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Mitch Harle

Granite Staters Won’t Hear President Trump’s Real Health Care Agenda at His Rally Tonight in New Hampshire: Terminating American Health Care

Tonight, President Trump is holding a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, but Granite Staters will likely hear more lies instead of the truth about his health care agenda. Right now, President Trump and his Republican allies are trying to rip away our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. In 2018, a group of Republican attorneys general filed suit seeking to overturn the entire health care law. They were joined in this effort by the Trump administration, which is refusing to defend the law in court. The case is currently before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the health care of tens of thousands of Granite Staters hangs in the balance.  

Next Tuesday, Protect Our Care will host New Hampshire leaders and health care advocates as part of a nationwide bus tour to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Granite Staters’ health care and discuss Trump’s true agenda: to strip health care from millions of Americans. Speakers will highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, contrasting it to Congresswoman Annie Kuster’s legislation to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s resolution that directs the Trump administration to reverse course and defend Americans’ access to vital care and comprehensive coverage. 

The Republican Health Care Emergency Hurts New Hampshire Families

If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of 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. This Republican health care emergency is threatening to unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system.  Here’s what’s at stake in New Hampshire: 

If Republicans Get Their Way, 89,000 Granite Staters Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 89,000 Granite Staters could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 89,000 Granite Staters would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 136 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
    • 43,000 Granite Staters in the 1st District could lose coverage.  The Center for American Progress estimates that 43,000 Granite Staters in the 1st Congressional District would have their coverage ripped away if the Republican lawsuit succeeds at striking down the entire ACA. 
  • 9,000 New Hampshire young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.

If  Republicans Get Their Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For More Than 550,000 Granite Staters With A Pre-Existing Condition

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

  • 572,200 Granite Staters have a pre-existing condition, including 62,700 New Hampshire children, 269,000 New Hampshire women, and 155,500 Granite Staters between ages 55 and 64. 

If Republicans Get Their Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 690,524 Granite Staters Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 690,524 Granite Staters, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage. 
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $2,750 in New Hampshire. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $2,750 in New Hampshire, according to the AARP.
  • 31,179 Granite Staters in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 31,179 in New Hampshire.
  • 21,150 New Hampshire Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In New Hampshire, 21,150 seniors each saved an average of $1,139.

If Republicans Get Their Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  • 57,000 Granite Staters Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 57,000 in New Hampshire.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving New Hampshire hospitals with $234 million more in uncompensated care. 

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Labor and Health Care Leaders Call Out Republicans For Reckless Lawsuit to Overturn Health Care, Highlight Democrats’ Lower Costs, Better Care Agenda

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum; Attorney General Keith Ellison; SEIU; Planned Parenthood; TakeAction MN Join Protect Our Care on Nationwide Bus Tour to Highlight What’s At Stake for Minnesotans In Trump-GOP Lawsuit to Overturn Health Care

St. Paul, MN — This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide Health Care Emergency Bus Tour arrived in St. Paul to call attention to Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and the threat posed by Texas v. United States, the Trump-GOP lawsuit to overturn the health care law. Headlined by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04) and Attorney General Keith Ellison, the event highlighted how Trump’s lawsuit would harm Minnesotans’ care, called on Republicans to denounce the lawsuit, and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Ellison and McCollum were joined by Minnesota’s leading health care advocates including Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, and health care activists from SEIU and TakeAction MN.

You can watch the event here.

“The ACA isn’t perfect, but I voted for it in Congress – and voted against repealing it more times than I can count – because it was an important step to making sure we can all have access to care that helps us afford our lives and live with dignity and respect,” said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. I’m not in Congress any more, but I’m still defending the ACA, this time in court as Attorney General. After all these years, it’s still hard to understand what Republicans have against affordable health care for the greatest number. But it’s not hard to understand why Americans need it and want it and are fighting to keep Republicans for taking it away from them. I’ll keep fighting for them and with them.”

“While Democrats are determined to make universal health care a right for all Americans, anyone with a pre-existing condition knows their health care is hanging on by a thread,” said U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum. “Millions of Americans are at risk unless we all stand united in stopping the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress from achieving their goal of destroying the ACA and patient protections. Protecting our care is a necessity and it is a fight we must win.”

