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Court Ruling Helps Kevin Cramer Rip Away Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Decision From Federal Judge Means:

Medicaid Expansion is Gone

Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions are Gone

Hundreds of Thousands of North Dakotans Will Lose Health Care

And Kevin Cramer OWNS IT

Washington, D.C. –  On Friday night, conservative U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued his ruling in Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al., siding with Republican attorneys general, governors, the Trump Administration, and Senator Kevin Cramer  to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether it’s repealing the individual mandate to pay for tax cuts or ramming through partisan repeal legislation, repeal cheerleader Kevin Cramer has done nothing but support the GOP’s efforts to strip coverage from hundreds of thousands of North Dakotans. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Like two sides of the same coin, Kevin Cramer and the Trump Administration have worked relentlessly to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Today, they are one step closer to ripping health care away from millions of North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, or asthma. If this ruling isn’t overturned, Kevin Cramer will roll back the clock and take North Dakotans back to the days where insurance companies had the power to once again deny, drop, or charge more for coverage. They will once again have the power to impose annual or lifetime limits and charge women and seniors more based on their age and gender. Make no mistake, these actions will hurt hundreds of thousands of North Dakotans.”

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling yesterday, 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. Under this ruling:

  • 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.

What’s at stake for North Dakota:

  • The coverage that 15,000 North Dakotans gained through the ACA by 2015.
  • Protections for 316,000 North Dakotans who have a pre-existing health condition.
  • Coverage for 21,400 North Dakotans enrolled through the state’s Medicaid expansion.
  • The health care of roughly 7,000 young adults in North Dakota who have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.
  • The nearly 359,052 North Dakotans most of whom have employer coverage, who can access free preventive care at no cost.
  • The 253,000 North Dakotans with employer coverage who no longer have to worry about lifetime or annual limits.
  • Seniors’ drug savings — 11,110 North Dakota seniors saved $11.5 million on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,037 per beneficiary because the ACA closed the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, 17.1 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • 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.
  • 316,000 North Dakotans have a pre-existing condition.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could 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.

  • 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
Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medications used to treat autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have The Power To Charge You More

  • 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.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $3,709 in North Dakota. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies could be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $3,709 in North Dakota, according to the AARP.
  • Nine Million People in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage, Including 18,139 North Dakotans. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 18,139 in North Dakota.
  • Seniors Would Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, seniors could 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 CMS report. In North Dakota, 11,110 seniors each saved an average of $1,037.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • 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.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

Because Judge O’Connor Sides With Republicans, Medicaid Expansion Could Be Repealed

  • Fifteen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 21,400 in North Dakota.

Court Ruling Helps Mike Braun Rip Away Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Decision From Federal Judge Means:

Medicaid Expansion is Gone

Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions are Gone

Hundreds of Thousands of Hoosiers Will Lose Health Care

And Mike Braun OWNS IT

Washington, D.C. –  On Friday night, conservative U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued his ruling in Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al., siding with Republican attorneys general, governors, the Trump Administration, and Senator Mike Braun  to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether it’s repealing the individual mandate to pay for tax cuts or ramming through partisan repeal legislation, repeal cheerleader Mike Braun has done nothing but support the GOP’s efforts to strip coverage from hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Like two sides of the same coin, Mike Braun and the Trump Administration have worked relentlessly to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Today, they are one step closer to ripping health care away from millions of Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, or asthma. If this ruling isn’t overturned, Mike Braun will roll back the clock and take Hoosiers back to the days where insurance companies had the power to once again deny, drop, or charge more for coverage. They will once again have the power to impose annual or lifetime limits and charge women and seniors more based on their age and gender. Make no mistake, these actions will hurt hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.”

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling yesterday, 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. Under this ruling:

  • 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.

