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Top Patient and Provider Groups Sound the Alarm to Protect Preventive Care Relied on by Millions of Americans

The Braidwood Management v. Becerra Lawsuit Puts Lifesaving Care for Millions At Risk

Washington DC — This week, two dozen patient and provider groups filed briefs warning that eliminating free preventive care services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) puts the health and well-being of millions of patients at risk. The briefs follow a response from the Biden administration against the ideologically driven lawsuit seeking to rip away core preventive health protections. The Braidwood Management (formerly Kelley) v. Becerra lawsuit threatens the ACA requirement that guarantees free access to over 100 preventive health services, including health screenings, routine vaccinations, well baby and child visits, prenatal care, contraception, and more. In 2020 alone, more than 150 million Americans used these services.

In September, Judge Reed O’Connor ruled against a key set of preventive services covered under the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, including lifesaving colorectal and other cancer screenings, depression screenings, hypertension screenings, and access to PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). The conservative plaintiffs, backed by right-wing legal activists, have called on Judge O’Connor to throw out all of the guaranteed preventive services under the ACA.  In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“This is a politically-driven lawsuit that threatens the health and financial security of millions of Americans. If the plaintiffs get their way, American families will once again be at the mercy of their insurance companies and employers, who could make it harder to access cancer screenings, prenatal care, vaccinations, and more. Free preventive care has become a bedrock of the American health care system, improving health outcomes, reducing inequities, cutting consumer health care costs, and saving lives. Without free access to preventive care, Americans will face impossible choices between going to the doctor for routine cancer screenings and paying groceries and housing.”  

More From The Briefs:

Patient Groups Led By The American Cancer Society: “Ending No-Cost Access To Proven Preventive Services Nationwide Would Have A Profoundly Negative Effect On The Ability Of Millions Of Patients To Get The Care They Need.” “Ending no-cost access to proven preventive services nationwide would have a profoundly negative effect on the ability of millions of patients to get the care they need in a timely and effective manner. Numerous research studies have proven the benefits of these services. They ensure people can prevent, detect and treat their conditions as early as possible, improving health outcomes and saving patients and the health care system money. Whether it’s a doctor-recommended colonoscopy that finds a polyp before it becomes cancer, a low dose CT scan that identifies early stage lung cancer, a screening for diabetes that saves someone from developing potentially life-threatening kidney disease, a blood pressure test that alerts someone to their increased risk for a heart attack, smoking cessation services that help someone end a tobacco addiction, or medication that prevents the acquisition of HIV, these services are critical to people’s health.” [American Cancer Society, 11/30/22]

  • The following patient groups signed the brief: American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Kidney Fund, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, CancerCare, Cancer Support Community, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Minority Quality Forum, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Patient Advocate Foundation, The Aids Institute and WomenHeart.

Physicians Organizations Led By The American Medical Association: “No-Cost Preventive Care Saves Lives, Saves Money, Improves Health Outcomes, And Enables Healthier Lifestyles.” “The research is clear: no-cost preventive care saves lives, saves money, improves health outcomes, and enables healthier lifestyles. As medical professionals, amici know that preventive care can mean the difference between kicking a smoking habit or living with a heightened risk of dozens of illnesses; between taking a statin or suffering a life-changing heart attack; between providing essential prenatal care and screening or leaving children behind; and between catching a patient’s cancer early or catching it after it’s too late. Identifying and treating conditions before they worsen, or before they present at all, yields better outcomes for patients and saves money for the health system overall.” [American Medical Association, 12/1/22

  • The following provider groups signed the brief: The American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, The American Medical Women’s Association, The Infectious Diseases Society of America, The National Medical Association, and The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Navigator Poll Shows Broad, Bipartisan Support for Maternal and Child Health in the Upcoming End of Year Package

Passing the “Momnibus” Act is the #1 Issue for Voters in Upcoming End-of-Year Package with Majority Support from Independents and Republicans

Washington DC — New Navigator polling reveals 72 percent of voters support passing the “Momnibus” legislation to reduce preventable deaths in moms. America has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized country in the world and 80 percent of deaths are entirely preventable. This legislation is also key to addressing stark racial disparities in the maternal mortality crisis. In total, 72 percent of respondents, including 63 percent of independents and 59 percent of Republicans, reported they support Congress passing the “Momnibus” bill — ranking higher than any other priority. 

