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Experts Refute Seema Verma’s Lies About the Uninsured Rate

In a late Friday afternoon blog post, Seema Verma doubled down on her lies – playing politics ahead of President Trump’s re-election at a time when the public overwhelmingly opposes their repeal and sabotage agenda. Despite a resounding consensus from health care experts, the CMS administrator once again refused to accept blame for the administration’s role in driving up the number of uninsured Americans by almost 2 million. 

Former CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt: “BREAKING: Sorry I won’t retweet it, but the Trump Administration just put out a release blaming the ACA for the rise in Trump’s uninsured rate.The ACA has done more to reduce the uninsured rate than any in history…but that’s just data.” [Andy Slavitt Twitter, 9/13/19]

Georgetown CCF Executive Director Joan Alker: “Census data was clear – it’s the loss of Medicaid/CHIP that’s driving the increase for kids. CMS hasn’t even acknowledged that this is happening — much less tried to fix it.” [Joan Alker Twitter, 9/12/19]

Health Care Analyst Charles Gaba: “What she DOESN’T tell you is that the main REASON for the “double digit premium increase” in 2018 was the Trump Administration cutting off CSR reimbursement payments, and 2019 premiums would’ve been ~8 points *lower* if Trump & the GOP hadn’t zeroed out the Individual Mandate penalty.” [Charles Gaba Twitter, 9/12/19]

Center for American Progress Health Economist Emily Gee: “To recap, the ACA lead to the lowest health insurance rates in history. The Census (CPS) showed that the national uninsured rate ticked up in 2018, with 1.9 million more people uninsured than in 2017.” [Emily Gee Twitter, 9/13/19]

The Hill Health Care Reporter Jessie Hellmann: “This does not explain why Medicaid enrollment is dropping, which is the primary reason the Census gave for the increasing uninsured rate.” [Jessie Hellmann Twitter, 9/12/19]

MORE POLLING: Health Care Remains the #1 Issue as Democratic Presidential Candidates Take the Debate Stage Tonight

Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage in Houston tonight as multiple recent polls confirm that health care is the #1 issue for the American people. With the Trump-Texas lawsuit threatening to overturn our health care laws and the White House lacking any plan to clean up the mess they created, tonight is the perfect opportunity for Democrats to explain how they’d lower costs, provide better care, and reverse the damage done by President Trump and the GOP’s reckless war on health care.

1.CNN POLL: Health care is the top issue with 82% saying it’s extremely/very important. 

2. PPP POLL: Health care is a key issue for the majority (69%) of voters in 2020 battleground states (AZ, FL, PA, MI, WI & TX).

3. KAISER HEALTH TRACKING: Approval of the Affordable Care Act is at a record high of +12 (53-41%).

Headlines Are In: Speaker Pelosi’s Landmark Plan Takes on Big Pharma and Drastically Lowers Drug Prices

The landmark drug pricing plan Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to unveil responds to concerns of American families, takes on big pharma and drastically lowers the cost of prescription drugs. Headlines confirm the historic nature of this plan that adds “new urgency” to solving the ongoing crisis of skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs that’s impacting millions of American families. 

New York Times: Pelosi Energizes Battle To Lower Drug Prices. “A draft proposal by Speaker Nancy Pelosi would empower the federal government to negotiate lower prices for hundreds of prescription drugs, not only for Medicare but for the private market as well, injecting new urgency into Washington’s efforts to control the soaring price of pharmaceuticals.” [New York Times, 9/10/19]

CNBC: Pharma Stocks Fall As Draft Of House Democratic Drug Price Plan Surfaces On Capitol Hill. “Pharmaceutical stocks fell Tuesday after an early draft of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s long-anticipated plan to reduce U.S. drug prices surfaced on Capitol Hill. The main thrust of the plan, which is still in flux, would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices on the 250 most expensive drugs and apply those discounts to private health plans across the U.S…shares of drugmakers fell on the news. Eli Lilly was down by about 1% in afternoon trading. Merck and GlaxoSmithKline both fell by more than 2%.” [CNBC, 9/10/19]

