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Mitch Harle

Democratic Leaders Remind Americans of Two Year Anniversary of GOP’s Reckless Vote to Strip Away Their Health Care

On Saturday May 4th, Democratic leaders from across the country marked the two year anniversary of the Republican-controlled House’s passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and the beer swilling celebration that ensued in the White House Rose Garden, by reminding Americans of the GOP’s reckless vote to take away their health care. Had it passed, the AHCA would have stripped coverage from millions and destroyed the nation’s health care system in the process.

By contrast, Democrats are pursuing an agenda to lower health care costs, improve care, protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination and roll back the Trump administration’s sabotage of the health care law.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Two years after their shameful vote to pass the #Trumpcare monstrosity, the GOP’s obsession with taking away Americans’ affordable, quality health care remains.” [Speaker Pelosi Twitter, 5/4/19]

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “2 years ago, @realDonaldTrump & the GOP laughed in the Rose Garden about their attempt to take health care from millions. It didn’t work then, but they’re still trying. Democrats will never stop fighting to make sure health care is a right, not a privilege.” [Sen. Schumer Twitter, 5/4/19]

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD): “Two years ago today, @HouseGOP & @POTUS cheered passage of #TrumpCare. After failing to enact it into law, the Trump Admin is seeking to invalidate the #ACA, taking away health coverage from millions & ending protections for those with pre-ex conditions.” [Leader Hoyer Twitter, 5/4/19]

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): “Today marks the 2 year anniversary of House Republicans passing legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, take away people’s health care & raise costs for people with pre-existing conditions. @realdonaldtrump thought it was funny. It’s not. #ProtectOurCare #WeWontForget.” [Sen. Baldwin Twitter, 5/4/19]

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): “Two years ago these guys celebrated a vote to take health care away from 23 million Americans. Dozens of them were kicked out of office by voters this fall and we are still fighting against GOP attempts to sabotage our health care system.” [Sen. Murphy Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL): “Two years ago today, every House Democrat voted against #Trumpcare — legislation that would have left millions more Americans without health coverage. Now, Democrats are continuing their commitment to expanding access to health care by protecting the ACA.” [Rep. Rush Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): “It’s been two years since House Republicans passed #TrumpCare and then went to have premature celebration in the Rose Garden with @realDonaldTrump. Thankfully that bill never became law, because it would have meant the loss of coverage and protections for millions.” [Rep. Schakowsky Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA): “First, Trump got the GOP Congress to vote to repeal the ACA. They failed. Repeatedly. Now, Trump has asked the court to dismantle the entire ACA, threatening the health of millions. We will fight in Congress, the courts, anywhere we need to protect your health care.” [Rep. Schiff Twitter, 5/5/19]

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN): “Two years ago @HouseGOP celebrated the passage of #TrumpCare. Thankfully it didn’t pass the Senate. Under their plan more than 20 million Americans would have lost coverage and premiums would have increased for everyone else.” [Rep. Cohen Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN): “Ripping health care from millions of people is nothing to celebrate, but that’s just what Republicans did after they passed #Trumpcare two years ago today. Thank goodness Americans’ tireless activism kept this awful bill from becoming law. Let’s keep striving to #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Carson Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL): “When you have breast and kidney cancer, the last thing you should be doing is focusing on how you would pay for health care. Grateful Americans banded together to defeat #Trumpcare!” [Rep. Wilson Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA): “5,489,162 Pennsylvanians live with a pre-existing condition. And every single one would have lost protections against insurance discrimination under the #Trumpcare legislation passed by the @HouseGOP two years ago today.” [Rep. Cartwright Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA): “Remember this? 2 years ago today, the @HouseGOP voted to gut protections for people with #preexistingconditions & take away health care of millions. Then, they threw themselves a party to celebrate. Well, guess what? They are at it again. #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Clark Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI): “Two years ago, @HouseGOP passed #Trumpcare. Hard to imagine that 536,800 people in Michigan would have lost their health coverage if #Trumpcare had become law. I’m grateful to everyone who spoke out and fought against this dangerous bill.” [Rep. Kildee Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ): “It’s been two years since Republicans voted to sabotage our nation’s health care system- and then pat themselves on the back for doing it. Here’s a look at the damage #Trumpcare would’ve done to YOUR coverage:” [Rep. Gallego Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA): “If passed into law, #Trumpcare would’ve been a disaster, causing over 2.5 million Californians to lose their health coverage. Proud to say I voted against this senseless legislation two years ago & am now working to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable care.” [Rep. Barragan Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA): “REMINDER: two years ago today, @realDonaldTrump & @HouseGOP applauded themselves for passing legislation that would’ve sabotaged our healthcare system and kicked over 20 million people off their insurance. #Trumpcare.” [Rep. Gomez Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ): “Today marks two years since the @HouseGOP passed their deadly #Trumpcare bill. If it had become law, it would have forced Arizona seniors to pay a $13,977 age tax on their health care by 2026. #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Kirkpatrick Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI): “#Trumpcare would have been an economic disaster for Michigan, costing 65,286 people in our state their livelihoods. Americans banded together to defeat it, and we’ll band together to expand the ACA and make health care more affordable. #ForThePeople.” [Rep. Levin Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL): “If #TrumpCare had become law, it would have forced: $7,189 age tax on Florida seniors’ health care by 2026. 7,839,642 Floridians with pre-existing conditions to lose protections. Today, Americans are standing up to #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Mucarsel-Powell Twitter, 5/4/19]

Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL): “Two years ago today, House Republicans celebrated passage of #TrumpCare that would have left millions of Americans without coverage. While the Administration continues to sabotage the ACA, I’m working to protect the affordable, quality health care we deserve. #ForThePeople.” [Rep. Underwood Twitter, 5/4/19]

Two Years After Their Shameful AHCA Vote, GOP is Still the Party of Health Care Sabotage

Washington, DC — On May 4, 2017, the Republican-controlled House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a disastrous piece of legislation that would have dismantled the Affordable Care Act and ripped health care away from 20 million Americans. This week, Protect Our Care released fact sheets and released a new digital ad highlighting the importance of May 4th, 2017 and the dangerous agenda the Republican Party continues to push. To mark the AHCA vote’s two year anniversary, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Two years ago today, Republican’s went to the White House to dance on the grave of the Affordable Care Act, but as it turned out they were digging their own political graves in the process. While they patted each other on the back and swilled beer to celebrate the passage of a bill to strip protections for 130 million people with pre-existing conditions and rip health care away from 20 million Americans, the American people took note and elected a pro-health care Democratic Majority in the House and sent scores of Republicans packing. Even though the GOP bill went on to fail, leading to a crushing defeat in the midterms, Republicans and President Trump have continued to sabotage America’s health care in the courts, in Congress, and within the administration. To mark this infamous day in our history we will continue to hold Republicans accountable for their all-out war on American health care.”

 

See the full list here

 

Background:

Fact Sheet: Two Year Anniversary of GOP’s Health Care Repeal

Two years ago, on May 4, 2017, the Republican House of Representatives passed the so-called “American Health Care Act,” or AHCA, a health repeal bill that would have cut coverage, increased costs, and eliminated protections for millions of Americans. The repeal plan allows insurers to charge people over 50 five times more for coverage – what AARP has called an ‘Age Tax’. And, the plan guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions, raising costs for a cancer patient by $150,000.

Last November, their votes on this bill lost Republicans the House in a landslide election for Democrats who ran on ending the the GOP war on health care and protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Care Repeal Would Have Meant Weaker Protections For Americans

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

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

Health Care Repeal Would Have Ended Medicaid As We Know It

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

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

Congressional Budget Office Report Shows Millions Will Lose Coverage in 2020 Due to Republican Sabotage

Washington, DC — Today, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new report detailing how Republican sabotage will strip Americans of health care and Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement in response:

“The latest CBO report on health insurance coverage shows that Republicans’ relentless sabotage agenda continues to threaten Americans’ lives and financial security. President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are more than willing to see two million more of their fellow citizens go without health insurance next year thanks to their harmful sabotage agenda. While Republicans continue to promote useless junk plans, attach onerous paperwork requirements on state Medicaid programs, and seek to overturn the our health care in court, millions of Americans – and our entire health care system – will suffer from their reckless policies.”

