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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.

 

 

Welcome To Washington’s 116th Congress

“The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Since regaining control of the House, Democrats who ran and won the midterm election on protecting health care have wasted no time doing just that. On day one, under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, Democrats voted to defend the Affordable Care Act and protect people with pre-existing conditions, and they are just getting started.

 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” “The new Democratic House of Representatives will be relentless in defending protections for people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care for every American…Republicans should end their assault on health care and join us to do the right thing for the American people.” [The Hill, 1/3/19]

U.S. News & World Report: “The Chamber That Once Led The Fight To Undo Obamacare Will Now Be Fighting For Its Survival In The Courts.” “Democrats are making it brazenly clear they are back in power in the House of Representatives, providing a critical roadblock to the GOP agenda in an already-gridlocked government…The chamber that once led the fight to undo Obamacare will now be fighting for its survival in the courts. The old committee to examine global warming will be reconstituted – and renamed, more ominously, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.” [U.S. News & World Report, 1/4/19]

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): In 116th Congress, “Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions.” “But Nancy Pelosi is just getting started. In the 116th Congress, she will continue to fight hard For The People. Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions, increase pay for everyday Americans, enact a real infrastructure plan, clean up corruption, defend the dreamers, fix the voting rights act and end the era of voter suppression once and for all.” [Hakeem Jeffries Website, 1/3/19]

Politico: “House Democrats In Power For The First Time In Nearly A Decade Are Opening A Sustained Campaign To Hammer Republicans On Obamacare.” “House Democrats in power for the first time in nearly a decade are opening a sustained campaign to hammer Republicans on Obamacare, seeking to force the GOP’s hand on popular policies like protecting patients with pre-existing conditions…Those votes are just opening salvos from House Democrats, who also plan to go after the Trump administration policies that they say have purposefully undermined Obamacare by depressing enrollment, cutting subsidies, promoting skimpy alternative health coverage, and even having the Department of Justice take the unusual move of supporting key elements of a lawsuit against the federal health law.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

Washington Post: “House Democrats Used Their New Majority On Thursday To Squeeze Republicans On Health Care.” “House Democrats used their new majority on Thursday to squeeze Republicans on health care, taking the first step to intervene in a court case in which a Texas judge has ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. That move will be followed by a vote next week designed to force GOP lawmakers into a political corner: agree to defend a law many members have spent years reviling or appear to oppose popular ACA protections for millions of Americans with preexisting medical conditions that many have pledged to uphold.” [Washington Post, 1/3/19]

CNN: “In Their First Hours In Control Of The House Of Representatives, Democrats Filed A Motion To Intervene In An Ongoing Lawsuit That Threatens To Bring Down The Affordable Care Act.” “In their first hours in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit that threatens to bring down the Affordable Care Act…As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the Democrats granted themselves authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health care law. It directed the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel. The House late Thursday voted in the rules package, which the majority party — now the Democrats — adopts at the start of a new Congress. The newly empowered Democratic leadership also scheduled a vote for next Wednesday on a standalone resolution affirming the House’s authorization to intervene in the lawsuit. This would put Republicans on the record voting specifically for or against defending Obamacare and its protections for those with pre-existing conditions.” [CNN, 1/4/19]

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Chairman On The Rules Committee: “We’re On Offense” On Health Care. “We’re on offense…The American people made it very clear in the last election that health care is important, and they don’t want Republicans screwing around with it. And we’re going to have their backs.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

CNN: “House Democrats Are Moving Quickly To Defend The Affordable Care Act Once They Retake Control Of The Chamber Thursday.” “House Democrats are moving quickly to defend the Affordable Care Act once they retake control of the chamber Thursday. As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the party is granting itself authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health reform law. It directs the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel…Supporting the Affordable Care Act, including its popular provisions that protect those with pre-existing conditions, helped Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections in November. Since then, the party’s leaders have repeatedly said they will swiftly work to uphold the law.” [CNN, 1/2/19]

CNBC: House Democrats Set Up Framework To Intervene In Federal Court Case Striking Down Obamacare. “Democrats about to take over control of the House of Representatives have moved to defend Obamacare from a court challenge that threatens to kill the landmark health-care reform law. In an action Tuesday night, Democratic leaders said they will authorize their next speaker, likely Nancy Pelosi, to intervene in a pending federal case, Texas v. United States, in which a judge has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. Democrats regain control of the House when Congress returns for the 116th congressional session Thursday.” [CNBC, 1/2/19]