Forbes: House Speaker Pelosi Seizes An Opening On Prescription Drug Prices. “Under Pelosi’s plan there would be direct negotiations between Medicare – as a collective unit representing all beneficiaries – and drug manufacturers. Here, Medicare would negotiate prices of 250 costly medicines. The list of drugs has not been disclosed, but the plan indicates it will include both outpatient and physician-administered drugs. In its negotiations with drug manufacturers, Medicare would use as benchmarks the average prices of the 250 drugs in a set of developed countries. The resulting negotiated prices would then apply to the commercial sector in the the U.S. Also, substantial fines would be levied on drug companies that refuse to participate in the negotiations.” [Forbes, 9/11/19]

Modern Healthcare: Democrats’ Draft Drug Pricing Plan Could Shift Legislative Debate. “An ambitious draft plan from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to allow government price negotiation on a swath of expensive drugs has shifted Washington’s contentious policy debate leftward at a critical point for Democratic negotiations with Senate Republicans and the White House…progressive Democrats and reform-minded advocates were optimistic for where the legislation is headed, particularly since it would allow the HHS secretary to negotiate prices directly with manufacturers instead of opting for arbitration.” [Modern Healthcare, 9/10/11]

Trump Administration Sabotage Is the Driving Factor In Unprecedented Increase In Number of Uninsured Americans

New Census data released today makes clear that actions taken by the Trump administration have directly contributed to nearly two million more Americans being uninsured. News outlets cited Trump’s “hostile” policies that injected chaos into the health care system as the main cause.

CNBC: Rate Of Insured Americans Decreases For The First Time Since Obamacare Started In 2014. “In response to the recent report, experts are saying the increase in the number of people lacking health insurance is the result of the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the ACA.” [CNBC, 9/10/19

The Washington Post: As Census Data Reveals Uptick In Uninsured, Health Care Experts Point To “Chilling Effect” From The Trump Administration’s Efforts To Restrict Medicaid Access. “Health policy experts interpreted those patterns as evidence of a chilling effect from the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict several forms of public assistance, including Medicaid for immigrants seeking to remain in the United States. In addition, the number of low-income Americans on Medicaid tends to decline when the economy expands, as it did last year, while some states have been clamping down on eligibility and following the administration’s urging to impose work requirements in the program.” [The Washington Post, 9/10/19

The New York Times: Policy Changes Under The Trump Administration “Made A Difference” In Rising Uninsured Rate. “… policy changes under the Trump administration, which has been hostile to the health law, have made a difference. The administration also cut back on advertising and enrollment assistance, programs that helped low income people learn about the new insurance programs, among other changes that may have depressed Obamacare enrollments. [The New York Times, 9/10/19

CNN: Rise In Uninsured Rate “Marks The First Coverage Setback Since The Affordable Care Act Was Passed In 2010.” “The drop in the 2018 uninsured rate marks the first coverage setback since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. TSince taking office, Trump and the GOP have sought to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The President cut the open enrollment period for the exchanges and slashed funding for advertising and enrollment assistance. Also, the Republican-led Congress effectively eliminated the mandate that Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty, starting this year.” [CNN, 9/10/19]

New Census Data Reaffirms Trump-GOP Health Care Sabotage is Increasing the Number of Uninsured Americans

Washington, DC – New Census Bureau data released today shows the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans continued sabotage of our health care system is increasing the number of uninsured Americans. 1.9 million Americans became uninsured last year, increasing from 25.6 million in 2017 to 27.5 million in 2018 – the first time in nearly a decade the number of uninsured has gone up. In response, Protect Our Care chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“The latest Census numbers prove once again that the Trump-GOP sabotage agenda continues to wreak havoc on American health care and prevent Americans from getting the coverage they need. With their ongoing lawsuit to overturn the health care law, sabotage of open enrollment and promotion of junk insurance plans, Republicans have purposefully created chaos and uncertainty in our health care system. As a result of their sabotage, nearly two million more Americans were uninsured last year. The more Republicans continue to double down on their war on health care, the more we will see further drops in coverage and increased anxiety from Americans over the future of their health care.” 