 

BACKGROUND

The Congressional Budget Office Cited The Administration’s Embrace Of Junk Plans As One Reason That Two Million More People Are Projected To Be Uninsured In 2020 Than Previously Estimated. “In 2019, 30 million people under age 65, or 11 percent of that population, are projected to be uninsured, an increase from 29 million in 2018 and 28 million in 2017 (see Figure 1-4). Increases in health insurance premiums and the elimination of the individual mandate penalty have contributed to that rise. An additional factor in the increase is people’s becoming aware of and enrolling in coverage (such as short-term, limited-duration plans that do not provide comprehensive major medical coverage) from sources that do not meet CBO and JCT’s definition health of health insurance.” [Congressional Budget Office, May 2019]

The Same Provision Of The GOP Tax Law That The Trump Administration Is Using To Argue That The Affordable Care Act Be Overturned In Federal Court Is Causing 7 Million More People To Be Uninsured In 2021 Than Would Have Been Otherwise. “In projections by the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the repeal of the penalty for not having health insurance starting in 2019 results in less insurance coverage. In total, the effects of that repeal that are described here are similar to those that CBO and JCT incorporated in the baseline a year ago. By 2021, in the current baseline, 7 million more people are uninsured than would have been if the individual mandate penalty had not been repealed; subsequently, that number remains roughly constant to the end of the projection period in 2029.” [Congressional Budget Office, May 2019]

Even More People Would Be Uninsured Because Of Republican Sabotage If Not For State Efforts To Expand Medicaid. “The effect of the repeal is partially offset by increases in coverage for other reasons. Most important, in the agencies’ projections, additional states expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and more people enroll in certain types of health insurance—specifically, those that are exempt from regulations governing the nongroup market but that nonetheless provide major medical coverage.” [Congressional Budget Office, May 2019]

Leaders Condemn Trump’s Doubling Down of Texas Lawsuit To Overturn Health Care

Last night, after the Trump Justice Department filed its brief in the Texas lawsuit arguing that the Supreme Court should strike down the Affordable Care Act, Democratic leaders from across the country reacted with condemnation and a call to defend the law and the protections it guarantees to every America.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “There Is No Viable Legal Argument And No Moral Defense For The Devastation The Trump Administration Is Asking The Court To Inflict On Americans’ Health Care.” “There is no viable legal argument and no moral defense for the devastation the Trump Administration is asking the court to inflict on Americans’ health care.  The Trump Administration owes the American people answers for why it is seeking to rip away protections for pre-existing conditions and cause such vast suffering for families across America.” [Speaker’s Office, 5/1/19]

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Trump Brief “Is Heartless And Wrong.” “The Trump administration’s brief arguing that the ACA is unconstitutional is heartless and wrong. Any Republican in Congress who refuses to oppose the DOJ’s action is complicit in their efforts to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions and strip away health care from millions.” [Sen. Schumer Twitter, 5/1/19]

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL): “The Trump Admin’s brief arguing the ACA is unconstitutional is wildly wrong. This is a heartless effort to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions & strip away health care from millions. Republicans should stand with Democrats against it.” [Sen, Durbin Twitter, 5/2/19]

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR): “If you have a pre-existing condition, are pregnant, need prescription medication, or struggle with mental illness, the Trump administration is coming for your health care coverage.” [Sen. Wyden Twitter, 5/2/19]

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA): “If President Trump wins against health care, families lose. They’ll lose their health care, lose protections for pre-existing conditions, and lose to insurance companies who will have free rein to deny coverage and leave patients to shoulder high costs.” [Sen. Murray Twitter, 5/1/19]

Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA): “The Trump Administration chose to abandon ship in defending the #ACA and the hundreds of millions of Americans who depend on it for their medical care. Our legal coalition will vigorously defend the law and the Americans President Trump has abandoned.” [AG Becerra Twitter, 5/1/19]

Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA): “Today in the news: AG Barr’s testimony to Congress. Today in court: Trump’s DOJ just filed a brief attempting to entirely dismantle the #ACA. We aren’t distracted – we’re focused on protecting people’s health care. #ACA is law of the land. Period.” [AG Shapiro Twitter, 5/1/19]

Attorney General Keith Ellison (D-MN): “The Trump Admin said yesterday they’re fine with endangering 2.3M Minnesotans with preexisting conditions & 2.7M who get free preventive care. When they won’t defend Americans, I’ll defend Minnesotans. That’s why I’m one of 21 AGs defending the ACA.” [AG Ellison Twitter, 5/2/19]

Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): “Lying to the American people undermines rule of law. It must be called out. But the effort to take away healthcare protection from more than 100 million ppl w/ pre-existing conditions is a clear and present danger.House Dems will fight #ForThePeople.” [Rep. Jeffries Twitter, 5/2/19]

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH): “This is completely unacceptable. The Trump admin is attempting to strip health care from millions of Americans & as many as 118,000 Granite Staters. My resolution directs the Trump admin to reverse course & defend Americans’ access to vital care and comprehensive coverage.” [Sen. Shaheen Twitter, 5/2/19]

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): “While all eyes were on the Barr hearing yesterday the Trump administration took a big step to try and strip health care away from millions of Americans.” [Sen. Murphy Twitter, 5/2/19]

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA): “The President wants to take health care away from more than 20 million Americans. That sentence never gets any less horrifying.” [Sen. Kaine Twitter, 5/2/19]

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH): “The Administration just filed a new brief arguing the entire ACA should be struck down – including protections for pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion and more. We can’t let this get lost in all the news today. #ProtectOurCare.” [Sen. Hassan Twitter, 5/1/19]

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI): “This is going to sound like my typical shtick given the events of today but seriously in the middle of the Barr testimony they were in court TRYING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR HEALTH CARE.” [Sen. Schatz Twitter, 5/1/19]

Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA): “The Trump admin just filed a brief trying to dismantle the ENTIRE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. 130 million people w/pre-existing conditions could lose coverage. 13 mill people covered by Medicaid could lose coverage. 2.3 mill young adults could lose coverage. We can’t stand for this.” [Gov. Newsom Twitter, 5/1/19]

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD): “Yesterday, the Trump Administration doubled down on their cruel attacks on the ACA. @HouseDemocrats will continue our fight to ensure that Americans —especially those with pre-existing conditions—  have access to the lifesaving healthcare they need.” [Rep. Cummings Twitter, 5/2/19]

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA): “Capping a historically awful day for the Justice Department, the DOJ under Trump just filed a brief which would, if successful, endanger health care for 20,000,000+ Americans and strike down provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage.” [Rep. Beyer Twitter, 5/1/19]

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ): “Republicans can’t seem to understand: the American people don’t want to see their health care & pre-existing condition protections torn away.” [Rep. Watson Coleman Twitter, 5/2/19]

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO): “@HouseDemocrats are fighting to: Protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, Lower health insurance premiums, Make Rx drugs more affordable. Meanwhile, the Trump admin is focused on stealing health care from millions. #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Cleaver Twitter, 5/2/19]

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA): “Gee, I wonder what @realDonaldTrump is trying to distract us from today? But one thing @POTUS can’t distract us from because it’s in court: Trump is suing to eliminate health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.” [Rep. Lieu Twitter, 5/1/19]

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA): “This week, Democrats held a hearing to enshrine health care as a right in this country. Meanwhile, @realDonaldTrump & GOP proudly stood behind a lawsuit that would take away health care from millions & render it useless for millions more. There’s only one party of health care.” [Rep. Kennedy Twitter, 5/2/19]

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE): “This is yet another in a long line of attempts to undermine the #ACA and health coverage for millions of Americans. I am working with my @HouseCommerce colleagues to #ProtectOurCare, lower costs, and increase access to care #ForThePeople.” [Rep. Blunt Rochester Twitter, 5/2/19]

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN): “President Trump’s request to strike down the ACA is cruel and irresponsible. If his request is granted, more than 2 million Tennesseans with pre-existing conditions risk losing their health coverage – with no alternative plan and no other options. Is that really what we want?” [Rep. Cooper Twitter, 5/2/19]

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL): “If @POTUS gets his way with this cruel lawsuit, 1.6 million Floridians would lose their health care. It could rip away coverage for 300K people in #FL26, including thousands of children. We must #ProtectOurCare from these heartless attacks.” [Rep. Mucarsel-Powell Twitter, 5/2/19]

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA): “We’ve stopped them before. Mark my words: we will stop them again. I’m fighting to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. I’m fighting for the millions who’d be uninsured w/o the #ACA. I am always fighting to #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Porter Twitter, 5/2/19]

