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After Four Long Years, Donald Trump’s War on American Health Care Ends Tomorrow

Joe Biden’s Inauguration Will Mark a New Beginning on Health Care: Better Coverage, Lower Costs and an End to the Pandemic 

Washington, DC — On Wednesday, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, closing President Trump’s dark chapter of health care sabotage and his colossal failure to address the worst public health crisis in over a century. At noon tomorrow, Americans can breathe a sigh of relief as President Biden will immediately launch a national plan to end the pandemic and put in place an administration that will fight for better, more affordable health care for every American. 

“Four years ago, President Trump’s first act as president was an Executive Order directing his cabinet to begin dismantling the Affordable Care Act. Four years later, the ACA is here to stay, and President Trump is out of a job, along with the congressional majorities he came in with,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Since taking office, Trump has seized every opportunity to attack health care and the Affordable Care Act. From trying to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, to throwing people off of Medicaid and completely failing to respond to the pandemic, Trump has been a disaster for American health care. Trump’s four year war on health care will end after costing the Republicans the White House and both chambers of Congress and with the ACA more popular than ever.”

“After Joe Biden is sworn in tomorrow, people will go to bed knowing better health care is on its way,” said Protect Our Care Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Voters elected Joe Biden because he will build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act by expanding coverage, improving care, addressing inequities and lowering costs. With Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer at his side and Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress, President Biden will deliver on his promises and deliver better health care for tens of millions of Americans.”

NEW POLL: Health Care Is a Priority for Georgia Voters

Washington, DC — With Democrats poised to take control of the Senate, a new PPP poll on behalf of Protect Our Care released today shows health care delivered the Georgia Democratic runoff victories and the Senate majority. Further, the issue remains top of mind for voters. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“This poll shows voters in Georgia saw health care as a key issue when they elected Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the Senate. By choosing Democrats to control the White House and Congress, voters gave them a clear mandate to implement their health care agenda. Tired of Trump’s relentless sabotage agenda, voters identified health care as a top priority and are ready for Congress to work with President-elect Biden to deliver on his health care plan to build on the Affordable Care Act by expanding access, lowering costs and strengthening protections for pre-existing conditions. Health care continues to deliver for Democrats as voters overwhelmingly trust them to implement more accessible and affordable policies.”

See the full PPP memo and toplines

Key Findings

  • 80% of voters surveyed who supported Ossoff and 79% who supported Warnock say health care was either the most important or a very important issue in deciding which candidate to support. Meanwhile, just 44% of Perdue voters and 45% of Loeffler voters say health care was a key issue in deciding their vote.
  • Health care is a critical issue among a large majority of African-American voters: 85% who supported Warnock and Ossoff say health care was either the most important or a very important issue in deciding their vote for Senate.
  • 54% of independents surveyed say they trusted Warnock and Ossoff more on the issue of healthcare, compared to just 23% who trusted Loeffler and Perdue more. Meanwhile, 55% of these independents say they voted for Warnock and 57% voted for Ossoff.
  • 68% of Georgians say they will be disappointed if Warnock and Ossoff fail to deliver on health care promises made during their campaigns. 

Protect Our Care Applauds President-Elect Biden’s Selection of Andrea Palm as Deputy Secretary of HHS

Washington, DC — Today, President-elect Biden announced that he has chosen Andrea Palm, the Secretary-designate of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, to be Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. During the Obama-Biden administration, Palm served as Chief of Staff and as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of HHS. Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care, who also served as Senior Counselor to the HHS Secretary at the same time as Palm, issued the following statement:

“Andrea Palm will be a great Deputy Secretary of HHS. She knows the building and has deep respect for the people who work there. She is kind, she is tough, and she knows the issues. In Wisconsin she did an extraordinary job combatting the pandemic, respecting the science and the facts, protecting the public health, and telling the truth to the people she served. I worked with Andrea every day I was at HHS, and she is a public servant through and through.”