BACKGROUND:

TRUMP’S SABOTAGE AGENDA

  • The Trump Administration Is Pushing Junk Plans That Allow Discrimination Against People With Pre-Existing Conditions And Don’t Require Coverage For Prescription Drugs, Maternity Care, And Hospitalization. In August 2018, the administration finalized a rule that expands the availability of so called short-term, limited duration plans from three months to just under twelve months and allows them to renew such plans for up to three years. Since finalizing the rule, the Trump administration has urged groups that help people sign up for coverage to push consumers toward these junk plans and has issued guidance urging states to let ACA subsidies be used to purchase these skimpy plans. Short-term plans can exclude or deny key medical services such as prescription drug coverage, hospitalization, and maternity care. Even when plans say they cover prescription drugs, the benefit is often capped at a limit, such as $3,000. Adding insult to injury, short-term plans have a history of finding ways to deny coverage after people become sick. Expanding access to short-term junk plans also siphons away younger and healthier people from the marketplace, leaving mostly older and sicker people to have to pay more for the coverage they need. These plans put insurance companies back in charge, not consumers. 
  • The Trump Administration Has Sabotaged Open Enrollment. They cut funding for navigator grants—programs designed to provide outreach, education, and enrollment assistance for marketplace consumers — from $37 million in 2018 to $10 million. In 2017, the Administration also cut the outreach advertising budget for Open Enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – which resulted in as many as 1.1 million fewer people getting covered.
  • The Trump Administration Supports Onerous Paperwork Requirements That Take Health Care Away From Up To 4 Million Americans Covered By Medicaid. After Arkansas imposed the nation’s first so-called work requirements program, nearly 17,000 residents lost Medicaid coverage. While these state efforts have been blocked by a federal judge, the Trump administration keeps fighting to impose work reporting requirements in Medicaid, appealing federal court rulings that blocked such requirements because they are illegal.

More on Trump’s health care sabotage can be found here.

House Dems Bill Will Lower Drug Prices, Stand Up to Big Pharma

Speaker Pelosi, House Democrats Set To Unveil Historic Legislation To Lower Drug Prices While Trump And Congressional Republicans Continue Defending Status Quo And Protecting Big Pharma

Washington, DC – Following reports of the sweeping legislation set to be unveiled by Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats to drastically lower prescription drug costs and hold insurance companies accountable, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement: 

“The landmark legislation Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have crafted is the most sweeping and comprehensive reform of prescription drug prices in modern history. By lifting the ban on Medicare negotiations for lower drug prices and introducing the strongest-yet measures to hold big pharma accountable for the rigged system they’ve created, this plan would take on the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Too many families are struggling to afford either rent or pills, but this plan would take on the drug companies and reduce drug prices for every American – those on Medicare and those who are not. President Trump and Republicans in Congress continue to be relentless defenders of the status quo – protectors of drug and insurance company profits. Republicans gave new, record-breaking tax breaks to the biggest drug companies and will now almost certainly try to block Medicare negotiations to lower prices for the American people. 

“With this legislation, it’s clear that Speaker Pelosi and Democrats are taking seriously their commitment to ending the rigged system that keeps prices high, and their responsibility to ensure that no American goes broke trying to afford their prescriptions or access the care they need.” 

BACKGROUND: 

Drug Prices Are Surging Under Trump

Drug Prices In 2019 Surged Compared To The Year Before. With Hikes At 5 Times Inflation — “More Than 3,400 Drugs Have Boosted Their Prices In The First Six Months Of 2019.” “Price hikes on prescription drugs are surging in 2019, despite vows from the Trump administration to rein in pharmaceutical costs. So far in 2019, more than 3,400 drugs have boosted their prices, a 17% increase compared with the roughly 2,900 drug price increases at the same time in 2018, according to a new analysis by Rx Savings Solutions, a consultant to health plans and employers. The average price hike for those 3,400 drugs stands at 10.5%, or about 5 times the rate of inflation, the study found.” [CBS News, 7/1/19]

AARP Analysis Found Specialty Drug Prices Have Grown More Than Three Times Faster Than Inflation. “The prices of widely used specialty prescription drugs grew more than three times faster than general inflation in 2017…The new report found that the average annual price for a single specialty drug used on a chronic basis is now nearly $79,000, compared to $27,824 in 2006.” [AARP, 6/25/19

Insulin Costs Have Tripled Over The Past Decade. As costs continue to rise, as many as one in four of the 7.5 million Americans dependent on insulin are skipping or skimping on doses.