Protect Our Care has urged Congress to pass the “Momnibus” bill as a key end-of-year priority for Congress, along with other actions that will strengthen coverage for children, moms, and people on Medicaid. Read Protect Our Care’s full end-of-year agenda here

“It is outrageous and unacceptable that America has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized nation in the world. The majority of these deaths, which particularly occur among women of color, are preventable. Congress has the opportunity to save lives and must pass the ‘Momnibus’ bill and other key measures to protect mothers and children,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The ‘Momnibus’ bill tackles the crisis head on by making key investments in health care for moms and babies and working to reduce stark racial disparities in health outcomes. Polling confirms that this legislation is widely supported by voters of all parties, so it is up to lawmakers to act now to support mothers and their families and to save lives.” 

Health Care Leaders Join Protect Our Care Across Six States to Discuss Affordable Health Care Options During Open Enrollment

Across the country, health care experts, lawmakers, and advocates joined Protect Our Care to discuss the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 which began on November 1 and provides Americans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. 

More people have access to affordable health insurance than ever before thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. It is historic legislation that reduces health care premiums for 13 million families purchasing coverage on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces. Last year, a record-breaking 14.5 million people signed up for coverage through the ACA marketplaces. Ahead of this open enrollment period, the Biden administration announced the single-largest investment ever in the Navigators program, to help connect even more people to coverage, with a focus on outreach to racial and ethnic minorities, people in rural communities, LGBTQ+ communities, and other particularly underserved communities. President Biden also eliminated the family glitch, allowing an additional 1 million people to be eligible for affordable health care on the marketplace and receive premium subsidies. With the enhanced subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Biden administration’s historic investment in the Navigator program, new enrollments are up nearly 40% over last year

The Inflation Reduction Act will keep health care costs low for those enrolling in ACA marketplace plans this year. Four out of five people are eligible for coverage at $10 or less. On average, families will save thousands of dollars a year on health care thanks to these enhanced subsidies and the Biden administration’s historic investment in the Navigator program. These savings are a game-changer, giving average middle-class families much-needed breathing room to pay for other essentials like rent, groceries, and gas. These actions ensure access to quality, affordable, and equitable care for years to come

ARIZONA

Tuesday, November 22, HHS Regional Director, Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso joined Protect Our Care Arizona to discuss the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period, which began on November 1, 2022, and provided Arizonans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “President Biden and HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra both believe healthcare should be a human right, not a privilege. Every American deserves the peace of mind that quality, affordable health insurance brings. Americans facing illness should never have to worry about how they are going to pay for their treatment, or face a choice between buying life saving medications and putting food on the table, especially during this holiday season.” said Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso. “In 2021 when we were signing up for our 2022 coverage, we celebrated the fact that because of the American Rescue Plan there were subsidies extended to average, working Americans like us,” said Anna Laidlaw, Arizona ACA enrollee. “It helped take the financial burden off of the decision making process. It meant that we no longer had to dip into our savings every month just to pay our premiums.” You can watch the event here.

COVERAGE:

IOWA

Tuesday, November 22, Iowa State Rep. John Forbes and Joseph Palm, Regional Director, HHS Region 7 joined Protect Our Care to discuss the upcoming ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period which began on November 1 and provides Iowans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage.The Inflation Reduction Act is desperately needed. For many, the bill will lower the cost of healthcare by thousands of dollars a year – giving them breathing room to pay for other necessities like food, gas, and rent. The legislation also makes sure more Iowans will be able to sign-up for and afford health care coverage during the open enrollment period.” said Joseph Palm, Regional Director, HHS Region 7. “Americans pay three times more for the same drugs as people in other countries while big drug companies make record-breaking profits,” said Iowa Rep. John Forbes. “In the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and affording the medications they need to survive. The Inflation Reduction Act represents crucial progress in increasing affordable and equitable health care coverage for all Iowans.” You can watch the event here.