In Trump Administration’s Final Days, CMS Finalizes Provision to Sabotage ACA Exchanges

Washington, DC — On Thursday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized several provisions for the annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for the 2022 benefit year, which outlines regulatory and financial guidelines applicable to exchange plans, and includes a provision allowing states to drop HealthCare.gov and instead direct people to buy ACA coverage through insurers and private brokers. In response to the provision, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“This latest move from CMS shows the stark difference between the Trump administration, which is spending its final days continuing its sabotage agenda by trying to rip coverage from people during a pandemic, and the incoming Biden administration, which will spend its first days working to expand health care coverage for Americans. The unprecedented provision issued by CMS undercuts the Affordable Care Act, injects chaos into the entire health care system and puts coverage for millions of Americans at risk. By pushing people to buy plans through private brokers, consumers are more likely to purchase junk plans that don’t cover essential health benefits or have protections for pre-existing conditions. 

“While the Biden administration will be able to reverse these harmful changes, it will take significant time and resources that could be spent on other pressing issues, like responding to the coronavirus pandemic. It is shameful — but not surprising — that the Trump administration is using its final days to cement its legacy of blocking Americans from getting quality, affordable health coverage.”

After Four Years of Mounting a Relentless War on American Health Care, Trump Administration Spends Final Days Gutting Medicaid

Washington, DC — On Friday, the Trump administration approved a proposal in Tennessee that would make the state’s Medicaid program a block grant. Block granting Medicaid funds is seen by health care experts as blatant attempts to gut coverage and kick people off the rolls, and have repeatedly been rejected by Congress. These actions come at a time when more and more Americans are enrolling in Medicaid across the country due to the pandemic. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration and CMS Administrator Seema Verma are spending their final days in power kicking people when they are down by ripping away health care during a pandemic. Instead of focusing on the nearly 4,000 Americans dying per day from coronavirus, Trump and Verma are running through the tape to cement their legacy of blocking as many people from coverage as possible. Initiating block grants isn’t about improving or reforming health care; it’s about ripping coverage away from more Americans, plain and simple. Thankfully, this will be reversed by the Biden administration who will instead work to ensure everyone has affordable, quality health care and to get the deadly pandemic under control.”

HEADLINES: With Senate Majority, President-Elect Biden Can Take Bold Action on Health Care

With the election of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate, health care champions have secured a majority in the chamber and are ready to help deliver on President-elect Biden’s bold health care agenda. Coverage shows Democrats capturing the Senate majority creates opportunities for the Biden administration to enact the president-elect’s vision to lower costs, expand coverage and defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

New York Times: With New Majority, Here’s What Democrats Can (and Can’t) Do on Health Care. “Congress is most likely to act on a set of changes meant to expand the Affordable Care Act and to make health coverage less expensive for those who buy their own plans. One priority is raising the income ceiling for those who receives subsidies, expanding the number of people who qualify for help. Another is rewriting formulas to peg the size of the subsidy to a more generous health insurance plan, a way to increase the amount of assistance…Democratic legislators may also be eager to protect the A.C.A. another way, passing legislation that would neuter Texas v. California, the pending Supreme Court challenge that argues the entire A.C.A. is unconstitutional.” [New York Times, 1/7/21]

Washington Post: The Georgia Wins Gave Democrats the Narrowest of Openings for Passing Health Policy. “For the first time since passing Obamacare a decade ago, Democrats will have a narrow margin to push health-care legislation through Congress without GOP help…House Democrats have made clear where they’d like to go on health care, in their ideal world. Last June, the House passed a significant expansion to the ACA. They knew it wouldn’t go anywhere under President Trump, but the measure laid down a marker for the direction Democratic leaders would like to move on the issue in the future.” [Washington Post, 1/7/21]

JAMA Network: Get Ready for a Lot of Biden Executive Orders on Health Care. “With the Democrats apparently poised to take control of the Senate following the runoff votes in Georgia, these proposals are all in play. However, some could be controversial even among Democrats, such as a public option health plan. Policies that can be enacted through complex rules governing budgetary legislation are most likely to move ahead because they can pass the Senate with simple majority votes and are not subject to a filibuster, which requires 60 votes to overcome…President-elect Biden is expected to reverse the Trump administration waiver rules. He could go further and encourage states to use flexibility under the ACA and Medicaid to expand coverage and improve affordability for patients.” [JAMA Network, 1/7/21]

Healthcare Finance News: With Democrats Winning Both Georgia Runoff Elections, the Biden Administration Could Make Substantial Changes to Healthcare. “A Biden presidency is expected to impact the business of healthcare in the U.S., and with the Democratic victories in Georgia, the chances are now much greater that his proposed changes will come to pass in some form. The first and most obvious implication for the healthcare industry is that the ACA will remain intact in some form. With years-long Republican opposition to the law and attempts to overturn it in the courts, that wasn’t always a given.” [Healthcare Finance News, 1/7/21]