Despite Tough Rhetoric,  Trump And His Republican Allies Continue To Block Meaningful Reform.

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

For more on Trump’s broken promises on drug pricing, click here.

Rock Bottom: Pharma Approval Rating Hits Record Low In New Gallup Poll

Washington, DC – A new Gallup poll out today illustrates just how unpopular the drug industry is with the American public – ranking dead last in approval behind a slew of other big industries including oil and gas and big banks. It’s no surprise Pharma’s approval rating continues to plummet: Americans blame the industry for the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs all while they rake in massive profits thanks to the GOP’s tax bill give away. 

Despite its record-low popularity, Republicans in Congress continue to do the industry’s bidding by refusing to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and stonewalling legislation to lower health care costs at every turn. 

The Hill: Public’s view of drug companies sinks to record low in Gallup poll

Peter Sullivan // September 3, 2019 

The public’s view of the pharmaceutical industry has sunk to a record low in a new Gallup poll. 

The poll finds that 27 percent of the public has a positive view of the industry, compared to 58 percent with a negative view, for a net rating of negative 31 points. 

That is the lowest of any of the entities Gallup polled, below the federal government, at negative 27 points, the advertising industry at negative one, the legal field at positive five, and airlines at positive 19. 

The public’s favorability towards the pharmaceutical industry is at the lowest point since Gallup began polling the question in 2001. Just four years ago, the industry had a net positive rating of four points, but that has plummeted in the years since then. 

The hit to the industry’s image comes as both parties are increasingly lashing out at drug companies for their prices. 

Both Democrats and President Trump have made lowering drug prices a top priority and have attacked drug companies for their prices. 

It remains unclear whether Congress can actually agree on any action this year, given that many congressional Republicans remain resistant to taking aggressive action, and Democrats are pushing for more. 

The pharmaceutical industry remains a formidable force in lobbying and campaign contributions. 

Five Ways Trump’s Lawsuit Threatens Workers

As We Head Into Labor Day Weekend, a Reminder That Trump’s Lawsuit to Overturn Our Health Care Laws Threatens American Workers. 

Background: After failing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Congress, President Trump and his allies went to court to completely overturn the law. The decision by an ultra-conservative Texas judge ruling the ACA unconstitutional has been widely criticized by legal scholars on both sides of the aisle. Yet at every turn, Republicans have continued to support the lawsuit and the full repeal of the ACA. As the case makes its way through the appeals process, Trump appears even more committed to his years-long quest to dismantle the health care system, putting American workers in harm’s way. 

Five Ways Trump’s Lawsuit Threatens Workers: 

  1. 156 Million Americans Who Get Coverage Through An Employer Could Once Again Face Coverage Caps. If the ACA is overturned, insurance companies could once again limit how much their policies had to pay for coverage each year or over a lifetime, leaving people with potentially millions of dollars of medical bills. 
  2. More Than 137 Million AmericansIncluding Those With Employer CoverageCould Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, private health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes more than 137 million Americans who receive preventive care with no cost sharing, most of whom have employer coverage
  3. Millions Of Working Americans Would Be Thrown Off Of Medicaid. About 17 million people have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. More than six in ten (63%) adults with Medicaid are working either full or part-time.
  4. Nursing Parents Would Lose Critical Workplace Protections. The ACA requires many employers to provide a private spaceother than a bathroomas well as reasonable break time for mothers to nurse. Without the ACA, nursing parents could lose access to these essential benefits.
  5. More Than 60 Million People Could Lose Access To Birth Control With No Out-Of-Pocket Fees. The ACA guarantees that private health plans cover 18 methods of contraception and make them available to patients with no out-of-pocket costs. This has saved money for women and their families: women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013. Should the Texas lawsuit overturn the health care law, employers would be allowed to select plans for their employees that do not cover birth control at all. As a result, 62.4 million women who now have access to birth control without copays stand to lose.