COVERAGE:

MICHIGAN

Wednesday, October 26, State Rep Sarah Anthony and Michigan Health Care Advocates joined Protect Our Care to urge families and individuals who need insurance to sign up for health care as the open enrollment period begins Tuesday, Nov. 1 – and as the new Inflation Reduction Act offers ways to save. “Too many families across Michigan are being forced to make an impossible decision: choose between seeking the medical care they need or putting food on the table,” said State Rep. Sarah Anthony. “It is a choice no one should ever have to make, and it is vital that we let folks know about the various ways families and individuals can reduce their health care costs through the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act – specifically, saving money on prescription drugs, on insulin, and on health insurance premiums.” You can watch the event here.

COVERAGE:

  • Michigan Radio: Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act marketplace plans starts November 1

NEW JERSEY

Friday, November 4, HHS Regional Director Dr. Dara Kass and Laura Waddell, Health Care Program Director at NJ Citizen Action joined Protect Our Care New Jersey to answer questions about the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period, which started on November 1, 2022 and provided New Jerseyans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “This open enrollment period is especially important for the millions of people who were enrolled in New Jersey FamilyCare over the past couple of years, but may now need to look at other health insurance options,” said Dr. Dara Kass, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director. “With help from the Inflation Reduction Act, families in New Jersey will have access to quality, affordable and equitable care.” You can watch the event here.

OHIO

Wednesday, November 23, State Rep. Juanita Brent, President, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus; Dennis González, Executive Officer – Office of the Secretary, HHS; Steven Wagner, Executive Director, UHCAN Ohio; and Samuel Camacho, Certified Navigator, Affordable Care Act, UHCAN Ohio  joined Protect Our Care to discuss the upcoming ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period which began on November 1 and provides Ohioans with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “Every day, when people are thinking about how they’re going to take care of their families, one thing we don’t want them to be concerned about is their health care,” said State Rep. Juanita Brent. “The Inflation Reduction Act is a key step in making sure people can keep more money in their pockets so they can live their American dream.” Dennis González with HHS highlighted key upcoming dates for open enrollment. He said, “Open enrollment started on November 1st and it ends January 15th. That’s very important to remember because after January 15th, unless you have a special circumstance, you can’t enroll until the following November. Also, if you want coverage by January 1st, you have to enroll by December 15th.” You can watch the event here.

COVERAGE:

WEST VIRGINIA

Tuesday, November 1, WV State Senator Dr. Ron Stollings and Health Care Advocates joined Protect Our Care West Virginia to discuss how the Inflation Reduction Act will keep health care costs low for West Virginians enrolling in ACA marketplace plans this year. With Open Enrollment for 2023 Marketplace plans starting on November 1, advocates also provided West Virginians with the resources they need to enroll in quality, affordable coverage. “The Inflation Reduction Act will save the lives of thousands of West Virginians,” said Dr. Ron Stollings, who represents Boone County in the West Virginia Senate.  “For so many, this is the difference between worrying about how to afford prescription drugs or going to the doctor and making ends meet. We have been asking and waiting for this day, and now we are so grateful help is on the way. The Inflation Reduction Act will lower the cost of prescription drugs, make premiums more affordable, and strengthen health care for millions of Americans.” You can watch the event here.

COVERAGE:

  • Dominion Post: Healthcare advocates tout new benefits of Inflation Reduction Act as ACA enrollment period opens

TODAY: HHS Regional Directors, Lawmakers, and Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care For Events in Ohio, Iowa, and Arizona to Discuss Affordable Health Care During Open Enrollment

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2022***

HHS Regional Directors Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso and Joseph Palm, Lawmakers and Advocates to Discuss ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment in Ohio, Iowa, and Arizona

Today, Protect Our Care will host events in three states with two regional directors of Health and Human Services, state lawmakers, and health care advocates to discuss the ACA Open Enrollment 2023 period, and will provide resources needed to enroll in quality, affordable coverage.

