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Anti-Health Care Nominee Chad Readler Is Voted Out Of Committee By Senate Republicans 


Senate Republicans Once Again Turn Their Backs On People With Pre-existing Conditions With Anti-Health Care Vote

Washington DC — Today, on a party-line vote, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to allow Chad Readler’s nomination to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to proceed to the full Senate for debate and a vote. Readler led the effort in the Trump Justice Department to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions by filing a brief on behalf of the Trump administration in Texas v. United States arguing in favor of striking down the Affordable Care Act’s provisions to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage, or charging more because of a pre-existing condition. In December 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in favor of the Republican plaintiffs and said the entire ACA should be struck down. Now, Mitch McConnell is breaking with longstanding Senate norms to jam through this nomination by ignoring the objections of Readler’s home state senator, Sherrod Brown. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“A vote for Chad Readler is a vote for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. His confirmation vote is a litmus test for Republican’s claims to protect people pre-existing conditions and today they failed that test. Readler wants to go back to the days where insurance companies could deny, drop or charge more for coverage and end protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions. The stakes couldn’t be clearer, the full Senate must stand up for people with pre-existing conditions and block Chad Readler from a lifetime appointment to the court.”

Background:

As Acting Assistant Attorney General, Chad Readler filed a brief on behalf of the Trump administration in Texas v. United States arguing that protections for people with pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act should be struck down. This put the full weight of the Department of Justice behind the Republican war on health care to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In December, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Republican plaintiffs, striking down the entire ACA. If this ruling is allowed to stand:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.

New Web Video: Time To Stand Up To Big Drug Companies

Yesterday, House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings kicked off the new Health Care Congress by taking a stand for Americans and standing up to the drug companies. Cummings explained that when these drug companies (some of the most powerful corporations in the world) raise prices suddenly, everyday Americans are “left holding the bill.” That’s why we proposed in our Health Care Agenda that Congress should end price gouging and lower prescription drug prices for all Americans. We look forward to working with this health care Congress as they fight to push our health care system in the right direction.

Watch Video Here:

 

 

Protect Our Care Releases Agenda for The Health Care Congress: Lowering Cost, Expanding Coverage, Strengthening Consumer Protections

After Election Decided on Health Care, Leading Advocacy Group Launches Health Care Agenda and Campaign to Pass It

Washington DC — For over a year, health care has been the dominant issue for Americans of all backgrounds, and the millions of Americans across the country who went to the polls in the 2018 midterms to voice their outrage over the Republican war on health care confirmed it.  The mandate is clear: voters elected a “Health Care Congress” to lower costs and improve care. Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a comprehensive agenda for congressional action: The Health Care Congress: Cost, Coverage, Consumer Protections and kicking off a campaign in states and congressional districts across the country to pass it.

“This agenda is rooted in the voices of millions of Americans who took to the polls demanding affordable health care with strong protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “Health care was the dominant issue in the 2018 midterms and is the number one issue voters want Congress to fix in 2019. Americans want common-sense solutions that lower costs of drugs, stop surprise medical bills, and end junk insurance plans. Americans want Republicans to stop putting the interests of drug and insurance companies above the people’s interest. Now is the time to roll back Republican sabotage and move forward.”

“This agenda outlines how Americans in overwhelming numbers rejected the war on health care being waged by President Trump and his Republican allies,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “The Republican repeal and sabotage agenda, that has defined the Republican party for almost a decade, cost them scores of seats during the midterm election and paved the way for Democrats to protect our care. Now as we enter this new ‘Health Care Congress,’ Protect Our Care is poised to hold Republicans accountable, both in DC and in their home districts, all while promoting our own agenda. Voters sent a clear message in November, now we must remain focused on health care to expand coverage, increase protections and make care affordable.”

We hope the policy prescriptions outlined in this agenda will serve as the blueprint for action in 2019. Protect Our Care will distribute this agenda to every member of Congress and will launch campaigns in states and congressional districts across the country to get it passed. Employing the same tactics it used to defeat repeal, Protect Our Care will conduct events, stage protests, host town hall meetings, engage grassroots activists and mount digital and paid advertising campaigns in support of this health care agenda and the efforts of health care champions in the House and Senate to pass it.

Read the full report here. A summary of the agenda from the report can be found below.