 

Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency” End of Tour Wrap Up

Three Weeks And 5,800-Plus Miles From Las Vegas To Atlanta With Nearly Two Dozen Stops in Between 

Over the last three weeks, Protect Our Care’s 5,800-mile, 20-event, 12-state nationwide “Health Care Emergency” Tour traveled to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Santa Fe, Pueblo, Aurora, St. Paul, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Lansing, Livonia, Bethlehem, Bangor, Portland, Concord, Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Atlanta and Harrisburg. During each stop, elected officials, health care advocates and storytellers joined Protect Our Care to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Americans’ health care and highlight the dire emergency created by the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Members of Congress, including U.S. Senator Bob Casey (PA) and U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (NV-01), Susie Lee (NV-03), Jason Crow (CO-06), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Susan Wild (PA-07), Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Lucy McBath (GA-06), joined Protect Our Care at various stops on the tour. We were also joined by Attorneys General Hector Balderas (NM) and Keith Ellison (MN) and Governors Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM) and Tom Wolf (PA).

 

LAS VEGAS, NV:

August 5, 2019 — Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (NV-01) and Susie Lee (NV-03), cancer survivors and health care advocates Laura Packard and Joe Merlino, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada executive director Laura Martin, and representatives from the Offices of Congressman Steve Horsford (NV-04) and U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto for a press conference at the SEIU Nevada Local 1107 office. 

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

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

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

Watch the event here.

PHOENIX, AZ:

August 6, 2019 — Outside the Arizona State Capitol Building, Protect Our Care hosted a press conference with State House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez, ER physician and cancer research advocate Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, and health care advocate Laura Packard.

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

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

KTAR: Report on Health Care Emergency Event in Phoenix

Watch the event here.

TUCSON, AZ:

August 7, 2019 — The “Health Care Emergency Tour” rolled into Tucson and held a press conference outside Planned Parenthood with Tucson PPFA executive director Genesis Cabillas, emergency medical physician Dr. Larry DeLuca, and health care advocates Alicia Held and Laura Packard. 

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

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

Watch the event here.

SANTA FE, NM:

August 8, 2019 — Outside the New Mexico State Capitol building on Santa Fe, Protect Our Care was joined by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Attorney General Hector Balderas, and health care advocates Laura Packard and Lan Sena for a press conference.

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

Watch the event here.

PUEBLO, CO:

August 9, 2019 — Protect Our Care and health care advocate Laura Packard met with Hilary Glasgow, President of the Southern Colorado Labor Council, outside Senator Cory Gardner’s office in Pueblo to deliver a copy of the Shaheen Resolution, calling on him to denounce the Trump-Texas lawsuit and defend the ACA. The building’s management tried to keep Laura and members of the press from going up to Gardner’s office, and once Protect Our Care and the press arrived, Gardner’s district director showed us the door, forcefully asking us to leave.

The Pueblo Chieftain: Health advocacy group backs Affordable Care Act in Pueblo

Watch the event here.

AURORA, CO:

August 9, 2019 — In Aurora, Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Representative Jason Crow (CO-06), State Rep. Dominique Jackson, and health care advocate Laura Packard for a press conference at the local Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. 

U.S. Representative Jason Crow: “Coloradans don’t want us to play politics with their health care. Yet, the Administration’s Texas v. US lawsuit could hurt over 2 million Coloradans with pre-existing conditions. That’s unacceptable. I’ll keep working in Congress to fight against these attacks and #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. Crow Twitter, 8/11/19]

Watch the event here and here.

