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Mitch Harle

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.

Watch the Video

Watch the Video

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. 

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 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.

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Republicans Can’t Hide Their History of Opposing Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

After Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee jammed through a vote to advance the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and ahead of tonight’s presidential debate, Protect Our Care is setting the record straight about Republicans’ history of opposing protections for pre-existing conditions. They have voted time and time again to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act and its protections for more than 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Now, they are rushing Judge Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court to help them dismantle the ACA. On November 10, one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit to terminate the ACA and throw the entire American health care system into chaos in the middle of an ever-worsening pandemic. No matter how Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress try to trick voters as they head to the polls, their health care sabotage record is clear. 

Top Ways Senate Republicans Have (and Continue to) Undermine Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions

During the week of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, Senate Republicans lied about their health care records by claiming that they support protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said “every member of the Senate agrees we are going to protect pre existing conditions.” Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) said “Republicans are all clearly on board that we’re covering pre-existing conditions.” These blatant lies are just another election year stunt to try to distract voters from their decade-long war on American health care.

The reality is that President Trump and his enablers in the Senate see the nomination of Judge Coney Barrett as their opportunity to accomplish what they haven’t been able to do in Congress — completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. One week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that if successful, would overturn the ACA, eliminate its protections for pre-existing conditions and throw our entire health care system into chaos. Trump and Senate Republicans want to send an anti-ACA Justice to the Supreme Court to rig the outcome of their lawsuit, and they believe Amy Coney Bryant will do just that. 

Here Are The Top Ways Senate Republicans Have Undermined Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions:

1. The Texas Lawsuit

Undoubtedly the most imminent threat to people with pre-existing conditions, California v. Texas could completely overturn the ACA and its critical protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. The lawsuit was brought by Republican attorneys general and supported by the Trump administration. 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. Without the ACA, insurance companies could have the license to do this again. Every single Republican in the Senate voted for the Trump tax bill, which formed the basis of the entire lawsuit seeking to overturn the health care law. Senate Republicans refused to sponsor a resolution that would authorize Senate legal counsel to defend the Affordable Care Act. And earlier this month, Senate Republicans blocked a motion to advance a bill that would protect the ACA in the Supreme Court challenge.

2. Pushing Junk Plans

In 2018, the Trump Administration finalized a rule expanding the availability of “short-term, limited duration” plans that are not required to cover pre-existing conditions. Short-term plans offered bare-boned, skimpy coverage and were originally designed to be temporary coverage and limited to three months in duration, but the administration now allows them to be available 364 days and renewed up to three years. Junk plans can also deny coverage for prescription drugs, preventative care, and other essential health benefits. Experts warned that, in addition to hurting the people who purchase this substandard coverage, reviving junk plans could increase premiums and destabilize the market for everyone else.

Junk plans are particularly harmful 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 junk plans have been left with thousands of dollars in medical bills for seeking treatment for coronavirus symptoms. All but one Republican senator voted against a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of short term health care plans.

3. Supporting ACA Repeal

Before the ACA became law, health coverage on the individual market was described as the “wild wild West” of health insurance marketplaces. That was because consumers were at the mercy of insurance companies that could deny coverage, drop coverage, or charge people more based on their health status, gender, and age. The ACA required “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” in the individual market — meaning insurance companies could no longer deny or drop coverage because of health status, and they could not charge people more based on health status or gender. It also imposed limits on how much more insurance companies could charge people over 50 compared to younger people. 

Every single Republican senator has either voted against the initial passage of the ACA, voted in favor of ACA repeal, or explicitly expressed support for overturning the ACA at some point in their careers. Senate Republicans have repeatedly tried to enact legislation that would repeal the ACA and undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions. For example, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller bill would have allowed states to waive key parts of the ACA such as the “essential health benefit” provision. Chris Sloan, senior manager at the health research firm Avalere, said that under Graham-Cassidy, “you can be charged more for a specific condition.” And the Washington Post noted, “For example, if you are a cancer survivor, an insurance company can’t deny you coverage or increase your premiums because of that pre-existing medical condition. But if the state waived the essential health benefits package and insurers redesigned their plans, and the plans didn’t cover certain cancer treatments or prescription drugs, then the cost could fall on you.”

4. Pushing Sham Bills for Political Cover

In a blatant attempt to provide cover for himself and his colleagues, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) released bill text for the “The Protect Act.” During Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, Senate Republicans repeatedly touted this bill as confirmation that Republicans have a plan if the ACA is overturned and that they support guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. However, there is a huge catch: under Tillis’s legislation, insurance companies could once again impose lifetime limits and refuse to cover services related to a pre-existing condition. In other words, without the ban on annual and lifetime limits, a patient with cancer – whose costs for treatment average about $150,000 – could quickly reach their plan’s coverage limit and face the devastating choice of continuing treatment or facing financial ruin. Moreover, while Tillis’s bill claims to prohibit insurance companies from excluding coverage of treatments based on a person’s pre-existing condition, insurers could deny coverage of certain treatments across the board. So insurance companies could still refuse to cover this person’s chemotherapy drugs because they would no longer need to cover essential health benefits. This is all assuming that the patient wasn’t already paying higher premiums for being a woman or over the age of 50 — both of which are authorized under this legislation. 