New CMS Rule Callously Targets Unions at the Expense of Home Care Workers and the Patients Who Rely on Their Care

Washington, DC — Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rolled back an Obama-era policy that allowed home care workers to opt into having union dues deducted directly from their paychecks or make contributions to a retirement fund. The new rule, designed to stop home care workers from contributing their own wages to support their union, sets them apart from most union members like teachers and police officers. In response, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“This blatant politically-motivated move by the Trump administration to target unions means that home care workers will no longer be able to contribute to their own health care through payroll deductions. Through union membership, home care workers are able to negotiate better training, higher wages, and basic benefits and improve the quality of home care for seniors and people with disabilities in the process. This new rule does nothing to address the issues faced by this industry – including worker shortages and cuts in Medicaid funding – but instead targets an already vulnerable population.”

“A Truly Indefensible Position” Trump Administration Asks Court To Tear Down Affordable Care Act

Last night, the Trump administration filed its brief in the Texas lawsuit, arguing that the court should overturn the Affordable Care Act, dismantle protections for people with pre-existing conditions, force premiums and drug costs to rise, and end Medicaid expansion.

Take a look for yourself:

Associated Press: Trump, GOP States Ask Appeals Court To Kill The Affordable Care Act. “Taking a harder line on health care, the Trump administration joined a coalition of Republican-led states Wednesday in asking a federal appeals court to entirely overturn former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law — a decision that could leave millions uninsured… A court victory would fulfill Trump’s goal of undoing the law, but it could be politically costly for the GOP by ending popular provisions such as protection for pre-existing conditions and coverage for young adults on their parents’ health plans.” [Associated Press, 5/1/19]

New York Times: Trump Administration Files Formal Request To Strike Down All Of Obamacare. “In filing the brief, the administration abandoned an earlier position — that some portions of the law, including the provision allowing states to expand their Medicaid programs, should stand. The switch, which the administration disclosed in late March, has confounded many people in Washington, even within the Republican Party, who came to realize that health insurance and a commitment to protecting the A.C.A. were among the main issues that propelled Democrats to a majority in the House of Representatives last fall.” [New York Times, 5/1/19]

Axios: The Trump Administration’s Case For Killing The ACA. “Even that logic only takes you as far as striking down the mandate and protections for pre-existing conditions — the provisions Congress said were tied together. But that’s not the case DOJ is making. It says the whole ACA should go.” [Axios, 5/2/19]

USA Today: Filing “Signaled A No-Holds-Barred Effort By The Justice Department To Wipe Out A Law That Has Extended Insurance To 20 Million Americans.” The court filing, while expected since late March, signaled a no-holds-barred effort by the Justice Department to wipe out a law that has extended health insurance to 20 million Americans. In court papers filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the administration argued that Congress made the law untenable in 2017 by eliminating tax penalties for people who do not purchase insurance. The provision was part of the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul passed by Republicans in 2017.” [USA Today, 5/1/19]

CNN: “If The Law Is Struck Down, It Would Be A Major Victory For President Donald Trump, Who Has Worked His Entire Presidency To Wipe Away A Signature Legislative Achievement Of The Obama Administration.” “The Trump administration offered its first full argument Wednesday for its reversal on the Affordable Care Act, arguing in new court filings that the entire law ‘should not be allowed to remain in effect.’…If the law is struck down, it would be a major victory for President Donald Trump, who has worked his entire presidency to wipe away a signature legislative achievement of the Obama administration.” [CNN, 5/1/19]

Wall Street Journal: Filing “Is A Legal, Political, And Policy Gamble By The Trump Administration, Suggesting How Much The President Still Wants To Dismantle His Predecessor’s Signature Health Law.” “The department’s shift is a legal, political and policy gamble by the Trump administration, suggesting how much the president still wants to dismantle his predecessor’s signature health law after a failed ACA repeal effort by congressional Republicans in 2017…If the Republican lawsuit is successful, it would doom all of the sprawling ACA, including its Medicaid expansion, health insurance market changes, new taxes, insurance premium subsidies, changes to the way health providers get paid and state grants to combat chronic disease. It would also end the ACA’s coverage protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, an especially contentious political issue in the 2018 midterm elections.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/1/19]