The Inflation Reduction Act will keep health care costs low for the ACA marketplace plans this year. It is historic legislation that reduces health care premiums for 13 million families purchasing coverage on the ACA marketplaces. On average, families will save thousands of dollars a year on health care, giving them the much-needed breathing room to pay for other essentials like rent, groceries, and gas.

DES MOINES, IA
WHO: 
Joseph Palm, HHS Regional Director, Region 7
Susan Blocker, Breast Cancer Survivor
Timi Brown-Powers, Iowa State Representative  
Matt Sinovic, Progress Iowa & Protect Our Care Iowa

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

WHEN: Tuesday, November 22, at 11:00 a.m. (CST)

COLUMBUS, OH
WHO:
State Rep. Juanita Brent, President, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus
Dennis González, Executive Officer, HHS Region 5
Steven Wagner, Executive Director, UHCAN Ohio
Samuel Camacho, Certified Navigator, Affordable Care Act, UHCAN Ohio

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

WHEN: Tuesday, November 22, at 11:00 a.m. (EST)

PHOENIX, AZ
WHO: 
Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso, HHS Regional Director
Chris Stead, Lead Navigator & Community Development Supervisor, El Rio Community Health Center, Tucson
Anna Laidlaw, Arizona ACA Enrollee

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required) 

WHEN: Tuesday, November 22, 12:00 p.m. (MST)

SHOT/CHASER: House Republicans Take Aim at ACA While Record Number of Americans Are Enrolling in Affordable Coverage

Last week, Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee released their oversight agenda for next year, naming their top priority as investigating new policies that have made coverage under the ACA more affordable for millions of families. Once again, Republicans are showing that they are completely out of step with the American people and are seeking to use their majority to attack health care. This comes as ACA signups are surging and people are saving thousands of dollars a year on care. 

SHOT: GOP Lawmakers on the House Ways & Means Committee Release Agenda to “Investigate” Obamacare. “Illegal Expansion of Obamacare: Thanks to Obamacare, Americans are paying higher health care costs for less access, yet Democrats’ only solution is to keep expanding it, including its latest illegal rewrite. Republicans want to know how the Administration justifies these partisan decisions that make health care for American families worse.” [House Committee on Ways and Means, 11/18/22

CHASER: The ACA is More Affordable and Popular Than Ever Before. “Big announcement from @POTUS just now: new Open Enrollment signs ups on http://HealthCare.gov are up nearly 40% compared to the same time last year. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, 4 in 5 people can find coverage for under $10.” [@SecBecerra, 11/18/22

FACT SHEET: Senator Bill Cassidy Is A Threat To Americans’ Care On The HELP Committee

The presumed incoming ranking member on the Senate HELP Committee, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)’s record on health care is as abysmal as they come. Over the years, Cassidy has voted to rip health care coverage from millions of Americans and strip protections from as many as 130 million people with pre-existing conditions, and his own 2017 repeal bill was the worst of the bunch. Senator Cassidy has also opposed provisions before Congress that would lower drug prices, expand coverage, improve care for seniors, and level the playing field for working families. Republicans like Senator Cassidy are completely out of touch with the economic and health worries that keep families up at night as they continue to put industry profits ahead of their constituents. 

Bill Cassidy’s Plan To Repeal The Affordable Care Act Would Leave Tens Of Millions Without Care

After the failure of Donald Trump’s other attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Bill Cassidy partnered with Lindsey Graham and Dean Heller on a proposal that would have radically changed our health care system – ending the Affordable Care Act tax credits and Medicaid expansion and changing them into block grants with dramatically less funding for states. It would have also converted traditional Medicaid into a per capita cap program permanently. This bill aimed to slash coverage, raise costs, eliminate protections for millions of people across America and gut Medicaid. In fact, it was the worst of the repeal bills that were proposed in 2017 and its bad ideas have lingered on for years. 