What’s at stake for Indiana:

  • The coverage that 339,000 Hoosiers gained through the ACA by 2015.
  • Protections for 2,745,700 Hoosiers who have a pre-existing health condition.
  • Coverage for 412,700 Hoosiers enrolled through Indiana’s Medicaid expansion.
  • The health care of roughly 50,000 young adults in Indiana who have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.
  • The nearly 2,915,827 Hoosiers most of whom have employer coverage, who can access free preventive care at no cost.
  • The 2,259,000 Hoosiers with employer coverage who no longer have to worry about lifetime or annual limits.
  • Seniors’ drug savings — 121,432 Indiana seniors saved $135.2 million on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,114 per beneficiary because the ACA closed the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, 17.1 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

 

  • 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.
  • 2,745,700 Hoosiers have a pre-existing condition.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could 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.

  • 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
Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medications used to treat autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have The Power To Charge You More

  • 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.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $2,916 in Indiana. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies could be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $2,916 in Indiana, according to the AARP.
  • Nine Million People in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage, Including 102,375 Hoosiers. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 102,375 in Indiana.
  • Seniors Would Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, seniors could 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 CMS report. In Indiana, 221,432 seniors each saved an average of $1,114.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • 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.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

Because Judge O’Connor Sides With Republicans, Medicaid Expansion Could Be Repealed

Fifteen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 412,700 in Indiana.

Court Ruling Helps Rick Scott Rip Away Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Decision From Federal Judge Means:

Medicaid Expansion is Gone

Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions are Gone

Hundreds of Thousands of Floridians Will Lose Health Care

And Rick Scott OWNS IT

Washington, D.C. –  On Friday night, conservative U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued his ruling in Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al., siding with Republican attorneys general, governors, the Trump Administration, and Senator Rick Scott  to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether it’s repealing the individual mandate to pay for tax cuts or ramming through partisan repeal legislation, repeal cheerleader Rick Scott has done nothing but support the GOP’s efforts to strip coverage from hundreds of thousands of Floridians. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Like two sides of the same coin, Rick Scott and the Trump Administration have worked relentlessly to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Today, they are one step closer to ripping health care away from millions of Floridians with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, or asthma. If this ruling isn’t overturned, Rick Scott will roll back the clock and take Floridians back to the days where insurance companies had the power to once again deny, drop, or charge more for coverage. They will once again have the power to impose annual or lifetime limits and charge women and seniors more based on their age and gender. Make no mistake, these actions will hurt hundreds of thousands of Floridians.”

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on Friday, 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. Under this ruling:

  • 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.

What’s at stake for Florida:

  • The coverage that 1,597,000 Floridians gained through the ACA by 2015.
  • Protections for 7,810,300 Floridians who have a pre-existing health condition.
  • The health care of roughly 132,000 young adults in Florida who have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.
  • The nearly 7,289,873 Floridians most of whom have employer coverage, who can access free preventive care at no cost.
  • The 5,587,000 Floridians with employer coverage who no longer have to worry about lifetime or annual limits.
  • Seniors’ drug savings — 344,343 Florida seniors saved $367.8 million on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,068 per beneficiary because the ACA closed the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, 17.1 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • 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.
  • 7,810,300 Floridians have a pre-existing condition.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could 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.

  • 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
Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medications used to treat autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have The Power To Charge You More

  • 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.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $4,007 in Florida. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies could be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $4,007 in Florida, according to the AARP.
  • Nine Million People in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage, Including 1,508,784 Floridians. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 1,508,784 in Florida.
  • Seniors Would Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, seniors could 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 CMS report. In Florida, 344,343 seniors each saved an average of $1,068.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • 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.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

“If The Trump Administration’s Argument Were to Prevail, Insurers Could Once Again Be Able to Flat-Out Deny Americans Insurance Based On Their Health Status”: Reactions to Judge Ruling to Fully Repeal Affordable Care Act

Tonight, hand-picked, conservative, right-wing federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. His decision would end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, re-institute lifetime limits on coverage, implement an age tax on older Americans, end Medicaid expansion, and take away coverage from tens of millions of Americans. In short, an absolute disaster for Americans and their health care.