“Reproductive health care is the foundation of freedom and autonomy for women,” said Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “Without the ability to decide when and whether to have children, women can’t control any other aspect of our lives—like getting an education, starting a business, or running for office. We know this—and so does the Trump administration. For reasons that we simply don’t understand, it’s this very freedom and autonomy that the president and his allies seem to resent and fear the most. And so they want to take us back to a medieval era in which women don’t have reproductive health care, or control over their bodies or their futures.”

“My son Scott receives personal care from a team of PCAs that keeps him alive at a fraction of the cost placing him in an institution would cost taxpayers,” said SEIU health care activist Delores Flynn. “Beyond the costs, Scott is a human being who wants to be at home with his family and his dogs. The fact that Republicans are talking about rolling back healthcare protections for people like Scott makes me sick. Why is this even a conversation? My son is a living and breathing pre-existing condition. If the current administration is successful in revoking this aspect of the ACA my son would die. No alternatives, he would die. I remember when the republicans were saying during the debates on this bill many years ago that there would be death panels. Well, if they repeal this law, they will be creating their own death panels and I’m horrified to think what that would mean for so many of us.”

“Cutting lifesaving programs like Medicaid and repealing the ACA will hurt people like me,” said Rachel Zemmer, TakeAction Minnesota member. “Legislators are financing tax breaks for billionaires and it’s costing us—the people—our health care. It’s wrong. I’m going to keep fighting for a people-centered health care system that leaves nobody out.”

Later today, “Care Force One” will head to Iowa, where Protect Our Care will be joined by health care advocates from across the state. For more information, please visit protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Bus Tour” is making stops in: 

Las Vegas, NV on Monday, August 5, 2019

Phoenix, AZ on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tucson, AZ on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Santa Fe, NM on Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pueblo, CO on Thursday, August 8, 2019 

Denver, CO on Friday, August 9, 2019

St. Paul, MN on Monday, August 12, 2019

Des Moines, IA on Monday, August 12, 2019

Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Livonia, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Harrisburg, PA on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bethlehem, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

The Republican Health Care Emergency Hurts Minnesota Families

President Trump and his Republican allies are trying to rip away our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.  In 2018, a group of Republican Attorneys General filed suit seeking to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act. They were joined in this effort by the Trump administration, which is refusing to defend the law in court.  The case is currently before the 5th Circuit of Appeals and the health care of millions of Minnesotans hangs in the balance.  

If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of 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.  This Republican health care emergency is threatening to unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system.  Here’s what’s at stake in Minnsota: 

If Republicans Get Their Way, 265,000 Minnesotans Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 265,000 Minnesotans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 265,000 Minnesotans would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 80 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 38,000 Minnesota young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.

If  Republicans  Get Their Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For Over Two Million Minnesotans With A Pre-Existing Condition

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

  •  2,331,000 Minnesotans have a pre-existing condition, including 307,100 Minnesota children, 1,154,000 Minnesota women, and 568,600 Minnesotans between ages 55 and 64. 

If Republicans Get Their Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 2,761,583 Minnesotans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 2,761,583 Minnesotans, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage. 
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $4,805 in Minnesota. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $4,805 in Minnesota, according to the AARP.
  • 65,153 Minnesotans in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 65,153 in Minnesota.
  • 66,930 Minnesota Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In Minnesota, 66,930 seniors each saved an average of $1,077.

 

If Republicans Get Their  Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  •  206,700 Minnesotans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 206,700 in Minnesota.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving Minnesota hospitals with $1.1 billion more in uncompensated care. 