ST. PAUL, MN:

August 12, 2019 — Protect Our Care was joined by U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (MN-04), Attorney General Keith Ellison, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States Sarah Stoesz, and health care advocates Laura Packard, Delores Flynn and Rachel Zemmer for a press conference outside the Minnesota AFL-CIO headquarters.

U.S. Representative Betty McCollum: “In the face of nonstop attacks on our health care from this administration & Republicans in Congress, my message is simple: I’m going to stand with you and keep fighting #ForThePeople. We must #ProtectOurCare.” [Rep. McCollum Twitter, 8/13/19]

Attorney General Keith Ellison: “I defend the ACA for ppl w preexisting conditions; who got covered for the first time; who have no more lifetime caps; whose loved ones would die without it. I defended it in Congress & I’m defending it as AG. But the best defense is you-stand up, be heard.” [AG Ellison Twitter, 8/12/19]

WCCO: Dem Leaders Speak At ‘Protect Our Care’ Event

Watch the event here.

DES MOINES, IA:

August 12 2019 — Outside the Iowa State Capitol building, Protect Our Care hosted a press conference with State Representative John Forbes, Iowa Executive Director of Planned Parenthood North Central States Erin Davison-Rippey, and health care advocated Laura Packard. 

Iowa Starting Line: “The ACA Saved My Life.” Ernst Called Out On Health Care Votes

Watch the event here

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA:

August 13, 2019 — The “Health Care Emergency Tour” rolled into Cedar Rapids for a press conference outside Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst’s offices featuring health care advocates Cindy Garlock, Laura Packard, Robin Stone and Laura Wright.

Watch the event here

LANSING, MI:

August 14, 2019 — Protect Our Care was joined outside the Michigan State Capitol for a press conference with State Sen. Curtis Hertel, State Rep. Sarah Anthony, State Rep. Julie Brixie, CEO and Medical Director of Care Free Medical Lansing Dr. Farhan Bhatti, and health care advocates Tori Saylor and Laura Packard.

 

WLNS: A fight to protect health care comes to mid-Michigan

WILX: Bus makes stop in Lansing to rally about health care

Watch the event here.

LIVONIA, MI:

August 14, 2019 — U.S. Representative Haley Stevens (MI-11), State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky, IHA CEO Dr. Mark LePage, and health care advocates Laura Packard and Andrea P. joined Protect Our Care for a press conference outside St. Mary Mercy Hospital. 

U.S. Representative Haley Stevens: “This afternoon I went to Livonia to rally with #ProtectOurCare! We must protect the Affordable Care Act, lower healthcare costs for Americans, and protect people with pre existing conditions.” [Rep. Stevens Twitter, 8/14/19]

State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky: “Today I spoke with @HaleyLive at a press conference with @ProtectOurCare. If the Texas v. United States lawsuit finds the ACA to be unconstitutional, the effects will be disastrous in MI. Health care is a human right, and these attacks on it must end.” [State Rep. Pohutsky Twitter, 8/14/19]

Watch the event here.

BETHLEHEM, PA:

August 16, 2019 — U.S Representative Susan Wild (PA-07), State Rep. Peter Schweyer, Alvaro Castillo of PA Health Access Network and health care advocates Laura Packard and Mitch Lenett joined Protect Our Care for a press conference in historic Payrow Plaza. 

U.S. Representative Susan Wild: “I’m holding a press conference w/ @ProtectOurCare where we’re releasing critical info about the skyrocketing cost of diabetes medication in #PA07. Tune into https://facebook.com/ProtectOurCare/ to learn more and hear what we’re going to do about it. #HealthcareEmergency” [Rep. Wild Twitter, 8/16/19]

Lehigh Valley Live: ‘Medicine is just too damn expensive’: Rep. Susan Wild warns of a health care emergency

Watch the event here

BANGOR, ME:

August 19, 2019 — Protect Our Care was joined by State Rep. Joe Perry, State Rep. Barbara Cardone, State Sen. David Miramant, Mabel Wadsworth Center executive director Andrea Irwin, and National Alliance on Mental Illness clinical director Greg Marley for a press conference at the Bangor Public Library. 