Experts were outraged:

Jonathan Adler, Conservative Legal Scholar: “The Department Of Justice Disregarded Its Own Long-Standing Norms And Practices In Refusing To Defend A Readily Defensible Federal Law.” “‘The Department of Justice disregarded its own long-standing norms and practices in refusing to defend a readily defensible federal law and failing to urge the court to dismiss this case in the first place,’ said Jonathan H. Adler, a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law who is no fan of the health care law but has questioned the current legal challenge, on Wednesday.” [CNN, 5/1/19]

Nicholas Bagley, Professor Of Law At University Of Michigan: “It Is A Truly Indefensible Position. This Is Just Partisan Hardball.” ”This is a testament to the outrageousness of the Justice Department position, that no reasonable argument could be made in the statute’s defense…It is a truly indefensible position. This is just partisan hardball.” [New York Times, 5/1/19]

New Digital Ad Calls For an End to the Republican War on Health Care Two Years After AHCA Vote

Washington, DC – Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new digital ad in advance of the two year anniversary of the Republican-controlled House’s passage — and subsequent celebration at the White House — of the disastrous American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4th, 2017. The ad highlights the damage that could have been done had the bill become law of the land and its release falls on the day of a key deadline in the Trump-Texas lawsuit where the Trump administration must explain its decision to double down on its support for the lawsuit. On the release of the new ad Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“Voters haven’t forgotten when Republicans cheered and celebrated in the Rose Garden after voting to strip health care away from millions of Americans two years ago. Even after getting crushed in the midterms, President Trump and his GOP allies in Congress continue to attack our health care system by pushing their sabotage agenda on Capitol Hill and through the courts with the destructive Texas lawsuit. The American people will always remember the disgraceful AHCA vote on May 4th, 2017 as a symbol of the GOP’s war on health care, and there’s no doubt they will continue to hold Trump and the Republican Party accountable for their cruel and reckless actions to take away their health care.”

Watch the Ad Here

Background:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Care Repeal Would Have Meant Weaker Protections For Americans

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

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

Health Care Repeal Would Have Ended Medicaid As We Know It

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

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

“Now We’re Going For The Rest” President Trump Boasts About Sabotaging Our Health Care, Vows to Rip Coverage Away From Millions More

Video: Here

Washington, DC — Today, while speaking at the NRA Convention, President Trump made his intentions to rip away our health care perfectly clear stating, “We got the individual mandate, the absolute worst part of Obamacare eliminated, now we’re going for the rest. And we had it done except for one vote. You know what I’m talking about. One vote.” In response, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“President Trump will not stop until he’s ripped healthcare away from every American who benefits from the healthcare law – and he’ll brag about it in front of his right wing friends. This President won’t be satisfied until he rips away health care from 20 million Americans, destroys Medicaid and strips protections from over 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions in the process. Voters overwhelmingly rejected his agenda of repeal and sabotage in November but he could care less as long as he gets his way no matter how many Americans are harmed in the process.”

Rep. Pocan, Lt. Governor Barnes, Protect Our Care Denounce Trump’s Health Care Sabotage Ahead of His WI Rally

WI Elected Officials, New PPP Poll Make Clear That Wisconsinites Reject Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

Full press call audio here

Washington, DC – On a press call today, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-2) and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes along with Protect Our Care criticized President Trump ahead of his rally in Green Bay tomorrow for his continued attacks on our health care laws and denounced his disastrous Texas lawsuit, which puts the health care of millions of Wisconsinites at risk. Participants on the call described how Trump’s lawsuit would impact Wisconsinites by eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions and gutting Medicaid funding, and destroying the nation’s entire health care system in the process. Also on the call, Jim Williams with Public Policy Polling discussed a new poll which made clear that President Trump’s war on health care is actively hurting his chances of keeping Wisconsin in his win column in 2020.

If President Trump thought he would get a warm welcome tomorrow in Wisconsin, he’s in for a rude awakening as Wisconsinites are fed up with his relentless and repeated attacks on their health care,” said Representative Mark Pocan. “President Trump has relentlessly attacked our health care system while Wisconsin Republicans cheer him on as he takes action to rip apart our health care laws without regard for the millions of Americans who stand to lose their health care.”