Cassidy’s Bill Was Worse than Other Repeal Bills 

Analysts Agreed: Every State Would Have Suffered Under Graham-Cassidy Affecting People’s Care. Multiple independent analyses agreed that the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have cut federal funding to states. Over time, every state would lose because Graham-Cassidy proposed to zero out its block grants and ratchet down its spending on the Medicaid per capita cap. This meant people would not have access to the financial assistance to help lower their health care bills, and federal Medicaid funding would no longer adjust for public health emergencies, prescription drug or other cost spikes, or other unexpected increases in need. 

Cassidy’s Health Care Plan Cut Care For Millions Of Americans

Under Graham-Cassidy 32 Million Would Lose Health Coverage. As a result of zeroing out block grants for Marketplace tax credits and Medicaid expansion and additional cuts to Medicaid, the Graham-Cassidy bill essentially repealed the Affordable Care Act without replacing it

Millions Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Would Be Put At Risk. The Graham-Cassidy bill would have eliminated Medicaid expansion, which has helped more than 15 million Americans receive quality, affordable coverage, and put part of its funding into inadequate block grants. The bill would have further punished states that expanded Medicaid by redistributing funds to states that did not expand Medicaid. 

More Than 70 Million Americans with Medicaid Coverage, Including Seniors, People with Disabilities, and Children, Would Be Put At Risk. The Graham-Cassidy bill would have turned traditional Medicaid into a per capita cap, meaning millions who are enrolled in Medicaid would have had their care jeopardized. Medicaid disproportionately helps children, seniors in nursing home care and people with disabilities. A study by Avalere found that Graham-Cassidy would have cut funding for people with disabilities by 15-percent and 31-percent for children by 2036. 

More Than 35 Million Children’s Care Would Be Put At Risk. Millions of children are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, whose care could be at risk because of the funding cuts in Graham-Cassidy. 

Cassidy’s Health Care Plan Raised Costs And Ended Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions 

Under Graham-Cassidy Premiums Would Have Increased 20 Percent in the First Year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Graham-Cassidy included provisions that would have raised premiums up to 20 percent in the first year. 

Graham-Cassidy Would Have Raised Costs For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. Graham-Cassidy would have allowed states to let insurance companies once again charge people with pre-existing conditions more, which could have raised costs for more than 130 millions Americans that have a pre-existing condition. For example, an individual with asthma would face a premium surcharge of $4,340. The surcharge for pregnancy would be $17,320, while it would be $142,650 more for patients with metastatic cancer. 

People Over The Age of 50 Would Have Faced An “Age Tax.” The Graham-Cassidy bill would have allowed states to let insurers charge people over 50 high premiums without limits. AARP said, “The Graham/Cassidy/Heller/Johnson bill would result in an age tax for older Americans who would see their health care costs increase under this bill.” AARP estimates that 60-year-old Americans could have paid as much as $16,174 more in higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs in 2020. 

Bill Cassidy Is A Relentless Foe Of The Affordable Care Act

As A Member Of The House, Bill Cassidy Voted Against Initial Passage Of The Affordable Care Act And For More Than 50 Repeal Attempts. As a member of the House from 2009-2015, Bill Cassidy was a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act, including voting against initial passage of the law and voting for at least 50 Republican attempts to repeal or substantially alter the law. His anti-ACA record continued in the Senate, where he 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 in his first year in office. 

2017: Cassidy Voted For All Three Republican Attempts To Repeal The ACA, Endangering Care For Millions Of Americans. In July 2017, Bill Cassidy voted for all three Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act – “Repeal and Delay,” the Better Care Reconciliation Act, and “Skinny” Repeal. All three would have had devastating impacts on Americans’ care, cutting millions off from coverage. 

  • If “Repeal and Delay” had become law, 32 million fewer people would have had health insurance by 2026 and health insurance premiums would have doubled for those in the individual market.
  • If BCRA had become law, it would have eliminated coverage for 15 million Americans in 2018 and increased individual premiums by 20 percent
  • If “Skinny” repeal had become law, at least 15 million Americans would have lost coverage in 2018, the largest one year increase in US history, and premiums would have gone up by roughly 20 percent

2022: Cassidy’s Vote Against The Inflation Reduction Act, Was A Vote For Higher Health Insurance Premiums for Millions of Americans. Bill Cassidy joined every other Republican in Congress in voting against the Inflation Reduction Act. A record breaking 14.5 million Americans enrolled in an ACA marketplace plan in 2021. Right now, nearly 13 million people, or 89 percent with an ACA plan, are receiving enhanced premium tax credits, making their coverage affordable and accessible. The Inflation Reduction Act saves the average American family $2,400 a year and is extended through 2025. The Inflation Reduction Act ensures families pay no more than 8.5 percent of their income towards coverage. This helps middle and working class families facing excessive premiums or living in high-premium areas.