 

Do Everything Possible to Overturn the Federal Court Decision that Struck Down the Affordable Care Act

  • Oppose the Texas ruling by a conservative federal judge in the Northern District of Texas that overturned the entire Affordable Care Act by passing a Senate Resolution to similar to the House measure that authorizes the House legal counsel to intervene in the lawsuit and oppose the Republican attorneys general, governors, and Trump Administration who are continuing the war on health care through the courts.

End the War on People with Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Stop insurance companies from selling junk health insurance that allows them to deny quality, affordable coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.  These kinds of short term plans should be limited to three-months with no option for renewal.
  • Guarantee protections for pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits. Require all health plans to cover the “essential health benefits” included in the law, ensure guaranteed issue and community rating, and prohibit insurance companies from imposing lifetime and annual limits on the amount of care a patient can receive.

Lower Costs

  • Lower the costs of prescription drugs. Pass legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for all beneficiaries; end price gouging by requiring drug manufacturers to give notice and justify significant price increases; and require transparency of rebate amounts.
  • End surprise medical bills. 57 percent of Americans have received a surprise bill. Too many  people go to a hospital or Emergency Room that is in their network, but get billed for services provided out-of-network, subjecting them to huge bills, as much as six figures. Congress should pass legislation to end surprise medical bills and limit the amount a provider can charge to a negotiated rate.  
  • Expand financial assistance by expanding the eligibility for premium tax credits above 400 percent of the federal poverty limit and increase the size of the tax credit for all income brackets.
  • Expand services before deductibles, examples would include three primary care visits and one specialist visit that are not subject to a plan’s deductible.

End Republican Sabotage

  • Fully support Open Enrollment by restoring funding to the pre-Trump levels and making all information about ways to sign up for coverage easily accessible for everyone.
  • Oppose waivers that undermine the ACA and allow states to skirt key provisions of the law.

Strengthen Medicaid and Medicare

  • Improve Medicare’s affordability by adding an out-of-pocket maximum after which beneficiaries would be protected from additional costs; including prescription drugs in the limit on out-of-pocket spending; adding coverage for vision, hearing, and dental; and making cost-sharing more affordable.
  • Extend and increase federal funding for Medicaid expansion.

Conduct Oversight on Trump Administration Actions that Undermine The Affordable Care Act

  • Topics to conduct oversight on include the Trump Justice Department’s decision not to defend all of the Affordable Care Act in federal court, cuts to outreach and navigator funding, rules opening the door to junk insurance, 1332 guidance that allows federal funds to be used to purchase skimpy health plans, relationships between Administration political appointees and regulated industries, the administration’s push to encourage states to impose work requirements on Medicaid coverage, drug prices and pharmaceutical profits.

Wisconsin Governor Fights Back Republicans Attempts To Weaken Protections For Pre-existing Conditions

Washington DC —  Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate are attempting to pass new legislation that falsely claims to ensure protections for people with pre-existing conditions continue, despite their efforts to invalidate them in federal court. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response:

“Republicans efforts in Wisconsin to push a bill that allows lifetime limits and annual caps on health care coverage is a travesty. Calling this bill any sort of ‘protection’ for people with pre-existing conditions is a fraud. Governor Evers rightly pledged to fully defend his constituents who have pre-existing conditions by vowing to oppose any legislation that rolls back protections for Wisconsinites. Let’s be clear: AB 1 would roll back the clock on vital protections and take Wisconsin back to the days where insurance companies could write the rules.”

BACKGROUND:

What Policies Would Actually Ensure Pre-existing Conditions Are Protected?

  1. Guaranteed Issue and Community Rating: Forbids insurance companies from denying coverage based on health status or charging more.
  2. Essential Health Benefits: Required coverage benefits that help consumers with common health needs and prevent insurers from cutting benefits to lower costs.
  3. Prohibitions On Lifetime And Annual Limits: Prevents insurance companies from saying a consumer has maxed out their benefits in a given year.
  4. Prohibitions On Pre-existing Condition Exclusions: Insurance companies must not be able to sell coverage that can exclude coverage for certain conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, or asthma.

WISCONSIN REPUBLICANS’ BILL FAILS THIS TEST

The language of the bill does nothing to prevent insurance companies from reinstating annual and lifetime limits that insurers use to restrict the amount of coverage someone can use.