Minnesota’s Democratic House Members Are Standing Up For Minnesotans’ Care 

Under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, the Democratic majority has been pursuing an aggressive strategy to lower costs, improve care, and block the Texas lawsuit and Republican sabotage: 

  • Minnesota Reps. voted to block the Trump Department of Justice from undermining the ACA. Reps. Craig, McCollum and Phillips voted for Lauren Underwood’s resolution to prevent the Department of Justice (DOJ) from spending federal funds on litigation that undermines the Affordable Care Act, including Texas v. United States.  
  • Minnesota Reps. voted to allow the House to intervene against the Texas lawsuit. Reps. Craig, McCollum and Phillips  voted for a House rules resolution that allowed Congress to intervene against the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit. The resolution affirms the House Counsel’s authorization to intervene as a party in the lawsuit, asserting the House of Representative’s authority to defend laws it has passed and enacted into law.
  • Minnesota Reps. voted to condemn Trump’s reckless attacks on Americans’ health care. Reps. Craig, McCollum and Phillips voted for Collin Allred’s resolution condemning the Trump administration’s ongoing assault on the American health care system, including the Texas lawsuit.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS & THAT: Minnesotans Don’t Think Trump is Doing Enough on Health Care

THIS: President Trump promised a plan to repeal the ACA and make health care more affordable, but according to Minnesotans, he has put “zero effort” into a plan and “spends all this time just criticizing the other people and doesn’t do anything positive” on health care. [Axios, 8/12/19]

THAT: Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) and Attorney General Keith Ellison will join their fellow Minnesotans in St. Paul as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on health care, highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Texas lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and discuss how Democrats in Congress are working to lower costs and improve care.

 

Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” Bus Tour Week One Wrap Up: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico & Colorado

 

Watch all bus tour stops here. 

On the first week of Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 21-event, 13-state nationwide bus tour, “Care Force One” traveled to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Santa Fe, Pueblo and Aurora. During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers joined Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. 

LAS VEGAS, NV:

Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (NV-01) and Susie Lee (NV-03), cancer survivors and health care advocates Laura Packard and Joe Merlino, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada executive director Laura Martin, and representatives from the Offices of Congressman Steve Horsford (NV-04) and U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto for a press conference at the SEIU Nevada Local 1107 office. Watch the press conference here.

U.S. Representative Dina Titus: “Today I attended the nationwide kickoff of the @ProtectOurCare bus tour to bring awareness to Republicans’ continued attacks on our healthcare system. That’s why I voted to let the House step in to protect the Affordable Care Act and the millions who depend on it. #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Titus Twitter, 8/5/19]

U.S. Representative Susie Lee: “Proud to help kick off the #HealthCareEmergency Bus Tour with @ProtectOurCare! I’ve made it clear that I will fight any and every effort that threatens Nevadans’ access to quality and affordable healthcare. Great to see @lpackard back in NV!” [Rep. Lee Twitter, 8/8/19]

Las Vegas Review Journal: Democrats launch bus tour to highlight Affordable Care Act lawsuit

Watch the event here

PHOENIX, AZ:

Outside the Arizona State Capitol Building, Protect Our Care hosted a press conference with State House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez, ER physician and cancer research advocate Dr. Hiral Tiperneni and health care advocate Laura Packard.

Leader Charlene Fernandez: “Make no mistake, while Democrats debate Medicare for All, Republicans continue to attack our current healthcare by working on a full repeal of Obamacare through the courts. We need to fight to #ProtectOurCare.” [Leader Fernandez Twitter, 8/6/19]

Dr. Hiral Tiperneni: “A big thanks to @ProtectOurCare for bringing their #HealthCareEmergency tour to Phoenix and highlighting this critical issue that we face. The health and well-being of our families should never be a partisan issue. #PeopleOverPolitics #AZ06.” [Dr. Tipirneni Twitter, 8/6/19]

KTAR: Clip 

Watch the event here

TUCSON, AZ:

The “Health Care Emergency Tour” rolled into Tucson and held a press conference outside Planned Parenthood with Tucson PPFA executive director Genesis Cabillas, emergency medical physician Dr. Larry DeLuca, and health care advocates Alicia Held and Laura Packard. 