Vox: 3 Health Care Policy Predictions Now That Democrats Have Won Control of the Senate. “Democrats have won control of the Senate, and suddenly the possibilities for health care policy look a little wider than they did before the Georgia runoff elections. Their Senate majority will be slim as can be, and their margin for error in the House is also quite small. So it’s not going to be easy to get anything done. But it seems likely that the Biden White House and a Democratic Congress will try to pass legislation to expand health coverage.” [Vox, 1/6/21]

Modern Healthcare: Six Healthcare Policies Democrats Could Push with Control of the Senate. “Democrats will have much more latitude to pursue their healthcare agenda with a trifecta government because they could use a tool called budget reconciliation to pass certain types of legislation with a simple Senate majority instead of the usual 60-vote threshold. The process has limits, but some of Biden’s priorities could potentially be accomplished.” [Modern Healthcare, 1/6/21]

USA Today: ‘Buckle Up!’ A Democratic Senate Could Help Advance Biden’s Agenda. Here are Some Top Policy Items. “Biden hopes to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which provides health care for millions of Americans….He says Americans can maintain private insurance, but a public option will also be available, particularly benefiting Americans who couldn’t access Medicaid because they live in the dozen states that didn’t allow them to do so under the ACA. Biden has said he would raise the subsidies people can use to help them buy coverage through ACA marketplaces. He says no family will have to spend more than 8.5% of their earnings on health coverage because of refundable tax credits for their premiums.” [USA Today, 1/6/21

Roll Call: Democrats Aim to Move Health Care Agenda Despite Slim Majorities. “Democrats’ priorities are unlikely to change significantly from recent years. House Democrats passed legislation last year to expand the size of premium tax credits to help people afford their monthly health insurance exchange premiums, as well as to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for some prescription drugs. That could serve as a starting point for health care legislation.” [Roll Call, 1/7/21

Morning Consult: Medicaid, Obamacare Expected to Top Democrats’ Early Health Agenda, Former Aides and Policy Analysts Say. “President-elect Joe Biden’s narrow path to enact health care legislation in the next two years got a little bit wider this week. Democrats are set to take control of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2011, and while COVID-19 is expected to dominate their agenda early on, lawmakers could take their first stabs at longtime priorities like expanding health coverage and lowering costs in the new year.” [Morning Consult, 1/8/21

Health Care Pushed Warnock and Ossoff to Historic Victories

Georgia Senators-Elect Made Health Care a Key Priority in the Closing Days of Their Campaigns 

On January 5, 2021, Georgians elected Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate, delivering a majority to Democrats. Both Warnock and Ossoff ran and won on health care. Ossoff and Warnock support President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda to lower costs, expand coverage, and defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Polling shows that health care has been a top issue for Georgia voters, and Warnock and Ossoff made health care a centerpiece of their messages throughout their campaigns was key to their victories.

Warnock and Ossoff Made Health Care a Key Issue in Their Races

Jon Ossoff’s Top Policy Objective Was “Great Health Care For Every American.” “I am fighting for great health care for every American with a strong Public Option and strengthened Affordable Care Act, to defend Medicare and Social Security, for historic investment in clean energy and infrastructure, to lower taxes for working families and small businesses, to defend Roe v. Wade and the privacy of women’s health care, to enact major criminal justice reform, to get dark money out of politics and end Citizens United.” [Jon Ossoff for Senate, accessed 1/6/21

In The Senate Raphael Warnock Will “Focus On Fighting For Quality, Affordable Health Care.” “As Senator, Reverend Warnock will bring to Washington the concerns of struggling Georgia families who wonder why no one is looking out for them. He will focus on fighting for quality, affordable health care, for the dignity of working people who are paid too little as our government works more for Wall Street, and to make sure every voice is heard.” [Warnock for Georgia, accessed 1/6/21