The bill does not preserve the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits, essentially allowing insurers to sell plans exempt from covering basic services like maternity care, hospitalization, and prescription drugs.

Absent these protections, an insurance company could sell coverage to a cancer patient but refuse to cover their hospitalization or prescription drugs and drop their coverage once they reach their lifetime limit.

The bill does nothing to withdraw Wisconsin’s support for the Texas lawsuit that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act and its current protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

 

MILLIONS OF WISCONSINITES AT RISK

2,435,700 Wisconsinites Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. About one in two Wisconsinites, 51 percent, lives with a pre-existing condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]

1,187,000 Wisconsin Women And Girls Have A Pre-Existing Condition. Approximately 1,187,000 women and girls in Wisconsin live with a pre-existing condition. [Center for American Progress and the National Partnership For Women and Families, June 2018]

308,100 Wisconsin Children Already Have A Pre-Existing Condition. Roughly 308,000 Wisconsinites below age 18 live with a pre-existing condition. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]

616,900 Older Wisconsinites Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. 616,900 Wisconsin adults between the ages of 55 and 64 live with at least one pre-existing condition, meaning attacks on these protections significantly threaten Wisconsinites approaching Medicare age. [Center for American Progress, 4/5/17]

 

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OUTLAWED DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS — GOP LAWSUIT TO OVERTURN THE LAW BRINGS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS BACK

Because Of The Affordable Care Act, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Deny Coverage Or Charge More Because Of Pre-Existing Conditions. Under current law, health insurance companies can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a ‘pre-existing condition’ — that is, a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts.” [HHS]

The ACA Outlawed Medical Underwriting, The Practice That Let Insurance Companies Charge Sick People And Women More. As the Brookings Institution summarizes, “The ACA outlawed medical underwriting, which had enabled insurance carriers to court the healthiest customers while denying coverage to people likely to need costly care. The ACA guaranteed that all applicants could buy insurance and that their premiums would not be adjusted for gender or personal characteristics other than age and smoking.”

The ACA Stopped Companies From Charging Women More Than Men For The Same Plan. The Affordable Care Act eliminated “gender rating,” meaning American women no longer have to pay an aggregated $1 billion more per year than men for the same coverage.

Thanks To The Affordable Care Act, Insurance Companies Can No Longer Rescind Coverage Because of Illness. Because of the ACA, insurance companies can no longer rescind or cancel someone’s coverage arbitrarily if they get sick.

 

HEALTH CARE WAS THE TOP ISSUE FOR WISCONSIN VOTERS

A Public Policy Polling election day survey of Wisconsin voters found that health care was the top issue for voters in the state and that they overwhelmingly favored Democrats on it, propelling Tony Evers to victory.

  • 68% of voters said that health care was either a very important issue or the most important issue to them. Those voters supported Evers over Scott Walker 65-33.
  • When asked to name the single issue most important to them in 2018, a plurality (27%) picked health care. Among those voters who said health care was their single most important issue in the election, Evers defeated Walker by a whopping 89-7 margin.
  • Evers especially had an advantage over Walker when it came to the issue of who voters trusted more to protect people with pre-existing conditions. 50% preferred Evers to protect pre-existing conditions to only 41% who preferred Walker.
  • Scott Walker’s support for the Republican health care repeal agenda hurt him badly. Only 32% of voters said his support for repeal made them more likely to vote for him, while 47% said it made them less likely to support him.
  • An overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites want to see the Affordable Care Act stay in place – 62% think it should be kept with fixes made to it as necessary, compared to only 32% of voters who support repealing it.

Americans Want To Know: Will Attorney General Nominee William Barr Keep His Promise On The Texas Lawsuit?

Washington DC — Yesterday, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on William Barr’s nomination to become the next U.S. Attorney General, Senator Kamala Harris pressed Barr to reconsider DOJ’s current position on the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit which would strike down the Affordable Care Act and its protections if not overturned. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response to Barr’s claims that he would like to review the department’s position if confirmed:

“Barr claimed he would review the department’s position on the Texas lawsuit, but that’s not enough. Let’s be clear, the Texas lawsuit is a politically motivated attack by Republican attorneys general, governors, and the Trump Administration to raise health care costs and take coverage away from millions of Americans. If confirmed, Barr must defend the law of the land and commit to protecting people with pre-existing conditions. We will hold Barr to his word and sound the alarm if yesterday’s comments prove to be empty promises meant to secure his confirmation.”