  • Cassidy’s Vote Against The Inflation Reduction Act Was Also A Vote Against Expanding Coverage for Communities of Color. The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities estimates the increased savings continued under the Inflation Reduction Act will cause a sharp decline in the uninsured rate across every racial group, with one in three uninsured Black adults gaining coverage. Health coverage access is imperative to reducing racial disparities in health coverage across the nation and Bill Cassidy and every other Republican in Congress voted against it. 

Bill Cassidy Took Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars From Big Pharma And Opposed Efforts To Lower Prescription Drug Prices 

Bill Cassidy Voted To Block Medicare From Negotiating Lower Drug Prices. For nearly 20 years, Medicare has been banned from negotiating the price of prescription drugs for seniors, and Big Pharma has been able to dictate prices while Americans pay three times more for their medications than people in other countries. Bill Cassidy and every other Republican in Congress voted to leave that ban in place by voting against the Inflation Reduction Act. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare is empowered to negotiate prices for select drugs for Medicare Part D’s 49 million beneficiaries. 

Cassidy Opposed Capping Out-Of-Pocket Spending For Seniors. Bill Cassidy and every other Republican in Congress voted against helping the more than 1.4 million Medicare enrollees who paid more than $2,000 in out-of-pocket costs in 2020. Seniors with serious conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis will save thousands of dollars on prescriptions under the Inflation Reduction Act, which caps Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs at $2,000 per year beginning in 2025. 

Cassidy Voted To Let Big Pharma Keep Raising Prices. The Inflation Reduction Act stops Big Pharma from raising Medicare drug prices faster than the rate of inflation beginning in 2023. For example, Humira, a medication commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, is one of the nation’s highest revenue generating drugs, raking in $21 billion in sales in 2019. AbbVie, Humira’s manufacturer, has hiked the price of Humira 27 times, including in January 2021 when it raised its cost by 7.4 percent. Over the past 20 years, price increases for brand-name drugs in Medicare Part D have risen at more than twice the rate of inflation.

Cassidy Has Taken Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars From The Pharmaceutical Industry. It is no wonder why Senator Cassidy voted against the Inflation Reduction Act and was so opposed to Build Back Better, which both included historic provisions to rein in pharmaceutical companies and lower the cost of prescription drugs for millions of Americans. Between 2017 and 2022, Cassidy received over $500,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry. 

Protect Our Care Applauds Majority Leader Hoyer’s Health Care Record

Washington DC — Today, following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic announcement, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also confirmed he would not seek an elected leadership position in the 118th Congress. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“Majority Leader Hoyer has worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people to make sure everyone has access to affordable health care. Under his leadership, Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act, protected Medicare and Medicaid from Republican attacks, and took on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug costs. This year, Majority Leader Hoyer’s leadership was pivotal in negotiations for the Inflation Reduction Act, which lowers premium and prescription drug costs for millions of families. We owe a great deal of thanks to Majority Leader Hoyer and his work that has helped pave the way for quality, affordable, and equitable health care for Marylanders and people across the nation. Whether in congressional leadership or not, Steny Hoyer will always be a health care champion.”

Protect Our Care Celebrates Speaker Pelosi’s Health Care Legacy

Washington DC — Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to step down from House leadership and pass the torch to the next generation of Democratic lawmakers. Nancy Pelosi made history in 2007 when she became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House. In the years since, she has worked tirelessly to fight for affordable health care for every American. 