“Voters in Wisconsin sent a clear message in November by electing myself and Governor Evers: they want Medicaid expanded and the relentless attacks on Winscontinites health care from Republicans to end,” said Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes. “Medicaid expansion would help 82,000 more Wisconsinites finally access health care coverage and bring in more than $1 billion in federal funding, and we aren’t going to give up until everyone in Wisconsin has the coverage and care they deserve.”

“Here’s what you won’t hear Trump talk about on stage tomorrow: How his disastrous Texas lawsuit would rip apart the nation’s health care system, and strip coverage from more than 150,000 Wisconsinites and over 20 million Americans,” said Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach. “Wisconsin voters are rejecting Trump’s war on health care, and we are thankful to have leaders like Congressman Pocan and Lieutenant Governor Barnes fighting against his reckless acts of sabotage and moving forward on an agenda of lowers costs and better care for Wisconsinites and all Americans.”

Full press call audio here

Shameful Effects of President Trump’s Anti-Health Care Agenda On Full Display As 860,000 Kids Lose Coverage

Washington, DC — Today, Georgetown University estimated using CMS released data that more than 861,000 thousand children lost their Medicaid/CHIP coverage in 2018 due to the Trump administration’s repeated attempts to gut the programs. In response to this news, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“The news that over 800,000 children lost their health care due to Republicans’ repeated attempts to gut Medicaid and CHIP is a disgrace and the Trump administration ought to be ashamed for putting the lives of children at risk. If Trump’s desired outcome in his war on America’s health care was to kick hundreds of thousands of children off their insurance, then mission accomplished.”

BACKGROUND

Restricting access to Medicaid for adults reduces children’s coverage. Republican efforts to shrink Medicaid enrollment will harm families. Research tells us that children’s coverage depends in part on their parents’: “When parents lose coverage, children are at greater risk of becoming uninsured, even if they remain eligible for Medicaid and CHIP.”

Going into 2018, Republicans held CHIP funding hostage in an “unprecedented delay” that allowed CHIP’s funding to lapse temporarily. Georgetown’s Center on Children and Families previously cited this lapse in partially explaining the decline in children’s enrollment: “Even states with the best intentions were unable to withstand strong national currents to protect children from losing health coverage. These national currents include a lengthy and ultimately unsuccessful congressional effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cap federal Medicaid funding, as well as an unprecedented delay by Congress that allowed CHIP funding to lapse temporarily. In addition, Congress repealed the ACA’s individual mandate and the Trump Administration made numerous efforts to undermine the ACA Marketplaces, including dramatically cutting outreach and enrollment grants and shortening the open enrollment period.”

President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have repeatedly tried to slash funding for Medicaid and impose per-capita caps on coverage. In 2017, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) repeal bill, which included a per capita limit on federal Medicaid spending that would have resulted in huge cuts to Medicaid across states. After failing to pass the AHCA in the Senate, Republicans have continued to launch relentless attacks on Medicaid. The Trump administration’s budget for 2020 calls for  $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and would impose a nationwide Medicaid work requirement.

The Trump administration is encouraging states to impose work requirements and other bureaucratic restrictions on Medicaid enrollment in order to deny coverage. Experts warn that work requirements are fundamentally bureaucratic hurdles designed to restrict access to health care rather than increase employment. Already, more than 18,000 have lost their Medicaid in Arkansas because of the work requirement the state imposed last year. Now, the Trump administration is proposing a nationwide work requirement for those with insurance through Medicaid.

President Trump and Congressional Republicans are targeting Medicaid to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest. In 2017, President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy. How do Republicans plan on paying for it? Former Speaker Ryan’s answer was clear: “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” In an attempt to pay for these tax cuts, last April, House Republicans passed a balanced budget amendment that would slash Medicaid funding by $114 billion in a single year alone. Just a few weeks ago, President Trump announced his FY20 budget which would block grant Medicaid, cutting the program by $1.5 billion over ten years.

President Trump fully backs a lawsuit that would end Medicaid expansion. By expanding access to Medicaid for parents, children were more likely to gain coverage. One study estimated that between 2013 and 2015, 710,000 low income children gained coverage because of Medicaid expansion.