 

Background:

During The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, William Barr Claimed He Would Review The Department Of Justice Position On The Texas Lawsuit. Watch for yourself.  

(click here)

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, Republicans are one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating key protections, unleashing — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in his court — “chaos” in our entire health care system. If this ruling is allowed to stand:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.

Protect Our Care Statement On Senate Resolution To Protect Pre-Existing Conditions From GOP Lawsuit

Washington DC — Today, Senate Democrats reintroduced a resolution to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions after a federal judge in Texas ruled to overturn the entire ACA. Similar to the House resolution passed last week, this resolution takes aim at Republican attorneys general lawsuit to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act and has the support of the Trump Administration. It also directs the Senate legal counsel to intervene on behalf of the American people. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, calls on the full Senate to support and pass this resolution:

“Now that Trump and his Republican allies have gotten a federal judge to do what they couldn’t do legislatively, overturn the ACA, Senate Democrats are once again fighting to protect people with pre-existing conditions and those who benefit from the law. This resolution takes direct aim at the Texas lawsuit and its dangerous ambitions of stripping health care away from millions of Americans. If this ruling isn’t overturned, Republicans will roll back the clock and take millions of people back to the days where insurance companies had the power to deny, drop, or charge more for coverage. It’s time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Senators to step up to the plate and join their Democratic colleagues by bringing this resolution to the floor where it is sure to pass. Make no mistake, by refusing to bring this resolution to the floor, Senate Republicans are backing a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, Republicans are one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating key protections, unleashing — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in his court — “chaos” in our entire health care system. If this ruling is allowed to stand:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.

 

 

We Have 6 Questions For William Barr And They’re All About Health Care

Washington DC — Ahead of Tuesday’s scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on William Barr’s nomination to become the next U.S. Attorney General under President Trump, Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“The Sessions’ Justice Department refused to defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and even argued for them to be struck down. The result was the Texas Court’s decision to overturn the entire law. The American people need to know where Attorney General nominee William Barr stands. He should commit to reversing the Department’s previous inexplicable decision and commit to defending America’s health care. Now more than ever, the American people deserve answers and William Barr as well as the Justice Department he wants to lead have a lot to answer for. The American people deserve an Attorney General who is willing to fight for their health care.”

Six Questions for William Barr:

  1. Do you agree with the Administration’s decision for the Department of Justice to stop defending the Affordable Care Act in court?
  2. Who made the decision for the Department of Justice to stop defending the Affordable Care Act?
  3. What communication did the President, or White House senior staff, have with Department of Justice officials when DOJ decided to stop defending the Affordable Care Act?
  4. Do you agree with Judge Reed O’Connor’s December 2018 decision to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act?
  5. Even conservative legal analysts have said Judge O’Connor’s decision is wholly without merit. Are they wrong?
  6. Will you review and reverse the Department’s decision to refuse to defend protections for pre-existing conditions and the Affordable Care Act?  

ADVISORY: Protect Our Care Hosts Press Calls Today in Seven States

Local Experts Offer Analysis On House GOP Vote to Repeal the ACA And Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

 

Washington DC — Representatives Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter, and Tom O’Halleran will join Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse in press calls today across the country to discuss a resolution passed by House Democrats on Wednesday that authorizes House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections.

The resolution comes after a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care found that more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

Below is the schedule of calls today (all times in EST):

10AM EST Maine: 877-229-8493; Pin: 114927

  • State Rep. Anne Perry, nurse practitioner
  • Rebecca London, state director of Protect Our Care Maine
  • Ron Green, former firefighter and Mainer

11AM EST North Carolina: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118274

  • Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care
  • State Senator Wiley Nickel (SD-16)
  • Tara Romano, Executive Director of NARAL North Carolina
  • Montica Talmadge, North Carolinian with a pre-existing condition

12PM EST Ohio: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118275

  • Zach Klein, Columbus City Attorney who filed suit against the Trump Administration to enforce the ACA
  • Danny O’Connor, attorney and Franklin County Recorder
  • Ethan Kissock, Ohioan with pre-existing condition

1PM EST Iowa: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118276

  • State Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (HD-45)
  • Robin Stone, health care professional and advocate
  • Melissa Zapata, Des Moines University medical student