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick released a statement on the Tour stopping in Arizona’s 2nd congressional district: “After traveling the district, it’s clear that rising health care costs is a top concern for Arizona families; they want proactive solutions to fixing our health care system. As you may know, I am not afraid of taking a bold stance on health care. In 2009, I cast my proudest vote in support of the Affordable Care Act, which secured access for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. As the Trump administration continues to try and dismantle ACA protections and make health care coverage a wealthy privilege, my democratic colleagues are debating ways and passing legislation to make it more affordable. Southern Arizonans are all too familiar with the fear of losing their health care. I believe I’m fighting here today because our community knows how important it is to elect a healthcare leader. And my actions and votes prove that you can count on me to protect your care.” 

KVOA: “Health care advocates, residents and  those fighting illnesses met this morning for the “Protect Our Care AZ Health Care Emergency” conference. Two women fighting illnesses spoke on the importance of the affordable care act.” [KVOA Twitter, 8/7/19]

Watch the event here.

SANTA FE, NM:

Outside the New Mexico State Capitol building on Santa Fe, Protect Our Care was joined by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Attorney General Hector Balderas, and health care advocates Laura Packard and Lan Sena for a press conference.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham: New Mexico has fought back against efforts to dismantle the ACA & take away health care from millions: Protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions: ✅ Covering all essential benefits: ✅ Prohibiting junk health plans: ✅ Protecting New Mexicans from surprise billing: ✅.” [Gov. Lujan Grisham, 8/8/19]

Watch the event here.

PUEBLO, CO:

Protect Our Care and health care advocate Laura Packard met with Hilary Glasgow, President of the Southern Colorado Labor Council, outside Senator Cory Gardner’s office in Pueblo to deliver a copy of the Shaheen Resolution, calling on him to denounce the Trump-Texas lawsuit and defend the ACA. The building’s management tried to keep Laura and members of the press from going up to Gardner’s office, and once she and the press arrived, Gardner’s district director showed them the door, forcefully asking them to leave.

Watch the event here.

AURORA, CO:

In Aurora, Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Representative Jason Crow (CO-06), State. Rep. Dominique Jackson, and health care advocates Laura Packard, Gail DeVore and Elizabeth Emerson for a press conference at the local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. 

Watch the event here and here

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Tour” Continues In: 

St. Paul, MN on Monday, August 12, 2019

Des Moines, IA on Monday, August 12, 2019

Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Livonia, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Harrisburg, PA on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bethlehem, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

For more information on the Protect Our Care Health Care Emergency Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

Debate Coverage Highlights Democrats’ Missed Opportunity To Talk About Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

Washington, DC — Coverage from this week’s debates highlights the missed opportunity Democrats had when it came to calling out the biggest ongoing threat facing Americans’ health care: President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to destroy health care. And Republican are also failing to take action to lower the costs of prescription drugs and hold drug and insurance companies accountable, an issue poll after poll shows voters want action on. 

“Health care won Democrats the election in 2018 and is the number one issue for voters in every poll about 2020,” said Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach. “Democrats want to lower costs, protect people with pre-existing conditions, expand coverage and stop the relentless GOP war on American health care. President Trump and Republicans want to protect the drug and insurance industries, gut projections for pre-existing conditions and take health insurance away from tens of millions. The differences could not be more important or more obvious.” 

  • USA Today Editorial Board: Democrats Should Focus On Trump’s “Tag-Team” Approach To Repealing The ACA. “In 2017, President Donald Trump came within a hair of repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Undaunted, he is now pushing a tag-team approach, where his Republican allies in Congress repeal a key part of it, and his allies in robes repeal the rest of it. If Trump were to succeed, and because he has no viable plan to replace Obamacare, tens of millions of Americans would lose their coverage, people with preexisting conditions would become vulnerable and an entire industry would be thrown into disarray.” [USA Today, 8/1/19]
  • The New York Times: It Was Easy To Imagine House Democrats Who Campaigned On Health Care “Being Aghast” At The Fact That Not A Single Candidate Mentioned The Texas Lawsuit. “Republicans watching the debate may well have been smiling; the infighting about taking away people’s ability to choose their health care plan and spending too much on a pipe-dream plan played into some of President Trump’s favorite talking points. Mr. Trump is focusing on health proposals that do not involve coverage — lowering drug prices, for example — as his administration sides with the plaintiffs in a court case seeking to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act, putting millions of people’s coverage at risk. It was easy to imagine House Democrats who campaigned on health care, helping their party retake control of the chamber, being aghast at the fact that not a single candidate mentioned the case.” [The New York Times, 7/30/19
  • Washington Post: Democrats’ ‘missed opportunity’ to talk about drug prices. “’There is such a disconnect between what the polling shows voters want, and where the debate is,’ said Dan Mendelson, founder of Avalere Health, a Washington-based consulting firm. Polls show that the American public wants the government to improve health care more than any other issue. And in one survey late last year by the Harvard School of Public Health and Politico, respondents were asked to choose the aspects of health care they considered extremely important for the government to address. Lowering prescription drug prices was listed by 92 percent of those surveyed — more than any other issue.” [The Washington Post, 8/1/19