Warnock Emphasized Health Care Throughout The Runoff Campaign. “Warnock has put an emphasis on health care during his campaign. When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, Warnock said he was preaching about the need for health care from his pulpit because he saw it as a ‘moral scandal that the richest nation on the planet’ couldn’t find a way to get health care to all of its citizens. He said the pandemic has showed us how important it is for everyone to have health care coverage. ‘A global pandemic and an airborne deadly disease is teaching us something we already should have known — that if my neighbor coughs, that could potentially leave me in peril,’ Warnock said. ‘That doesn’t make my neighbor my enemy. That just means my neighbor’s destiny and mine are inextricably connected. My neighbor may be uncovered, but I’m unprotected. The pandemic has taught us that we are as connected to one another as a cough.’” [Brunswick News, 1/4/21

Biden Ad: “I Need Raphael Warnock And Jon Ossoff In The United States Senate” To Fight The Pandemic. “President-elect Joe Biden cut an ad for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock that ties the twin runoff races for control of the U.S. Senate directly to the fate of his plan to contain the coronavirus pandemic and juice the economy. The minute-long ad released Thursday outlines Biden’s plan to boost the public health response from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ensure free testing and vaccination for every American and pump financial relief into small businesses. ‘Let me be clear, I need Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the United States Senate to get this done,’ he said of the Jan. 5 runoffs. ‘There are folks in Congress threatening to do everything in their power to block our efforts. We need you to get out there and vote for Jon Ossoff, as well as Raphael Warnock. We need them in the Senate.’” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12/17/20

Warnock and Ossoff Emphasized Health Care During Final Push Before the Election

Warnock GOTV Message: Get Ready For Affordable Health Care” “Well, call everybody you know and tell them to get up, get dressed, put your shoes on, get ready for affordable health care. Get ready for a livable wage. Get ready to reclaim our democracy and reclaim the future for all of our children. God bless you. Let’s win the future.” [Raphael Warnock, Rally, 1/4/21

Ossoff GOTV Message: “We Are Building A Movement Based On Love, For Health, Jobs, And Justice.” “We are building a movement based on love, for health, jobs and justice for the people. Health, jobs and justice for all the people, Atlanta. Let’s talk about health for a moment. 300,000 Americans killed by this virus, our hospital systems, our nursing homes buckling under the weight of this pandemic. So many who have lost so much. Loved ones buried, loved ones who have lost their lives unable to see or touch their loved ones as they pass. A government that has lied to us every step of the way. We can beat COVID-19, Atlanta. We can pass legislation to rush resources to hospitals and nursing homes. We can make sure every American gets access to testing and vaccines free of charge. We can beat COVID-19 and get our daily lives back. And do you believe, like I do, Atlanta, and like Reverend Warnock does, that healthcare is a human right? Health care is a human right, and not just a privilege for those who have enough money in their bank accounts or who live in the right zip code.” [Jon Ossoff, Rally, 1/4/21

  • Ossoff: “We Will Ensure That Every Single American Has Great Health Insurance, No Matter Their Ability To Pay, Whether They Have A Preexisting Condition, Suffering From Asthma, Or Diabetes, Or A Cancer Survivor.” “We will stand up to the drug companies who are ripping off Georgia families at the pharmacy every single day, charging outrageous prices for lifesaving medicine and insulin. We will ensure that every single American has great health insurance, no matter their ability to pay, whether they have a preexisting condition, suffering from asthma, or diabetes, or a cancer survivor, because Georgia, healthcare is a human right, and we will make it so in the United States of America.” [Jon Ossoff, Rally, 1/4/21

Ossoff’s Closing Ad: “We Demand Health Care No Matter Our Wealth.” “Senate candidate Jon Ossoff’s closing TV argument is a call to action centered on Black voters’ struggles with injustice and the coronavirus pandemic as he makes his final pitch in the last week of the runoff campaign. The 30-second spot, ‘We the people,’ includes flashbacks to the stories of five Black Georgians his campaign featured in earlier ads, which highlight how the pandemic has disproportionately sickened African-American families and invoke demonstrations demanding racial justice and equality. The ad released Wednesday doesn’t mention Ossoff’s rival, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, or other Republican figures involved in the Jan. 5 runoffs for control of the Senate. Instead, it outlines far-reaching policies he and Raphael Warnock say they’ll achieve if Perdue and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler are defeated. ‘We the people. We demand healthcare no matter our wealth. We the people demand justice no matter the color of our skin. We the people demand immediate financial relief when so many can’t afford rent, gas or childcare,’ Ossoff said.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12/30/20

