americans,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). “The vote for the next Supreme Court Justice is about more than preserving current health care protections and Medicaid expansion, it is also about ensuring that we are not going backwards into the Dark Ages—when insurance companies could deny working families, children and seniors health care coverage. I will continue fighting to protect affordable health care for all Americans.”

“It is hysterical to watch our Republican colleagues try to pretend that the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is about anything other than their decade-long attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT). “We are here a week before the election getting ready for a rare Sunday night vote because of the Republicans’ ten year desire to destroy people’s health care.”

“My Republican colleagues want to rush this nominee through so that she can be the deciding vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act,” said U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH). “Their priorities are an outrage. We are doing everything we can to stop it. The American people are continuing to make their voices heard, and at the end of the day, we just need to keep fighting for health care because lives and livelihoods depend on it.”

“Senate Republicans are jamming through Trump’s anti-ACA pick for the Supreme Court because they think Judge Amy Coney Barrett will help them accomplish what they never could legislatively — completely overturn the Affordable Care Act and rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and remove protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “A vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote against Americans’ health care.”

Protect Our Care “Your Health, Your Vote” Virtual Bus Tour Week Six Wrap Up: North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia

Virtual Tour “Hit the Road” for Events with U.S. Senate Candidates Cal Cunningham, Jaime Harrison and Jon Ossoff, Members of Congress and Elected Officials in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia

On the sixth week of Protect Our Care’s 18-state “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour, Protect Our Care held events in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. During each stop, members of Congress, U.S. Senate candidates, elected leaders, health care advocates and storytellers from each state met in a virtual format to discuss President Trump’s complete mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and highlight the danger of allowing President Trump to pick the next Supreme Court justice. California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, will be heard one week after the election. If successful, the lawsuit would take away protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and rip coverage away from over 20 million Americans in the middle of a pandemic.

To date, bus tour stops have included:

  • Seven United States Senate candidates including Speaker Sara Gideon (ME), Captain Mark Kelly (AZ), Dr. Al Gross (AL), Gov. Steve Bullock (MT), Cal Cunningham (NC), Jaime Harrison (SC) and Jon Ossoff (GA)
  • Nine incumbent United States Senate Democrats including Senators Bob Casey (PA), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Tina Smith (MN), Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), Jacky Rosen (NV), Jon Tester (MT), Maggie Hassan (NH) and Mark Warner (VA)
  • 16 Democratic Members of Congress including Reps. Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Jason Crow (CO-06), Dina Titus (NV-01), Susie Lee (NV-03), Colin Allred (TX-32), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Joe Cunningham (SC-01) and Lucy McBath (GA-06)
  • Five Democratic Congressional candidates including Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-06), Dr. Cameron Webb (VA-05) and Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson (NC-08)

NORTH CAROLINA
Monday, October 19, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in North Carolina to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by Cal Cunningham, Attorney General Josh Stein, and Congressman G.K. Butterfield, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact North Carolinians’ care. They also called on Senator Thom Tillis to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans. 

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Coverage
The News & Observer: Cunningham won’t talk personal scandal, keeps his focus on health care in Senate race
WJZY, WFXB, WGHP, WNCN, WNCT: Coverage of Event

SOUTH CAROLINA
Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in South Carolina to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by Congressman Joe Cunningham and former South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact South Carolinians’ care. They also called on Senator Lindsey Graham to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans. 

 

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Coverage
NBC News 2: Congressman Joe Cunningham and Senate candidate Jaime Harrison participating in virtual tour stop
ABC News 4: Rep. Cunningham and Jaime Harrison headline virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour stop

GEORGIA
Thursday, October 22, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Georgia to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA-06), U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Georgians’ care. They also called on Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Watch the Event Here