His decision would cause irreparable harm to the nation’s health care system:

New York Times: 17 Million Americans Would Lose Their Health Insurance. “If Judge O’Connor’s decision ultimately stands, about 17 million Americans will lose their health insurance, according to the Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank. That includes millions who gained coverage through the law’s expansion of Medicaid, and millions more who receive subsidized private insurance through the law’s online marketplaces” [New York Times, 12/14/18]

Vox: Americans Could Once Again Be Denied Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions. “Usually, a presidential administration defends current law, but the Trump administration took a different approach in this case. It agreed with the conservative states that the mandate and, with it, the law’s rules that prohibits insurers from denying people health insurance or charging them higher rates, should be found unconstitutional…. If the Trump administration’s argument were to prevail, insurers could once again be able to flat-out deny Americans insurance based on their health status. No amount of federal subsidies would protect them. Medicaid expansion would remain, but the private insurance market would no longer guarantee coverage to every American.” [Vox, 12/14/18]

Texas Tribune: Ruling “Could Throw The Nation’s Health Care System Into Chaos.” “In a ruling that could throw the nation’s health care system into chaos, Fort Worth-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor on Friday ruled that a major provision of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional — and that the rest of the landmark law must fall as well…Legal scholars — even some conservatives who oppose the law — have nonetheless called Texas’ argument unconvincing.” [Texas Tribune, 12/14/18]

Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation: “If Upheld, This Would Throw Out Not Only The law’s Pre-Existing Condition Protections, But Also Everything Else.” “If upheld, this would throw out not only the law’s pre-existing condition protections, but also everything else — premium subsidies, expanded Medicaid, preventive services, and much more.” [Larry Levitt Twitter, 12/14/18]

His decision came following midterm elections in which health care carried Democrats to elected office across the country:

Politico: Decision Comes After Midterm Elections Which Partially Served “As A Rebuke To Republican Efforts To Tear Down Obamacare.” “The invalidation of the landmark 2010 law is certain to send shock waves through the U.S. health system and Washington after a midterm election seen in part as a rebuke to Republican efforts to tear down Obamacare.” [Politico, 12/14/18]

CNN: “Protecting Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Became A Central Focus Of [Midterm] Races.” “The lawsuit entered the spotlight during the midterm elections, helping propel many Democratic candidates to victory. Protecting those with pre-existing conditions became a central focus of the races. Some 58% of Americans said they trust Democrats more to continue the law’s provisions, compared to 26% who chose Republicans, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation election tracking poll released in mid-October.” [CNN, 12/14/18]

His decision came as open enrollment wraps up, underscoring the GOP’s obsession with sabotaging America’s health care system:

Bloomberg: Decision “Underscores A Divide Between Republicans Who Have Long Sought To Invalidate The Law And Democrats Who Fought To Keep It In Place.” “The decision Friday finding the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional comes just before the end of a six-week open enrollment period for the program in 2019 and underscores a divide between Republicans who have long sought to invalidate the law and Democrats who fought to keep it in place.” [Bloomberg, 12/14/18]

Washington Examiner: The Decision Came The Day Before The End Of Open Enrollment, Cementing the Trump Administration’s Sabotage Of The Marketplace. “The decision came just a day ahead of when the open enrollment for Obamacare’s marketplaces are set to close across most of the U.S. Enrollment in these marketplaces has been lagging, with some critics arguing that the zeroing out of the fine is partially to blame.” [12/14/18]

Axios: “Republicans Have Never Come Up With A Replacement Plan That Would Offer The Same Level Of Protection As The ACA.” “In an interview with “Axios on HBO,” President Trump said he’d reinstate protections for pre-existing conditions if the lawsuit gutted the ACA. But as Axios’ Sam Baker notes, Republicans have never come up with a replacement plan that would offer the same level of protection as the ACA.” [Axios, 12/14/18]

And his decision was written on questionable legal grounds:

The Hill: “Legal Experts In Both Parties Have Denounced [The Judge’s] Argument.” “In a controversial move, the judge added that because the mandate is ‘essential’ to the rest of the law, without the mandate, the entire law is invalid. Legal experts in both parties have denounced that argument, saying it is obvious that Congress wanted the rest of the Affordable Care Act to remain when it repealed only the mandate penalty last year.” [The Hill, 12/14/18]