Warnock and Ossoff Will Fight for Biden’s Bold Health Care Agenda in the Senate

Ossoff Victory Speech: “This Campaign Has Been About Health And Jobs And Justice For The People Of This State.” “This campaign has been about health and jobs and justice for the people of this state — for all the people of this state. And they will be my guiding principles, as I serve this state in the U.S. Senate, ensuring that every Georgian has great health care, no matter our wealth, ensuring that we invest in an economic recovery that includes all communities, that rebuilds our state’s infrastructure, that lays the foundations for prosperity in rural Georgia, suburban communities, and urban communities alike, and securing equal justice for all, following in the footsteps of leaders who have departed us in this last year like Congressman John Lewis and C.T. Vivian.” [Jon Ossoff Victory Speech, 1/6/21

Warnock Pledged To “Beat This Pandemic With Science” And Fight For “Essential Benefits” In His Victory Speech. “I know we can beat this pandemic with science and common sense. I know we can rebuild a fairer economy by respecting the dignity of work and the workers who do it. An economy that honors those whom we now call essential workers by paying them an essential wage, providing them essential benefits. I know we can move closer to justice with empathy and understanding, passion and purpose. To everyone out there struggling today—whether you voted for me or not—know this: I see you. I hear you. And I will fight for you. I will fight for your family.” [Raphael Warnock Victory Speech, 1/5/21

Warnock, Ossoff Ran and Won on Health Care and Now Americans Are in Store for a Bold Health Care Agenda

With Majority Control of Congress and the White House, Democrats Poised to Pass Bold Measures to Expand Coverage, Lower Costs and End the Pandemic

Washington, DC — With Democratic victories in both Georgia Senate races last night delivering a Democratic majority in the Senate, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“Georgians elected Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff because they are health care champions who will help President-elect Biden and House Democrats enact a bold agenda to ensure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care and to end the coronavirus pandemic.

“This race was run and won on health care, just like Democratic victories in Senate races in Arizona and Colorado in November, just like capturing the House in 2018 and holding it in 2020 and just like President-elect Biden’s victory over President Trump. President Trump’s first act as president was to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, and, politically, it’s been all downhill for Republicans ever since. In 2017, they lost the repeal fight and two gubernatorial races over health care and Medicaid expansion. In 2019, they lost gubernatorial races in Louisiana and in Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky over Medicaid expansion. They’ve been on the losing side of ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid all over the country. They lost the House, the presidency and now the Senate all because of their unbridled zeal to deny people access to affordable health care, rip away protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and their failure to address the pandemic.

“Democrats recaptured the political high ground on health care long ago, and by winning the Senate majority last night, they now have a clear mandate to reverse four years of Trump’s sabotage and to enact a health care agenda. Under President-elect Biden’s leadership, the Democrats will build on the ACA to expand coverage, lower costs for prescription drugs, address racial inequities in health care and end the pandemic. As President-elect Biden might say, that’s a big effing deal.”

Elected Officials and Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Encourage Americans to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline

United States Senators, Members of Congress and Local Elected Officials Remind Americans to Sign Up for Coverage Through the ACA Ahead of December 15 Deadline

As open enrollment draws to a close in most states, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tina Smith (D-MN), Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (D-MN), U.S. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Cindy Axne (D-IA-03) and U.S. Representative-elect Deborah Ross (D-NC-02) along with other elected officials and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care for events nationwide. These national and local leaders met virtually to discuss the HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Americans with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas the Trump-Republican lawsuit that, if successful, would overturn the entire ACA, rip health care away from over 20 million Americans and end its protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions — all during the worst public health crisis in a century. Even as the ACA continues to face constant threats from the GOP, the marketplaces remain resilient, with more than 11 million people having signed up last year and even more affordable coverage options to choose from this year.

ALASKA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: Anchorage Assemblymembers, United Way and Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Alaskans Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Anchorage Assemblymembers, United Way and Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center joined Protect Our Care Alaska for a virtual roundtable to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Alaskans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Assemblymember Meg Zaletel and Suzanne LaFrance, Jane Straight of the United Way of Anchorage, and Samantha Longacre of the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center all spoke to the critical importance of getting coverage before it’s too late. You can view a recording of the event here.