Washington Post: Democratic Wishlist Includes “Health Care (With A Focus On Prescription Drug Prices And Protecting People With Preexisting Conditions).” “At the top of the list is a sweeping political reform package linked to a new Voting Rights Act. Taking on the ‘special interests,’ she said, will ‘give people confidence’ in the rest of the Democratic wish list that includes health care (with a focus on prescription drug prices and protecting people with preexisting conditions), workforce training and ‘building the infrastructure of America in a green way.’ For the longer term, Democrats would be looking for ways to expand health coverage by strengthening the Affordable Care Act.” [Washington Post, Dionne Jr., 1/2/19]

The Hill: House To Vote Next Week On Intervening To Defend ObamaCare In Court. “A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the vote on having the House formally intervene in court to defend ObamaCare will come next week, in addition to a vote on Thursday on intervening in the lawsuit as part of the larger package of rules for the new session of Congress. Holding the separate additional vote next week will put Republican lawmakers on record, highlighting the political pressure that Democrats hope to put on vulnerable GOP lawmakers who campaigned last year pledging to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Democrats say if GOP lawmakers vote against defending ObamaCare, they will be showing that they don’t actually support protections for people with pre-existing conditions contained in the health law.” [The Hill, 1/2/19]

Daily Mail: Nancy Pelosi’s First Move As Speaker Will Be A Public Stand On Saving Obamacare By Intervening In Court Case Where Judge Struck It Down As Unconstitutional. “Incoming likely speaker Nancy Pelosi is laying down a marker that newly-empowered Democrats will go to court to protect Obamacare, in one of the first acts of the Democratic-run House. Pelosi, who stands for election on Thursday, has assembled a new rules package that specifically commits the House to a legal case that has once again thrown President Obama’s signature health plan into jeopardy. Pelosi helped marshall through Obamacare during her first term as speaker. Now, the new rules package that the Democratic House will codify in their traditional first legislative action, will specifically authorize the House to intervene in the case.” [Daily Mail, 1/2/19]

Despite Democrats making monumental gains to become a pro-health care Congress, Republicans are touting a bill that would have ripped coverage from millions of Americans and decimated important consumer protections, continuing their tone-deaf message despite voters’ strong rejection of the GOP’s repeal and sabotage agenda:

In Her Speech Nominating Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) For Speaker Of The House, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Boasted About Republican Effort To Repeal The Affordable Care Act. “Leader McCarthy has led us through the 115th Congress in unmatched historic productivity, including passage of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, because we know, Madam Clerk, that the American people know better than the government how to spend their money…Leader McCarthy also led to ensure that we passed the American Health Care Act to expand access and options and put patients and families in the driver’s seat, not government bureaucrats.” [Cheney Floor Speech, 1/3/19]

Protect Our Care Congratulates Nancy Pelosi on Speakership

Washington DC – As Democrats begin the 116th Congress by taking control of the House of Representatives, Protect Our Care issued the following statement congratulating Nancy Pelosi on today’s historic vote making her the Speaker of the House for a second time. Speaker Pelosi will continue making health care a top priority, first by passing the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless health care repeal and sabotage campaign waged by Republicans in Congress and President Trump:

“Nancy Pelosi is a true health care champion and Protect Our Care is proud to congratulate her on being selected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “The American people voted for a pro-health care Congress and now they have a health care champion at the helm. Speaker Pelosi worked tirelessly to ensure that millions of Americans gained access to affordable health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continuously defeated Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda. The House once again has a pro-health care leader whose unrelenting discipline and long track record will make health care and protecting people with pre-existing conditions a top priority.”

“With today’s vote, the American people gained a steadfast and experienced leader who not only delivered quality health care to millions of Americans but who continues to fight every day to check Republicans and the Trump administration,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “I have no doubt that Speaker Pelosi will fight to lower health care costs, protect Medicaid and Medicare, and stop Republican sabotage efforts. By scheduling a vote on the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, Nancy Pelosi is once again, putting health care first. This resolution puts a bullseye on the dangerous Texas court decision that threatens to strip health care from millions of Americans. The choice couldn’t be more clear. There is no one better prepared for this role than Nancy Pelosi and we congratulate her on this monumental win.”