Washington Post: “Many Health-Law Specialists Have Viewed Its Logic As Weak.” “A federal judge in Texas threw a dagger on Friday into the Affordable Care Act, ruling that the entire health-care law is unconstitutional because of a recent change in federal tax law….Since the suit was filed in January, many health-law specialists have viewed its logic as weak but nevertheless have regarded the case as the greatest looming legal threat to the 2010 law, which has been a GOP whipping post ever since and assailed repeatedly in the courts.” [Washington Post, 12/14/18]

Jonathan Cohn, HuffPost: “This Is A Breathtaking Ruling In Favor Of A Lawsuit That Even Conservative Legal Experts Have Trashed.” [Jonathan Cohn Twitter, 12/14/18]

Paul McLeod, Buzzfeed: When It Comes To Judicial Activism, “You Can’t Come Up With A Clearer Example Than This.” “Can’t stress enough that when we hear about ‘judicial activism’ you can’t come up with a clearer example than this. This judge overturned the will of Congress (technical details of why/how are in the story.) But legal experts I talked to described this interpretation as ludicrous.” [Paul McLeod Twitter, 12/14/18]

Experts were incredulous:

Nicholas Bagley, University Of Michigan Health Law Professor: “This Is Insanity In Print.” “The court’s decision is NOT limited to guaranteed issue and community rating. In the court’s view — and this is *absolutely* insane — the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional…If you were ever tempted to think that right-wing judges weren’t activist — that they were only “enforcing the Constitution” or “reading the statute” — this will persuade you to knock it off. This is insanity in print, and it will not stand up on appeal.” [Nicholas Bagley Twitter, 12/14/18]

Timothy Jost, Washington And Lee University Law Professor: “It’s Timed To Cause Maximum Chaos.” “This is breathtaking in its sweep & I think O’Connor has no idea what he’s doing..This is going to get thrown out. But I also think it’s timed to cause maximum chaos.” [Emma Platoff, Texas Tribune Reporter, 12/14/18]

And here’s what elected officials said:

Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Tonight’s District Court Ruling Exposes The Monstrous Endgame Of Republicans’ All-out Assault On People With Pre-existing Conditions.” “Tonight’s district court ruling exposes the monstrous endgame of Republicans’ all-out assault on people with pre-existing conditions and Americans’ access to affordable health care. The GOP Congress tried and failed to destroy the Affordable Care Act and protections for pre-existing conditions.  Then, in the midterm election, the American people delivered a record-breaking margin of almost 10 million votes against House Republicans’ vile assault on health care. Now, the district court ruling in Republicans’ lawsuit seeks to subvert the will of the American people and sow chaos in the final day of HealthCare.gov open enrollment.” [Office Of The Speaker-Designate, 12/14/18]

House Ways & Means Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA): “It Is An Ideological Decision In A Case That Has No Legal Merit.” “This reckless court decision endangers the lives of millions of Americans who are going to lose their health care. It is an ideological decision in a case that has no legal merit.  Last month’s election results showed how important access to health coverage and protections for pre-existing conditions are for American families, and we are calling for an emergency stay of this heartless ruling. We will take immediate action in the new Congress to intervene in this case and appeal this decision. House Democrats will do whatever it takes to make sure the protections enshrined in the Affordable Care Act endure. The lives and wellbeing of millions of Americans – including those living with pre-existing conditions – are on the line.” [Ways and Means Democrats, 12/14/18]

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “If This Awful Ruling Is Upheld In The Higher Courts, It Will Be A Disaster For Tens Of Millions Of American Families.” “If this awful ruling is upheld in the higher courts, it will be a disaster for tens of millions of American families, especially for people with pre-existing conditions. The ruling seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning and hopefully it will be overturned. Americans who care about working families must do all they can to prevent this district court ruling from becoming law.” [Sen. Chuck Schumer Twitter, 12/14/18]

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT): “This Is A Five Fire Alarm — Republicans Just Blew Up Our Health Care System.” “This is a five alarm fire — Republicans just blew up our health care system. The anti-health care zealots in the Republican Party are intentionally ripping health care away from the working poor, increasing costs on seniors, and making insurance harder to afford for people with preexisting conditions…Don’t be fooled, this rests one hundred percent on the shoulders of President Trump and Republicans in Congress who empower him. Trump took the extraordinary step of sending his lawyers to argue to end health coverage for 20 million people and he got his wish. Not a single Senate Republican challenged him, and now they own this disaster as much as he does.” [Sen. Chris Murphy, 12/14/18]