“This is the end of an era. Speaker Pelosi is a fearless health care champion. We were privileged to work with a legislative giant who made such an incredible difference in the lives of so many. She has dedicated decades of service to making health care more affordable, accessible, and equitable,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “In her time as Speaker, she has passed the Affordable Care Act, the American Rescue Plan, and the Inflation Reduction Act, she has taken on Big Pharma to give Medicare the power to negotiate, and she has fought Republican efforts to repeal the ACA and its protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. These policies have touched the lives of nearly every person in the nation, providing patients with lifesaving care while ensuring their families can afford to make ends meet. We look forward to watching her continue in Congress and help usher in a new generation of leadership.”

“Nancy Pelosi is the greatest Speaker in American history, and she has done more to deliver affordable health care to Americans than any elected official,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “She started her work in public service to fight for better health care during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and she led the Democratic effort to protect and expand affordable health care for the American people. She kept her caucus together at a perilous time to pass The Affordable Care Act in 2010 and, in just the last few years, she defied all odds and stopped the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, taking back the House in 2018 and building on the ACA to deliver lower health care and prescription drug costs for families across the nation. Every day Nancy Pelosi was speaker, the nation had a champion for working people. As Pelosi transitions to her new role, Democrats will continue to thrive thanks to her dedication, and the party could not be better equipped to continue the fight for affordable health care.” 

Nancy Pelosi’s health care record by the numbers:

    • 35 million Americans have coverage now because of the Affordable Care Act. 
    • 7.1 million people are covered under CHIP. 
    • 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are protected from discrimination. 
    • 49 million Medicare beneficiaries will benefit from lower drug prices thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.
    • 3.3 million Medicare beneficiaries using insulin will have copays capped at $35 each month.
    • Millions of lives saved in the United States and all over the world by efforts to contain the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

 

House GOP Leadership Wants to Increase Drug Prices and Health Insurance Premiums and Slash Medicare

They All Voted Against the American Rescue Plan, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Affordable Care Act (Every Time They Could)

Republican leaders in the House are completely out of step with the American people on health care. The GOP plan means it will be more expensive to go to the doctor and more expensive to get the drugs Americans rely on to stay healthy. Under Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s radical leadership, Republicans want to return to attacking people with pre-existing conditions, repealing the Affordable Care Act, slashing Medicare, and hiking drug and health insurance costs. Once again, we see how a Republican majority means playing politics with people’s lives in order to support Big Pharma and other special interests. 

Kevin McCarthy: Speaker of the House

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) won the GOP nomination to become the next Speaker of the House if he is able to secure 218 votes on January 3. 

  • Kevin McCarthy Is Open To Using Debt Limit Negotiations To Force Cuts To Medicare And Social Security. Kevin McCarthy told Punchbowl News that he would not “predetermine” whether Social Security and Medicare cuts would be part of debt-limit negotiations. Those comments suggested that, unlike in past negotiations, Republicans could demand future cuts to the programs in order to raise America’s borrowing limit and avoid a default on government debt. Mr. McCarthy later told CNBC that he had not brought up the programs and was committed to “strengthening” them, though he did not provide details.
  • Kevin McCarthy Is A Relentless Foe Of The ACA And Efforts To Reduce Health Care Costs. Since taking office in 2007, Kevin McCarthy has been a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act, including voting against initial passage of the law, and serving in GOP House leadership during at least 60 attempts to repeal or substantially alter the law. McCarthy also led Republican efforts to try to block passage of the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act, which have lowered premiums and established a program to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors. 

Steve Scalise: Majority Leader

Steve Scalise (R-LA) will serve as Majority Leader in the Republican House. 

  • Steve Scalise Led GOP Efforts To Repeal The ACA In 2017 And Now He’s A Cheerleader For The Push To Cut Medicare And Social Security. In 2017, Steve Scalise was the House Majority Whip during the frantic Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and rip away health coverage and protections for pre-existing conditions for millions of Americans. Now, Scalise is defending GOP plans to cut Medicare and Social Security. Scalise claims that what Republicans have proposed is “strengthening” the programs, but he’s a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare. 
  • Steve Scalise Has Opposed The Affordable Care Act Since Its Inception. Since taking office in 2008, Steve Scalise has been a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act, including voting against initial passage of the law, voting for at least 60 attempts to repeal or substantially alter the law, including serving as GOP Whip during the failed repeal attempts during the Trump administration. Scalise also helped lead Republican efforts to try to block passage of the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act, which have lowered premiums and established a program to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors. 