ARIZONA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Health Care Advocates and Experts Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Arizonans Covered
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Arizona father and dedicated health care advocate Steve Gomez, and lead navigator with the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers Allen Gjersvig joined Protect Our Care Arizona for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Arizonans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. You can view a recording of the event here.

COLORADO
Thursday, December 10, 2020: Connect for Health Colorado and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Coloradans Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
To celebrate #GetCovered day ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, health care advocates and health insurance and policy experts joined Colorado Protect Our Care for a digital discussion of the the current ConnectForHealthCO.com Open Enrollment period and to provide Coloradans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. State Representative and ER nurse Kyle Mullica, co-chair of Health Care Voters Laura Packard, Connect for Health Colorado representative Saphia Elfituri, Strategic Engagement Director for Colorado Consumer Health Initiative Adam Fox, and Aaron Silverstein highlighted the importance of getting enrolled in coverage ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline. You can view a recording of the event here.

FLORIDA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Health Care Advocate Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Floridians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) and a Broward County health care advocate, Ryann Greenberg, joined Protect Our Care Florida for a virtual press event to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Floridians with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Floridians need it the most. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
NBC 6 Miami: Segment on Open-Enrollment Event with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
WLRN / WFSU / WMFE: Radio Report on Open Enrollment w/ Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Playing on NPR Affiliates Across Florida, Including Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee

Friday, December 11, 2020: U.S. Rep. Val Demings and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Floridians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10) and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Florida for a virtual press event to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Floridians with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Floridians need it the most. Rep. Demings was joined by Primary Care Access Network ACA Marketplace Director Anne Packham and Dr. Mildred Garcia. You can view a recording of the event here.

GEORGIA
Friday, December 11, 2020: U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and Health Care Advocates Encourage Georgians to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-04) and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Georgia for a Virtual Press Conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Georgians with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Georgians need it the most. Congressman Johnson was joined by Georgians for a Healthy Future Executive Director Laura Colbert, Georgia Primary Care Association navigator Roberto Gutierrez, and two-time cancer survivor Cindy Pursley. You can view a recording of the event here.

IOWA
Friday, December 11, 2020: State Sen. Joe Bolkcom and Health Care Advocates Encourage Iowans to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on Dec. 15
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, health care advocates will join Progress Iowa and Protect Our Care for a press call to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Iowans with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Iowans need it the most. State Senator Joe Bolkcom, Health Care advocate Tammy Gertsen, who gets her health insurance through the ACA marketplace, and Jason Snell, who was covered through Medicaid Expansion when he contracted COVID-19 earlier this year. Listen to a recording of the call here.

MAINE
Friday, December 11, 2020: Maine Senate President Troy Jackson and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Mainers Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Senate President Troy Jackson and Consumers for Affordable Health Care Director Ann Woloson joined Protect Our Care Maine for a press call to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Mainers with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Speakers emphasized this as a critical need, especially as job losses mount and threaten employer-based coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to a recording of the call here.

MICHIGAN
Tuesday, December 8, 2020: Protect Our Care and Health Care Advocates Discuss Open Enrollment, Getting Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Dr. Farhan Bhatti, a board-certified family physician and CEO of Care Free Medical, and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Michigan for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Michiganders with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. They were joined by Amber Bellazaire, a policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy, and Sarah Stark, a patient advocate. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
Fox 17: WATCH: Health Care Advocates Encourage Michiganders to Sign Up for Affordable Care Act by Dec. 15

MINNESOTA
Tuesday, December 8, 2020: U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, MNsure CEO Nate Clark, and Health Care Advocates Encourage Minnesotans to Sign Up for Health Coverage
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, and MNsure CEO Nate Clark joined Protect Our Care Minnesota for a virtual press event to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Minnesotans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. They were joined by Megan Halena, the program director at Generations Health Initiatives in Duluth, Denise Robertson, the Navigator Program Director for Health Access MN, and Jessica Intermill, a Minnesotan who relies on the ACA for coverage after she developed a pre-existing condition. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
KTOE: MNsure Officials Reminding Minnesotans About Upcoming Enrollment Deadline
KEYC: Sen. Tina Smith Urges MNsure Enrollment
Duluth News Tribune: Editorial: This Is No Time to Be Without Health Insurance