Similar legislation from Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), the “Pre-Existing Conditions Protections Act of 2020,” would — despite its name– give power to insurance companies to deny coverage outright based on a pre-existing condition. The bill would not ensure coverage of essential health benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care and cancer treatments, and it would allow insurance companies to place yearly and lifetime limits on essential benefits

Fact Checks Confirm Senate Republicans Are Lying Through Their Teeth

Washington Post Fact Checker Gave “Four Pinocchios” To Senator John Cornyn’s Claim That He Supports Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions. “Cornyn has been silent on the lawsuit, but his Senate record speaks for itself: numerous votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act or replace it with weaker tea; a pair of proposals that could saddle sick patients with higher, and possibly prohibitive, costs; and voting against a measure just last month that would have barred the Justice Department from arguing to strike down the entire health-care law in court. Cornyn earns Four Pinocchios.” [Washington Post, 10/14/20

The Washington Post Fact Checker Gave Senators Steve Daines, Cory Gardner, And Martha McSally “Four Pinocchios” For False Claims On Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions. “Voters deserve straight answers when their health care is on the line, especially in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Daines, Gardner and McSally have voted to end the Affordable Care Act. People with preexisting conditions would have been left exposed because of those votes; insurers could have denied coverage or jacked up prices for sick patients. The three senators’ comments about the GOP lawsuit are woefully vague, but they can all be interpreted as tacit support. Asked about the case, a Daines spokesperson said ‘whatever mechanism’ to get rid of the ACA would do. McSally’s campaign ‘didn’t specifically answer, but pointed to her general disapproval of the ACA.’ Gardner avoided the question six times in one interview, but in another, he said: ‘That’s the court’s decision. If the Democrats want to stand for an unconstitutional law, I guess that’s their choice.’ Four Pinocchios all around.” [Washington Post, 7/15/20

Politifact Rated Senator David Perdue’s Claim That He Believes “Health Insurance Should Always Cover Preexisting Conditions” As “False.” “Perdue said that his policy is that ‘health insurance should always cover preexisting conditions. For anyone. Period.’ Perdue opposes the Affordable Care Act and weighed in on the side of short-term health plans that lack some of the ACA’s strong protections for people with preexisting conditions. Perdue’s bill to maintain those protections contains loopholes that insurance companies could use to avoid covering certain conditions. Perdue’s promise is sweeping and absolute. The policies he has backed offer some limited protections, but don’t match that promise. We rate this claim False.” [Politifact, 9/3/20

Kaiser Health News/Politifact Rated Martha McSally’s Claim That She Will “Always Protect Those With Preexisting Conditions” As False. “In her new TV ad, McSally claims she will ‘always protect those with preexisting conditions.’ But nothing in her voting record, which tracks closely with the Republican repeal-and-replace philosophy, supports this claim. And she has continually declined opportunities to oppose a pending legal threat to the ACA, including its provisions related to preexisting conditions, by a group of GOP governors and supported by the Trump administration. Meanwhile, the legislation her campaign cited to justify her stance falls short in terms of meaningfully protecting Americans with preexisting medical conditions. McSally has not in the past or present taken actions that back up her statement. We rate it False.” [Kaiser Health News, 6/29/20

NO PLAN: Trump’s Disastrous “60 Minutes” Interview Proves He Still Doesn’t Have A Plan to Replace the ACA If the Law Is Terminated at the Supreme Court

Washington, DC — Today, President Trump released footage from a “60 Minutes” interview with Lesley Stahl, which he abruptly walked out of this past weekend. It’s clear why he jumped ship. When asked about a health care plan and his lawsuit to destroy the Affordable Care Act in court, the president reaffirmed that he wants the Supreme Court to strike down the law. In response to the newly-released footage, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Once again, Donald Trump showed us that his only health care plan is his lawsuit, which would take away Americans’ health care in the middle of an ever-worsening pandemic, one week after Election Day. If successful, Trump’s lawsuit would rip health care from over 20 million Americans and end protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Trump’s disastrous interview shows he and the GOP have never had any other plan than to completely destroy the ACA and throw the entire American health care system into chaos.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans Vote to Advance Anti-ACA Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS Nomination as Fate of the Law Rests in the Hands of the Court

A Vote for Judge Coney Barrett is a Vote Against Americans’ Health Care

Washington, DC — Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted today to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination to a full Senate floor vote, despite her unwillingness to answer questions about Americans’ health care during her hearings last week and President Trump’s transparent intent to rush her onto the court to overturn the ACA. 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 Republicans are rushing through Judge Coney Barrett’s nomination while voters are already casting ballots for the 2020 election because they are confident she will be a reliable vote to overturn the ACA in court. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“With today’s vote, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have made crystal clear where they stand on the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. As her nomination moves to the floor of the Senate, their Republican colleagues should bear in mind that a vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a vote against Americans’ health care. In a desperate bid to hold onto power, Republicans have been misleading voters ahead of the election about protecting voters with pre-existing conditions, but their actions speak louder than their lies. The truth is, they are in court right now trying to overturn the ACA, the gold standard for protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and they are rushing Judge Coney Barrett onto the court to help them do it.”

Report: Why the ACA Is the Gold Standard for Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Protect Our Care “Your Health, Your Vote” Virtual Bus Tour Week Five Wrap Up: Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Montana

Virtual Tour “Hit the Road” for Events with U.S. Senate Candidate Governor Steve Bullock, Members of Congress and Elected Officials in Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Montana

On the fifth week of Protect Our Care’s 16-state “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour, Protect Our Care held events in Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Montana. During each stop, members of Congress, a U.S. Senate candidate, 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:

  • Four United States Senate candidates including Speaker Sara Gideon (ME), Captain Mark Kelly (AZ), Dr. Al Gross (AL) and Governor Steve Bullock (MT)
  • Eight 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), Mark Warner (VA) and Jon Tester (MT)
  • 13 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) and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07)

COLORADO
Monday, October 12, 2020: Protect Our Care Colorado was joined by Congressman Jason Crow, 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. 

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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 Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen and Representatives Dina Titus and Susie Lee, 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.

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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 Collin 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.

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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.

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MONTANA
Friday, October 16, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual tour arrived in Montana, headlined by Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock, 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. 

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