2:30 PM ET Colorado: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118277

  • Congresswoman Diana DeGette
  • Congressman Ed Perlmutter
  • Adam Fox, Colorado Consumer Health  Initiative

3:30 PM ET Arizona: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118278

  • Congressman Tom O’Halleran, Arizona’s 1st Congressional District
  • Toni Bannister, two-time cancer survivor
  • Morgan Tucker, Protect Our Care Arizona

4:30 PM ET Alaska: 877-229-8493; Pin: 118279

  • Alyse Galvin, health care advocate and former congressional candidate
  • Susanna Orr, Alaskan whose husband benefited from pre-existing conditions protections
  • David D’Amato, health care policy expert
  • Amber Lee, Protect Our Care Alaska

Protect Our Care Statement On House Republicans Refusal to Join Democrats On Resolution Opposing ACA Lawsuit and Instead Supported Full Repeal

“Nearly every Republican voted ‘no’ on this resolution, once again turning their backs on the millions of Americans whose access to life-saving care and benefits are in jeopardy,” says Brad Woodhouse

 

Washington DC — In response to House Democrats passing a stand-alone resolution that authorizes the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and takes direct aim at the relentless repeal and sabotage campaign on health care by Republicans and President Trump, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, the House took a crucial step to defend the Affordable Care Act and protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. By passing this resolution to intervene in the dangerous Texas lawsuit, Democrats stand in stark contrast with their repeal and sabotage Republican colleagues. Make no mistake, nearly every Republican voted ‘no’ on this resolution, once again turning their backs on the millions of Americans whose access to life-saving care and benefits are in jeopardy. Republicans are doubling down on their anti-health care agenda and ignoring the clear message sent by voters in November. If the Republicans had their way with this vote, the Affordable Care Act would be fully repealed and millions of people would lose their coverage. Clearly, Republicans haven’t learned the lesson of the 2018 elections and we’re here to remind them that elections have consequences.”

Background:

Thanks To The Republican Lawsuit, 17 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Protections For 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition Could Disappear

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  • 17 million children. One in four children, or roughly 17 million, have a pre-existing condition.
  • 68 million women. More than half of women and girls nationally have a pre-existing condition.
  • 30 million people aged 55-64. 84 percent of older adults, 30.5 million Americans between age 55 and 64, have a pre-existing condition.

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Deny Or Drop Coverage Because Of 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. Now insurance companies have a license to do this again.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period.
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the of the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period.

More than 100 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition Could Be Forced to Pay More. An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” thanks to the Republican lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Insurance Companies Would Once Again Have The Power To Charge You More

  • Premium Surcharges Can Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill 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 Can Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women, for example, 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 Can Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can 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.
  • Nine Million People In The Marketplaces Will Pay More For Coverage. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, consumers 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.
  • Seniors Will Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, 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.

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Insurance Companies Will Have The Power To Limit The Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can once again impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.

If The Texas Ruling Is Upheld, Medicaid Expansion Will End

  • Fifteen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program.

Protect Our Care Urges The House To Protect People With Pre-existing Conditions and Pass The Resolution on The Texas Lawsuit

“Republicans are now on notice and it’s time to put up or shut up,” says Brad Woodhouse

 

Washington DC — Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on a stand-alone resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless repeal and sabotage campaign on health care by Republicans and President Trump. The resolution specifically authorizes the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, which held scores of Republicans accountable in November for their repeal and sabotage agenda, calls on the House to support and pass this resolution in the following statement:

“The impending vote on this resolution shows the American people that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are fighting for them and their health care just as they promised to do in November. During the mid-term election, Republicans repeatedly lied about their record on pre-existing conditions in a desperate attempt to conceal their extreme anti-health care agenda. But make no mistake, Republicans are now on notice and it’s time to put up or shut up. If Republicans truly cared about protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions, they would join their Democratic colleagues and vote to pass this resolution to intervene in a lawsuit that is already jeopardizing the care and benefits millions of Americans enjoy. If this lawsuit is successful the fallout would be devastating to millions of Americans and if Republicans continue to support litigation that would deny care to millions, their political problems on this issue only stand to grow.”

A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care released today demonstrates the vulnerability of Republicans on this issue. The poll found that more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, Republicans are one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating key protections, unleashing — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in his court — “chaos” in our entire health care system. If this ruling is allowed to stand:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.