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR): “A Deliberate, Ideological Move To Sabotage The Affordable Care Act At The Expense Of Families’ Health Care.” “Today’s ruling is an assault on all Americans’ basic health care rights and judicial overreach at its worst. Trump and Republicans in Congress will achieve their long-sought goals if this ruling stands: the elimination of pre-existing condition protections and Medicaid coverage for millions of vulnerable Americans. Seniors will pay more for their prescriptions and middle-class families will lose tax breaks that keep their health care affordable. This judge chose to deliver his ruling the day before the end of open enrollment – a deliberate, ideological move to sabotage the Affordable Care Act at the expense of families’ health care.” [Sen. Ron Wyden, 12/14/18]

Protect Our Care Statement on Introduction of the CURE High Drug Prices Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the CURE High Drug Prices Act, which would give the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the power to stop drug company price gouging for common drugs like insulin. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

 

“Senators Blumenthal, Klobuchar, Harris and Merkley’s bill takes direct aim at the ability of drug companies to charge excessive prices for common drugs like insulin – a critical issue impacting millions of Americans and they should be commended for their action today. The Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress gave billions of dollars in tax breaks to big drug companies, and in response, their profits have soared while drug prices have gone through the roof. Voters sent a clear message in the midterm elections: they want Congress to reduce drug prices and take their side – not the side of the drug companies.”

GOP Congressman Says It’s Unfair That Searching Google Reveals How Awful His Health Care Repeal Bill Was

SHOT: In a recent Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Steve Chabot complained to Google CEO Sundar Pichai that Google revealed too many negative articles about the Republican health care repeal bill.

CHASER: All the people who know health care the best say repeal would have been the worst.

23 Million Americans Would Have Lost Coverage Under The AHCA. ​By 2026, 23 million people would have lost coverage. That’s a lot of people!

The AHCA Was The Least Popular Legislation In Three Decades. In Rep. Chabot’s defense, the AHCA never had a 12 percent approval like the Senate repeal plan did.

The Republican Repeal Bills Were Opposed By Nearly Every Major Patient Group, Health Care Provider, And Industry Organization – And Jimmy Kimmel. Among those who expressed opposition:

AARP

ALS Association

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American College Of Physicians

American Diabetes Association

American Medical Association

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Physicians

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Health Insurance Plans

American Heart Association

American Hospital Association

American Lung Association

American Nurses Association

American Osteopathic Association

American Psychiatric Association

The Arc

Arthritis Foundation

Association Of Community Affiliated Plans

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Catholic Health Association

Children’s Hospital Association

Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

Consumers Union

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Family Voices

Federation of American Hospitals

Greater New York Hospital Association

Jimmy Kimmel

JDRF

Lutheran Services in America

Kaiser Permanente

Kansas Hospital Association

March of Dimes

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

National Health Council

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Organization for Rare Diseases

The School Superintendents Association and 70+ Groups

Volunteers of America

WomenHeart

Here We Go Again: House Republicans Target Health Care for More Tax Cuts For The Rich

Washington, D.C. –  As reported today in the Wall Street Journal, House Republicans are once again preparing to give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to drug and health insurance companies and ignoring the clear message from the midterms to end the GOP war on health care. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“Voters sent a clear message in the 2018 elections — end the GOP war on health care and stop attacking protections for pre-existing conditions. But instead of listening to their constituents, this latest GOP proposal is just another massive tax break for large drug and health insurance companies.  While their profits and CEO compensation soars, Americans pay more for their drugs and health care premiums. Make no mistake, Americans are fed up with the relentless Republican sabotage campaign and their ongoing support for President Trump’s effort in the courts to declare protections for pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Last December, Congressional Republicans Used The Tax Bill As A Vehicle To Sabotage The Affordable Care Act. By using the tax bill to repeal the requirement that most people have insurance, it Republicans are expected to increase the number of uninsured Americans by 12 million. In 2021, the repeal of the individual mandate is expected to save $30.6 billion from health care cuts, savings resulting from 12 million Americans losing health insurance. In that same year, the tax cuts for millionaires total $29.8 billion.