THIS WEEK: Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” Bus Tour Kicks Off With Stops in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado

“Care Force One” Will Travel to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Santa Fe, Pueblo and Aurora, for Events Highlighting the Health Care Emergency Created By Trump’s Lawsuit and Democrats’ Agenda to Improve Care and Lower Costs

Washington, DC — On the first week of Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 22-event, 13-state nationwide bus tour, “Care Force One” will travel to Las Vegas and continue onward for stops in Phoenix, Tucson, Santa Fe, Pueblo and Aurora. During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers will join Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Event participants will also discuss the Democratic agenda to lower costs and improve health care. 

The week begins on Monday in Las Vegas, NV:

WHO: U.S. Representative Dina Titus (NV-01)

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate 

               Joe Merlino, cancer survivor and health care advocate 

               SEIU (Service Employees International Union)

               PLAN (Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada)

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Nevada Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: SEIU, 2250 S Rancho Dr, Las Vegas, NV

WHEN: Monday, August 5, 2019 at 1:30 PM PDT

 

The week continues Tuesday in Phoenix, AZ:

WHO:  State House Minority Leader Rep. Charlene Fernandez

               Dr. Hiral Tipperninai, ER physician and cancer research advocate

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate 

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Arizona Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Arizona State Capitol Building, Phoenix, AZ

WHEN: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:00 AM MST

 

On Wednesday, “Care Force One” makes a stop in Tucson, AZ:

WHO:  U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)

               Dr. Larry DeLuca, University of Arizona College of Medicine

               Genesis Cubillas, Planned Parenthood Director

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

               Jeff Jeans, cancer survivor from Sedona, AZ

               Steve Gomez, father of a son with a pre-existing condition

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Arizona Health Care Emergency” Roundtable 

WHERE: Planned Parenthood, Tucson, AZ 

WHEN: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:30 AM MST

 

Next up on Thursday, Protect Our Care heads to Santa Fe, NM:

WHO:  Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

               NM Attorney General Hector Balderas

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

WHAT: “Protect Our Care New Mexico Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Santa Fe, NM

WHEN: Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 10:00 AM MDT

 

The first week ends with events on Friday in Pueblo, CO:

WHO:   Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Colorado Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Pueblo, CO

WHEN: Friday, August 9, 2019 at 10:00 AM MDT

 

And in Aurora, CO:

WHO:  U.S. Representative Jason Crow (CO-06)

               Laura Packard, cancer survivor and health care advocate

WHAT: “Protect Our Care Colorado Health Care Emergency” Press Conference 

WHERE: Aurora, CO

WHEN: Friday, August 8, 2019 at 2:00 PM (local)

*More speakers to be announced throughout the week

 

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Tour” Continues In: 

St. Paul, MN on Monday, August 12, 2019

Des Moines, IA on Monday, August 12, 2019

Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Detroit, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Youngstown, OH on Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Allentown, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019

Scranton, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019 

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

For more information on the Protect Our Care Health Care Emergency Bus Tour visit  https://www.protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ 

Senate Democrats’ Resolution Would End Trump Administration’s Push to Expand Junk Plans That Discriminate Against People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, DC — Today, Senate Democrats led by Senator Mark Warner (VA) held a press conference announcing the introduction of a resolution to invalidate the Trump administration’s “State Relief and Empowerment Guidance,” which allows states to push harmful junk plans and ignore protections for people with pre-existing conditions put in place by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In response, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“The contrast couldn’t be clearer: Senate Democrats are focused on saving vital protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions by reversing President Trump’s harmful promotion of junk plans, while Republican Senators want to send us back to the days when insurance companies could write the rules and deny coverage or charge more for people with pre-existing conditions. A vote against this resolution shows once again that Republican Senators who claim to protect people with pre-existing conditions are not telling the truth.”