MONTANA
Sunday, December 13, 2020: Missoulian Op-Ed: As COVID-19 Cases Surge, Open Enrollment Period More Important Than Ever
On Sunday, Montana placed an Op-Ed in the Missoulian regarding the importance of Montanans to sign up for health insurance during the Open Enrollment period. Read the op-ed here.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Friday, December 4, 2020: U.S. Senators Shaheen and Hassan Join Health Care Advocates to Urge Granite Staters to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15th
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan called on Granite Staters to get covered by checking out affordable, comprehensive plans offered in the ACA 2021 Open Enrollment. They pointed to HealthCare.gov as a place where Granite Staters can find the resources they need to access health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act between now and December 15th. The Senators were joined by health care advocates Lucy C. Hodder, Director, Health Law and Policy, UNH School of Law, Dr. Patrick Ho, Chief Resident in Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and President of the New Hampshire Psychiatric Society, Zandra Rice-Hawkins from Granite State Progress Education Fund, Jeremy Smith from NH Navigator, and Covering NH, a project of Granite State Progress Education Fund and the NH Health Care Coalition, in collaboration with Protect Our Care NH. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
Union Leader: Obamacare Is Still Working for New Hampshire
Concord Monitor: Enrollment Period for Health Insurance Ends Tuesday

Monday, December 14, 2020: U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Addiction Crisis and Urge Granite Staters to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15th
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH-02) called on Granite Staters to check out comprehensive healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before Open Enrollment ends at midnight on Tuesday, December 15th. Rep. Kuster joined a roundtable discussion today on the state of New Hampshire’s ongoing addiction crisis, and how the ACA has played a crucial role. Speakers Jake Berry, Vice President of Policy at New Futures, Jonathan Brown from Harbor Care in Nashua, Dr. Seddon Savage of Dartmouth Hitchcock, and Mary Drew, Founder & CEO of Reality Check discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the shape of substance use treatment and recovery in New Hampshire in 2020 with health insurance for thousands of Granite Staters battling substance use disorder. Watch the recording of the event here.

NORTH CAROLINA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: North Carolina DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, U.S. Rep-Elect Deborah Ross, Senator Terry van Duyn, and Representative Graig Meyer Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get North Carolinians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, U.S. Rep-Elect Deborah Ross (D-NC-02), Senator Terry van Duyn, and Representative Graig Meyer joined Protect Our Care North Carolina for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide North Carolinians with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Speakers also called out Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for failing to pass comprehensive legislation for COVID-19 relief since March, as the economic downturn puts employer based health coverage at risk. You can view a recording of the event here.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Monday, December 14, 2020: State Rep. JA Moore, Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get South Carolinians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
State Rep. JA Moore and Tiffany James joined Protect Our Care South Carolina for a virtual roundtable to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide South Carolinians with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Speakers also blasted Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, for failing to pass comprehensive legislation for COVID-19 relief since March, as the economic downturn puts employer-based health coverage at risk. Speakers urged Congress to provide relief for South Carolinians immediately. You can watch the event here.

WISCONSIN
Monday, December 7, 2020: U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Commissioner of Insurance Afable, and Health Care Advocates Encourage Wisconsinites to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15th
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, US Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Wisconsinites with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. They were joined by Vik Verma, a Merrill resident who depended on his ACA insurance after he was seriously injured in a car accident, and Lillian Cheesman, a Milwaukee-based attorney who relies on the marketplace to get insurance for her family and run a small business. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
Wisconsin Examiner: Deadline Approaches to Sign Up for Individual Health Insurance
Up North News: Enrollment Ends Dec. 15 for Insurance Coverage Through Affordable Care Act
Channel 3000: ACA Open Enrollment Runs Through Dec. 15
WisPolitics: U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin Says She Hopes Federal Lawmakers Can Pass A Funding Bill Before Government Funding Expires at the End of the Week

Xavier Becerra’s Decades-Long Health Care Record

Xavier Becerra has been on the frontlines fighting for health care throughout his career by working to expand people’s access to health care and protect underserved communities — all while taking on powerful special interests. Becerra’s decades of experience in health care make him uniquely qualified to serve as Health and Human Services Secretary as our country faces the challenges of an ever-worsening global pandemic. As California’s AG, Becerra held drug companies accountable for the opioid crisis and stopped hospital systems from overcharging patients. He’s been on the legal forefront of defending the Affordable Care Act, opposing junk plans and fighting pharmaceutical companies to make prescription drugs more affordable. Becerra will undo the sabotage Republicans have been waging on health care for the last decade and use his policy experience to enact President-elect Biden’s vision of lowering health care costs, expanding access and improving care.