Drug Companies Are Reaping The Benefits Of Republicans’ Last Tax Bill While Americans Pay More. The health industry brought in $51.8 billion in profit during the third quarter — approximately 63 percent of which went to drug companies. Of 19 companies in the health industry that amassed at least $1 billion in third-quarter profit, 14 were drug companies. Axios reports that “Drug firm AbbVie paid $14 million of income taxes on $2.76 billion of pre-tax earnings in the third quarter — an effective tax rate of just 0.5%. Pfizer’s effective tax rate in Q3 was 1.6%.” These astronomical earnings come during a year during the first seven months of which there were 96 price hikes for every price cut.

Protect Our Care Urges Congress to Back Democratic Nominee For Speaker

Washington DC — Following today’s overwhelming vote in the House Democratic caucus, Protect Our Care issued the following statement congratulating Nancy Pelosi on being the Democratic nominee for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2018, Democrats won more seats and by a larger vote margin than at any point since Watergate and it was fueled by a health care focused campaign. The Republican nominee for Speaker is Kevin McCarthy, who has voted multiple times to repeal health care and roll back protections for millions of Americans.  

“Protect Our Care is proud to stand with and congratulate Nancy Pelosi on being selected by her colleagues to be the Democratic nominee for the next Speaker of the House,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “Leader Pelosi led the Democratic wave that ended Republican control of the House and today she was resoundingly picked to be the Democratic Nominee for Speaker. With today’s vote, the House of Representative is on track to have an experienced, pro-health care leader at the helm. Pelosi’s hard-work has made way for millions of Americans to gain quality health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defeat Republicans repeal-and-sabotage agenda. Members of Congress who want to stand up for health care, ought to back the Democratic nominee for Speaker as Republicans offer a warmed-over version of the same repeal agenda that voters just rejected.”

“With impeccable discipline, Leader Pelosi made health care the number one issue in the midterms and voters responded – flipping as many as 40 seats held by pro-repeal Republicans,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Make no mistake, the American people took to the polls this election to make their voices heard and overwhelmingly voted for pro-health care Democrats. The Democratic nominee for Speaker of the House is a pro-health care leader with a proven track record of getting results. The Republican nominee for Speaker will do nothing but continue the Trump Administration’s repeal-and-sabotage agenda that fails hard-working Americans every day. The choice could not be more clear.”

NEW: 4 Key Points – Kaiser Post Election Poll Shows Voters Reject GOP War on Health Care and Want Congress and States to Act

The regular Kaiser Family Health Tracking Poll today gives another post-election confirmation that Republicans repeal and sabotage agenda for health care has been rejected by the American people.

See for yourself.

Four Key Points:

  1. The Affordable Care Act is viewed favorably by 53 percent of people – a 13 point margin. It’s the largest level of support for the ACA since after the 2010 election.
  2. 87 percent of people said it’s important (65 percent very important) to protect prohibitions against health insurance companies denying coverage because of people’s medical history.
  3. If Trump’s lawsuit to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions succeeds, 70 percent of people want their state to re-establish the protections.
  4. For people who live in states that haven’t yet expanded Medicaid, 59 percent of people support expansion and only 34 percent oppose it.

Statement From Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care On Problem Solvers Proposals Ahead Of The House Democratic Caucus Leadership Election

Washington DC — In a statement released on Monday by members of the Problem Solvers, a caucus of nine House Democrats outlined its threat to withhold support for Leader Pelosi’s nomination for Speaker. The caucus stated its proposals would “help spur immediate action on health care, immigration and infrastructure.” Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“The way to protect and improve health care isn’t by making demands that were drawn up by a group that includes Republicans who voted to repeal health care — many of whom were defeated by Democrats just a few weeks ago. The way to truly protect and improve health care is by placing the Member of Congress whose leadership gave us the Affordable Care Act and led the blue wave that will protect us going forward in the Speaker’s chair. Let’s take the fight to the opponents of affordable health care — not its champions.”