WFVX Bangor: Lawmakers argue against Affordable Care Act lawsuit at Protect Our Care news conference

Watch the event here

PORTLAND, ME:

August 19, 2019 — At Portland City Hall, Protect Our Care held a press conference with Maine House Speaker Sarah Gideon, State Rep. Thom Harnett, State Sen. Catherine Breen, Nicole Clegg of Planned Parenthood New England and Jenna Mehnert of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Portland Press Herald: Democratic candidate Gideon attacks Sen. Collins over tax vote, ACA

Maine Beacon: Health care advocates blast Collins for vote to undermine Affordable Care Act

Watch the event here

CONCORD, NH:

August 20, 2019 — The “Health Care Emergency Tour” rolled into Concord for a press conference outside the New Hampshire State House with U.S. Representative Annie Kuster (NH-02), Dr. Randy Hayes of the Kent Street Coalition, Dr. Nick Perencevich, and health care advocates Carrie Durran, Pepper Nappo and Audrey Gerkin. 

InDepthNH: Kuster, Advocates Want NH To Defend Affordable Care Act in Court

Watch the event here

RALEIGH, NC:

August 21, 2019 — State Sen. Floyd McKissick, State Sen. Terry Van Duyn, MomsRising Health Care Director Felicia Burnett, NC Justice Center Health Advocacy Project Director Nicole Dozier, and health care advocate Leslie Boyd joined Protect Our Care for a press conference outside the federal courthouse in Raleigh. 

State Sen. Floyd McKissick: “Today, I participated in a press conference sponsored by a group known as “Protect Our Care” which is travelling across our country to inform people of the potentially devastating impacts of a case known as ‘Texas Vs United States.; The primary goal of this case is to legally sabotage the Affordable Care Act. The Trump Administration and its allies are supporting this case because they are seeking to do, through the court system, what they failed to accomplish through the legislative process, which is to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If this case is successful, over 20 million Americans will lose coverage provided under the Affordable Care Act, and approximately 503,000 people will lose coverage here in NC. This will lead to a 43% increase in the uninsured rate in our state. In addition, 130 million people with preexisting conditions will potentially lose coverage in America and approximately 3.9 million people with preexisting conditions could lose coverage right here in NC. [State Sen. McKissick Facebook, 8/21/19]

State Sen. Terry Van Duyn: “As a former ACA Navigator, I saw how people reacted to getting health insurance for the first time. Not only did it mean the promise of getting healthy, it also meant they could work more and provide better lives for themselves and their families. We must continue the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act and ensure that every American can afford their health care.” [State Sen. Van Duyn Facebook, 8/21/19]

NC Policy Watch: Lawmakers, citizens speak out against Affordable Care Act lawsuit

Watch the event here

CHARLOTTE, NC:

August 22, 2019 — In Charlotte, Protect Our Care was joined by Mecklenburg County Commissioner at-large Pat Cotham, President of Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP Corine Mack, State Rep. Carla Cunningham, Team TruBlue executive director Charles Robinson, and health care advocates Stacy Staggs and Rochelle Willensky for a press conference outside the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center.

Commissioner Pat Cotham: “Looking forward to press conference on expanding the #AffordableCareAct @[email protected] #RightOfHealthCare @ProtectNCCare @ProtectOurCare.” [Commissioner Cotham Twitter, 8/22/19]

State Rep. Carla Cunningham: “Protect Our Care Press Conference. The ACA is what we have. Let’s improve it and stop attempting to dismantle it. We must make healthcare coverage work for all of us.” [State Rep. Cunningham Twitter, 8/22/19]

Watch the event here

ASHEVILLE, NC:

August 22, 2019 — Care Force One made its way to Asheville for a press conference outside City Hall with Mayor Esther Manheimer and health care advocates Leslie Boyd and Mallorie Hatcher. 

WLOS: ‘Protect Our Care’ bus tour stops in Asheville

Watch the event here

ATLANTA, GA:

August 23, 2019 — Inside the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta, Protect Our Care held a press conference with U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (GA-06), President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Staci Fox, and health care advocates Anne Shoup and Rebecca Galanti. 