BACKGROUND

Here is what Trump’s 1332 waivers without appropriate guardrail protections could mean for consumers:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be essentially meaningless. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said allowing states to waive essential health benefits “could render those protections meaningless” for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • It would be harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get affordable coverage. As Consumers Union stated, allowing states to waive essential health benefits would be “putting meaningful coverage out of reach for many Americans, especially those with chronic and pre existing conditions.”
  • You could pay more for the same coverage. 1332 waivers allow states to adjust the amount of premium tax credits and cost sharing consumers receive to help lower their costs. Without the guardrail to ensure coverage is just as affordable, many consumers could end up paying more for the same care. For example, Iowa and Oklahoma are pursuing waivers that change who can be eligible for tax credits and limiting how those tax credits are adjusted. In addition, Oklahoma wants to be able to charge people over 50 five times as much as younger people.
  • Insurers would not have to cover essential benefits, like maternity care. Right now, every insurance plan must cover the 10 essential health benefits. Because states could opt out of covering these basic benefits, insurers would likely only offer policies that covered much less than they do now. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that the benefits most likely to no longer be covered would be maternity care, mental health or substance abuse coverage. According to the Brookings Institution, the result would be “that no one in a state’s individual market that waived EHBs would have access to comprehensive coverage. Insurers would likely sell separate policies for benefits not covered in their core plan offerings, but these supplemental policies would be subject to tremendous adverse selection, leading to very high premiums and enrollment almost exclusively by those with pre-existing conditions.” For example, a woman who purchases a separate insurance rider for maternity care would have to pay $17,320 more, according to the Center for American Progress. For states that no longer required substance use disorders or mental health to be covered, coverage for drug dependence treatment could cost an extra $20,450.
  • Insurers could reimpose lifetime and annual limits. Allowing states to opt out of the essential health benefits coverage means that insurance companies could once again put lifetime and annual limits on the amount of care you receive. Moreover, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, this would even impact people with coverage from their employer: “The ACA’s prohibition on annual and lifetime limits is tied to the definition of Essential Health Benefits. Thus, repeal of Essential Health Benefit standards could make this protection meaningless, putting almost all Americans with private health insurance coverage — not just those with individual or small-group market coverage — at risk.” The Center for American Progress estimates that 20 million people with health coverage through their employer would face lifetime limits on coverage, and 27 million would face annual limits.

Trump Administration’s Latest Move on Drug Prices is More About Rhetoric Than Results

Washington, DC — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposal to potentially allow Americans, after a long regulatory process and action by individual states, to import select prescription drugs from Canada, but fails to include any negotiating power for Medicare. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“If President Trump and Secretary Azar are serious about standing up to the drug companies, they’ll stop blocking plans that let Medicare negotiate for less expensive drug prices. Instead of taking meaningful action to lower drug prices, the GOP is busy blocking Medicare drug negotiations, filling a lawsuit against health care that would raise drug prices, and gladly giving out hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to drug and insurance companies. It’s clear that when it comes to lowering drug prices, Donald Trump is long on rhetoric and empty on results.” 

BACKGROUND

Trump’s Proposals Always Fall Far Short Of His Promises. President Trump promised that he would allow Medicare to use its buying power to negotiate drug prices directly with suppliers, but after meeting with pharmaceutical executives early in 2017, Trump abandoned that pledge, calling it “price fixing” that would hurt “smaller, younger companies.” 