Expanding Access To Care 

  • Becerra was an original co-sponsor of the Affordable Care Act and helped write the portion of the ACA that addresses Medicare benefits and reimbursements. 
  • Becerra served in Congress for 24 years and was the first Latino to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee where he tirelessly worked to protect Medicare and Social Security.
  • Starting in 2007, Becerra was the lead sponsor of the Medicare Savings Programs Improvement Act. The bill expanded cost-sharing subsidies for low-income seniors who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits by increasing the amount of resources they could receive and making assistance available to more seniors who need medical care, but can’t afford it. Portions of Becerra’s legislation were included in legislation passed by the House in 2008 and 2015
  • Becerra sponsored legislation to raise the cap on benefits for patients receiving Medicare physical therapy. 
  • In 2009, Becerra sponsored the E-Centives Act, which provided incentives for Medicaid providers to improve care by implementing electronic health records. A version of Becerra’s bill was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 
  • Becerra helped draft the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT) of 2014, requiring the HHS Secretary to conduct research on issues related to socioeconomic status in Medicare’s value-based programs.
  • As California Attorney General, Becerra worked with the state senate on legislation that would make healthcare more affordable and accessible by cracking down on anticompetitive behavior and consolidation in the healthcare market. The bill required the Attorney General’s Office to review and approve affiliations or acquisitions between healthcare systems, facilities, or provider groups to ensure transactions either improve care coordination or increase healthcare access for underserved populations. 

Fighting to Protect the Affordable Care Act

  • In the House, Becerra fought back against multiple attempts to repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act, voting at least nine times against efforts to fully repeal or defund the law. Becerra stood up to protect the law and its achievements, which he said he was “very proud” of. 
  • Becerra has been a stalwart legal defender of the Affordable Care Act, taking on at least four cases to protect the law: 
    • Becerra has led the 20+ state coalition of attorneys general fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act from the Republican effort to repeal the entire law via the California v. Texas lawsuit. The case was heard at the Supreme Court on November 10, 2020. 
    • Becerra joined a coalition of attorneys general filing a lawsuit in opposition to the Trump administration’s expansion of Association Health Plans that offer junk insurance that doesn’t have to comply with ACA coverage requirements and protections. 
    • Becerra intervened in House v. Hargan, a lawsuit filed by Republicans seeking to eliminate cost sharing reduction payments and undercut the affordability of the ACA’s health plans. He then led a multi-state coalition in California v. Trump suing the administration over its decision to stop making CSR payments as required by the ACA. 
  • Becerra led a coalition of attorneys general who successfully secured a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s “Public Charge” rule, which targeted immigrant families who often rely on health safety net programs. 

Reducing Drug Prices

  • Becerra led the defense of California’s law banning collusive “pay for delay” pharmaceutical agreements that delay generic drugs from entering the market and keep costs high. 
  • Becerra launched a House Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force in 2016 to address the rising costs of prescription drugs. 

Fighting The Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Becerra led a bipartisan multi-state coalition to urge the federal government to take action to increase the supply and affordability of drugs to fight Covid-19.
  • Becerra has repeatedly urged President Trump to fully invoke the National Defense Production Act to ensure that Americans have enough PPE. 
  • In May 2020, Becerra and other state attorneys general called on CMS Administrator Seema Verma to increase transparency and accountability from nursing homes as Covid-19 continued to spread through Medicare and Medicaid facilities. Following Becerra’s letter, CMS issued interim rules to ensure that nursing homes would quickly notify family members of illness and provide data to federal public health institutions about any cases

Reproductive Rights And Equitable Care

  • Becerra sued to overturn the Trump administration’s “Healthcare Refusal Rule,” which jeopardizes health and safety by allowing anyone remotely involved in a healthcare transaction—from doctors to ambulance drivers or front office staff— to deny care on religious or moral objections. 
  • Becerra is a stalwart supporter of reproductive freedom. He led a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s rules that would take away access to birth control and defended the Title X Family Planning Program in court, which funds care for more than four million people each year.