U.S. Representative Lucy McBath: “So glad to join @ProtectOurCare on the final stop of the #HealthCareEmergency tour. We will never stop the fight to protect the health of our communities & provide comprehensive care for all Americans.” [Rep. McBath Twitter, 8/23/19]

WSB-TV: Congresswoman Lucy McBath Joins Protect Our Care’s Emergency Health Care Tour

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HARRISBURG, PA:

August 28, 2019 — At the Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda, U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Governor Tom Wolf, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania Matt Yarnell and health care advocates Cindy and Matthew Jennings joined Protect Our Care for a press conference.

Governor Tom Wolf: “With the federal government again threatening the #ACA, I’m standing with @ProtectOurCare and @SenBobCasey to defend health care for all. From expanding Medicaid to authorizing a state-based marketplace, I’ve taken action to #ProtectOurCare and will continue to do so.” [Gov. Wolf Twitter, 8/28/19]

Pennsylvania Capital-Star: ’We cannot afford to lose the Affordable Care Act’: Wolf, Casey lead health care rally

WGAL: Governor, senator push back against lawsuit to overturn Affordable Care Act

WGAL: NBC Harrisburg on Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Tour

Erie News Now: Advocates, Lawmakers Rally to Support Affordable Care Act in Harrisburg

WHP: Gov. Wolf and Sen. Casey hold rally fighting for Affordable Care Act

MyChesCO: Gov. Wolf, Sen. Casey Rally for Affordable Care Act at “Protect Our Care” Event

WJAC-TV: WJAC TV News on Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Tour

WJAC-TV 2: WJAC TV News on Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Tour

WCAU: NBC Philadelphia on Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Tour

WICU: NBC Erie on Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Tour

WPMT: Fox Harrisburg on Protect Our Care’s Health Care Emergency Tour

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SHOT/CHASER: Senator Cory Gardner Says He’s Totally About Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions Except for All Those Times He Voted To Gut Them

SHOT: Cory Gardner Claimed In A Recent Interview That He’s In Favor Of Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions. “But what we can agree on is making sure people with pre-existing conditions have coverage, required coverage,” said Gardner on air. “That’s we are about. That’s what we’ll fight for and continue to succeed with. “We know that we can come together with better plan, a better policy, a better idea that works, that covers people with pre-existing conditions.” [Colorado Times Recorder, 8/26/19]

CHASER: Cory Gardner Voted For Every Health Care Repeal Effort During His Time In Congress That Gutted Protections For Millions Of Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions And Refuses To Condemn The Texas Lawsuit That Would Do The Same. 

  • 2011: Gardner Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Gardner voted for The “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act” would have repealed all of the Affordable Care Act. [HR 2, Roll Call Vote #14, 1/19/11
  • 2011: Gardner Voted To Repeal And Defund The ACA. Gardner voted for the fiscal 2012 budget that would have repealed and defunded the Affordable Care Act. [HCR 34, Roll Call Vote #277, 4/15/11
  • 2013: Gardner Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Gardner voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13
  • 2015:  Gardner Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA. Gardner voted for legislation that gutted the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the insurance exchanges and subsidies, and repealing the Medicaid expansion accepted by 30 states, including Colorado.  [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15
  • 2017: Gardner Voted For The Senate “Repeal And Delay” Plan. Gardner voted for Obamacare Repeal and Replacement Act was a Republican effort to repeal the ACA without a replacement.  Known as “repeal and delay,” the bill repealed major sections of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, in 2020.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #169, 7/26/17
  • 2017: Gardner Voted For The Better Care Reconciliation Act. Gardner voted for the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which repealed and replaced the ACA.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #168, 7/25/17

When Asked About The Texas Lawsuit To Repeal The ACA, Gardner Refused To Condemn It: “What I Hope Succeeds Is This Place Getting Together To Find A Way To Drive Down Healthcare Costs.” [@PeterSullivan4, 12/18/18]