Trump And His Republican Allies Continue To Block Medicare Negotiation For Lower Drug Prices. Even though  86 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, Republicans refuse to allow Medicare to negotiate. A 2018 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Democratic Committee report found that Medicare Part D could save $2.8 billion in a single year if it were allowed to negotiate drug prices. Although it would decrease both federal spending and beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, a policy allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries was recently blocked by Senate Republicans. 

Medicare and Medicaid, Lifelines For Millions of Americans, Still Under Attack by GOP 54 Years After Being Signed Into Law

Washington, DC — 54 years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. Since then, both programs have improved the well-being of millions of Americans and saved countless lives in the process. Yet Republicans continue to do everything they can to slash their budgets and kick millions of Americans off their coverage. To mark this important anniversary, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Medicare and Medicaid are crucial lifelines for millions of Americans, but the programs remain under constant assault by Republicans who want nothing more than to gut or out-right end them. From slashing funding for both programs in their budgets, supporting the ongoing Trump-Texas lawsuit to eliminate Medicaid expansion entirely and imposing onerous paperwork requirements for Medicaid coverage, Republicans have stopped at nothing to strip health care from millions of Americans. While President Trump and Republicans’ never-ending war on health care rages on, Medicare continues to provide quality care for American seniors and Medicaid expansion proves to be an unmitigated success that saves the lives of children, families and people with disabilities every single day.”

BACKGROUND

HERE ARE SOME OF THE WAYS REPUBLICANS HAVE TRIED TO UNDERMINE MEDICARE:

  • Trump’s 2020 budget proposal would cut more than $800 billion from Medicare over a decade. Despite repeatedly promising not to cut Medicare, President Trump’s budget would cut roughly 10 percent of Medicare’s funding over the next ten years to help pay for tax cuts to insurance and big drug companies.
  • Trump and his Republican allies support a lawsuit that would overturn the entire ACA and re-open the “donut” hole, forcing seniors 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.
  • As the cost of drugs skyrocket, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress will not allow Medicare to negotiate for better prescription drug prices. Under current law, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is explicitly prohibited from negotiating directly with drug manufacturers on behalf of Medicare Part D enrollees. Although it would decrease both federal spending and beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, a policy allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries was recently blocked by Senate Republicans.

 

WHO GETS HURT FROM THE GOP WAR ON MEDICAID?

  • Children & Families. Roughly 34.9 million children in the United States are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Nationally, nearly 2 in 5, or 39% of children in America have health insurance through Medicaid, as do 17 Percent of parents. 49 percent of births are covered by Medicaid.
  • Seniors. More than 6.9 million American seniors have Medicaid coverage. More than 8.5 million Americans ages 50 to 64 have health coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid covers 6 in 10 nursing home residents
  • People with disabilities. Nearly 8.7 million adults enrolled in Medicaid have a disability. Of this group, only 43 percent qualify for social security income. More than 1 in 3 adults under age 65 enrolled in Medicaid lives with at least one disability. Medicaid covers 45 percent of nonelderly adults with disabilities, including adults with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and mental illness.
  • People in rural areas. The ACA has expanded access to health care to nearly 1.7 million rural Americans who have gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion, not only playing a central role in improving rural communities’ health, but also supporting these communities’ economic well-being. Medicaid covers nearly 24 percent of rural Americans, 45 percent of rural children, 15 percent of rural seniors, and pays for 51 percent of rural births. The uninsured rate in rural areas in states that expanded Medicaid has dropped by a median of 44 percent since expansion. 

 

 

 

 

Democrats’ Debate On Ways to Improve Health Care Exposes Republicans’ Plan to Burn Down the Entire System

Washington, DC — In advance of the second Democratic debate in Detroit, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement about the real political choice voters face when it comes to their health care:

“In Detroit, Democrats will continue to discuss their ideas to lower health care costs and protect coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions, a direct contrast to Republicans who are actively trying to rip away coverage from millions of Americans. While Democrats are discussing ways to improve American health care, Republicans have tripled down on a lawsuit that would overturn our health care: eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions while raising premiums and prescription drug costs. No matter how rigorous the debate is on our side, voters know that the real choice on health care is between Democrats who want to improve it and Republicans who want to blow it up.”