Elections Matter: Virginia Medicaid Expansion Already Bringing Affordable Care to 200,000 Virginians

Washington, D.C. – Less than a year after Democrat Ralph Northam was sworn in as Virginia’s Governor, 200,000 people have already gained access to health care as a result of Medicaid expansion which officially took effect yesterday.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“Elections matter, and nowhere is this more clear than in Virginia. Virginia Republicans spent years rejecting Medicaid expansion, but Virginia had its highest voter turnout in the past two decades in 2017, electing Democrats up and down the ballot, clearing a path for Medicaid expansion. Over the past two years, five states have voted to expand Medicaid, a clear and direct rebuke to the Trump Administration’s ongoing sabotage agenda on Medicaid and Americans’ health care. Make no mistake, from Virginia and Maine to Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, elections matter and hundreds of thousands of Americans are gaining access to life-saving coverage and rejecting the ongoing Republican war on health care which continues to this very day.”

What does Medicaid expansion mean for Virginians?

AP: More Than 200,000 People Have Already Been Enrolled. “Thousands of uninsured, low-income Virginians will have new health care coverage starting in the new year. Virginia is joining more than 30 states that have expanded Medicaid, a key part of former President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul… The state’s Medicaid office has been working with hospitals, advocates for the poor, insurance companies and others to help enroll the newly eligible into Medicaid. Coverage starts Jan. 1 and the state said Friday that more than 200,000 people have been enrolled.” [Bradenton Herald, 12/31/18]

WSLS: “More People In The Commonwealth Have Access To Health Coverage.” “More people in the commonwealth have access to health coverage starting today.  That’s because Virginia joins 32 other states in expanding Medicaid coverage. This will give more adults between the ages of 19 and 64 access to quality low-cost and no-cost health insurance.” [WSLS, 1/1/19]

Delegate Sam Rasoul: “It’s Been A Long Process But Is Fantastic.” “‘It’s been a long process but is fantastic. Over the past couple months, there’s been open enrollment. And 200,000 Virginians have already been signed up into Medicaid and have health care coverage and many others, for the first time ever, starting today. And we still have another couple hundred thousand to go,’ said Delegate Sam Rasoul.” [WSLS, 1/1/19]

Casey Thompson, 21-Year Old Virginian: “It’s Massive.” “Casey Thompson, a 21-year-old who has been uninsured for two years, said she lost all her savings when she had to go to a hospital in May for a ruptured cyst. She said she is thrilled she’ll be covered under Medicaid expansion starting in January and will no longer have to worry about unexpected medical costs. ‘It’s massive,’ she said.” [Bradenton Herald, 12/31/18]

What spurred this change?

AP: Expansion Occurred After 2017 Democratic Wave Election, GOP Repeal Attempts. “Opponents argued that Medicaid expansion was fiscally irresponsible because the long-term costs are unsustainable. Several factors contributed to Republicans switching position on the issue after years of opposition. They include a Democratic wave election in 2017 and the inability of President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal Obama’s signature health care law.” [Bradenton Herald, 12/31/18]

Was this mindset limited to just Virginia?

Lincoln Journal Star: After Republicans Refused, Nebraskans Voted To Expand Medicaid. “After seven years of legislative refusal to expand Medicaid in Nebraska, voters in November extended coverage to an estimated 90,000 adult Nebraskans who are working at low-wage jobs. That decision will bring a projected $1.3 billion in federal funding flowing into the state during the first three years of the new program.” [Lincoln Journal Star, 12/28/28]

Forbes: After Republicans Refused, Idahoans Voted To Expand Medicaid. “Idaho voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act via ballot initiative, overcoming conservative Republican state legislators who refused for years to pass additional coverage for the state’s poor. With nearly 60% support and two-thirds of the votes counted, voters in Idaho were following the lead of voters in Maine who last November voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in a public referendum at the ballot box. Supporters of Idaho’s Medicaid expansion put it on Tuesday’s midterm general election ballot after their Republican-controlled legislature for years balked at the idea.” [Forbes, 11/7/18]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Medicaid Expansion Makes Sense “Both Fiscally And Socially.” “Experts and the evidence agree, increasing access to MAT is one of the most important policy changes we could implement to combat the opioid epidemic. They also agree that Medicaid expansion is a key move that could be made to improve access; it is the largest source of funding for treatment. Medicaid, which has broad public support, covers the poorest, most marginalized people in our communities who often have some of the most complicated health care needs. In the past, Wisconsin’s Medicaid program had a high-caliber reputation. Like all state Medicaid programs, BadgerCare is jointly financed by the state and federal government, which has a generous matching structure for any state dollars spent. As Wisconsin’s opioid mortality continues to skyrocket above the national average, expanding Medicaid here makes sense both fiscally and socially.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/2/19]

Protect Our Care Praises House Democrats for Making Health Care a Top Priority in New Congress

On Day One, House Rules Package Includes

Provision to Oppose Texas Lawsuit to Overturn the Affordable Care Act

 

Washington DC – Today, it was reported that the House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless health care repeal and sabotage campaign waged by Republicans in Congress and President Trump. The Resolution specifically addresses the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit that would strike down the Affordable Care Act. The resolution authorizes the House counsel to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of the House of Representatives to protect the health care for millions of Americans, including 130 million with pre-existing conditions. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“Starting with their first action in the new Congress, House Democrats are once again showing the American people who is fighting for them on health care. This resolution takes direct aim at the disastrous Texas court decision, pushed by Republicans and President Trump, that would end all protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and raise health care costs for millions. This lawsuit must be overturned. If Republicans truly cared about keeping health care affordable and protecting people with pre-existing conditions, they would vote against this lawsuit and for protecting the tens of millions of Americans.”

Shelley Moore Capito Suddenly Supports the Affordable Care Act

Facing re-election, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) is now telling voters one thing while consistently having done the opposite. This morning, she told the Los Angeles Times she supports maintaining protections for people with pre-existing conditions and letting children stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, two main provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Where has this been for the previous two years?

SHOT: “I think it would be in our best interest as Republicans to assure the public that [on] the issues like preexisting conditions, staying on your parents’ insurance until age 26 and things like that, we’re committed,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who is up for reelection in West Virginia in 2020.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/30/18]

CHASER: Sen. Capito voted to fully repeal the ACA as a House Member, which would have repealed provisions to protect people with pre-existing conditions and allow kids to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26. And she voted to repeal the ACA as a Senator last summer.

In 2011, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito Voted For A Full Repeal Of The ACA, “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” [House clerk, 1/19/11]

In 2012, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito Again Voted For A Full Repeal Of The ACA. [House clerk, 7/11/12]

In 2017, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Voted For The Better Care Reconciliation Act, Which Would Kicked 22 Million Americans Off Of Their Insurance. [New York Times, 7/28/17; Congressional Budget Office, 6/26/17]

In 2017, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Also Voted For The GOP’s Final Repeal Bill. [New York Times, 7/28/17]. As a reminder, under repeal:

  • 184,000 West Virginians would lose health coverage, a 208% increase in the number of uninsured. [Urban Institute]
  • West Virginians would lose $1.794 billion in federal financial assistance through the insurance marketplaces from 2019-2028, leading to a dramatic spike in the number of uninsured. [Urban Institute]
  • 29,163 West Virginians would lose an average monthly advanced premium tax credit of $388 which currently helps them pay for insurance [Kaiser Family Foundation]
  • West Virginia would lose $12.2 billion in federal Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding, currently providing lifelines to 562,183 West Virginians. [Urban Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation]
  • Repealing the ACA would result in 16,000 West Virginia jobs lost, including 7,200 jobs in the healthcare sector. [Commonwealth Fund]

On The 19th Day Of Christmas, The GOP Gave America: A NO Vote On Stopping The Lawsuit To Overturn The Affordable Care Act

Washington DC – Today, Senate Democrats attempted to intervene on behalf of the American people and authorize the Senate legal counsel to defend the Affordable Care Act in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al lawsuit following the terrible ruling from conservative U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But in true sabotage fashion, the Republicans blocked the measure from moving forward. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response:

“If anyone thought Republicans would end their war on health care after they were wallopped on the issue in November they were sadly mistaken. Republicans blocking the Senate from intervening in the Texas lawsuit confirms that they will do everything in their power to repeal and sabotage health care.  Americans do not want to roll back the clock and go back to the days where insurance companies could drop coverage or deny it altogether simply for having a pre-existing condition. Enough is enough. It’s time for the GOP to wake up and end this relentless war on health care.”

Good Riddance to the Least Successful, Most Anti-Health Care Speaker in American History

Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Speaker Paul Ryan will give his farewell address at the Library of Congress. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“Paul Ryan sat around a keg in college and dreamed of slashing Medicaid, tried to end Medicare as we know it as a Budget chairman, and tried to rip health care away from 23 million people by repealing the Affordable Care Act as Speaker of the House. As he leaves Washington, voters and legislatures across the country are expanding Medicaid; the public overwhelmingly rejected Ryan’s vouchers to upend Medicare, with the discussion today about how to strengthen and expand the program rather than end it; and despite his best efforts to repeal health care, kick tens of millions of people off of their coverage and end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, the ACA is more popular than ever, repeal went down in flames, and the Ryan-led effort to upend the American health care system swept his party from power in the House. There is no finer karma. Paul Ryan is perhaps the most anti-health care Speaker in American history – fortunately for the American people he was also the least successful and least competent. Good riddance.”