Republican Conference Chair

Elise Stefanik was elected to a second term as Republican Conference Chair 

  • Elise Stefanik Is A Donald Trump Loyalist Who Belongs To The Medicare-Slashing Republican Study Committee. Elise Stefanik was initially elected to the House in 2014 as a relatively moderate Republican, but in recent years she has transformed herself into an ultra-MAGA Donald Trump loyalist, who is often mentioned as a potential VP pick for Trump’s presidential run in 2024. Stefanik is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare. 
  • Elise Stefanik Has Voted Eight Times To Repeal The ACA And Opposes Allowing Medicare To Negotiate Lower Prescription Drug Prices. Since taking office in 2015, Stefanik has voted for at least eight attempts to repeal or substantially alter the Affordable Care Act. Stefanik claims that House Republicans will, “Lower healthcare costs through transparency, choice, and competition,” but she opposed the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan, which lower premiums for millions of Americans and give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors. Stefanik has also peddled the false claim that Medicare drug price negotiation will harm national security or encourage drug manufacturers to “move to China.” 

Majority Whip

Tom Emmer (R-MN) defeated Jim Banks (R-IN) in the race to be Majority Whip 

  • Tom Emmer Is A Member Of The Medicare-Slashing Republican Study Committee And The Point Person For Electing A Republican Anti-Health Care Majority. Tom Emmer is a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare. Emmer is also the chairman of the NRCC, a position he used to push misleading claims to help elect an extremist GOP anti-health care majority. 
  • Tom Emmer Has Has Voted Eight Times To Repeal The ACA And Opposes Allowing Medicare To Negotiate Lower Prescription Drug Prices. Since taking office in 2015, Emmer has voted for at least eight attempts to repeal or substantially alter the Affordable Care Act and he voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 

Budget Committee

Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and Jodey Arrington (R-TX) are seen as the favorites to serve as Budget Committee chair in a Republican-controlled House. Buddy Carter (R-GA) has also expressed interest in the post. 

  • Jodey Arrington Has Opposed The Affordable Care Act Since The Day He Got To Congress. Jodey Arrington’s official website still calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which he says is a “travesty” that has left America “sick.” Arrington’s first floor speech as a member of the House in 2017 was a jeremiad against the ACA and has never given up on destroying the law, blaming the Senate for hurting the Republican Party by failing to completely repeal during the Trump administration. Since taking office in 2017, Arrington has voted three times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 
  • Jodey Arrington Called For “Eligibility Reforms” To Medicare And Social Security. Arrington has expressed interest in holding the nation’s full faith and credit hostage to force cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Arrington told Bloomberg that a bipartisan negotiation on Social Security and Medicare would likely start with Democrats pushing for more revenue, while “Republicans have a list of eligibility reforms, and we don’t like the tax increases.” He has said that an increase in the eligibility age for both programs would be a commonsense change. Arrington is a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare. 
  • Lloyd Smucker Wants To Reduce Benefits For Medicare And Social Security Beneficiaries. Lloyd Smucker has also indicated that he wants to use negotiations over the debt ceiling to impose cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Smucker told Bloomberg that reducing benefits for wealthier Americans via “some sort of means-testing” is a good way to cut costs. Smucker is a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare.
  • Lloyd Smucker Has Voted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act And Opposed Measures To Lower Premiums And Drug Prices. Since taking office in 2017, Lloyd Smucker has voted three times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 
  • Buddy Carter’s Top Priority Is Repealing Medicare’s Ability To Negotiate Lower Prescription Drug Prices. Buddy Carter told Fox News in September that increasing prescription drug prices for millions of Americans will be one of his top priorities if Republicans control the House, stating that, “We’ve been asking that question not only about student debt loans, but also about a number of initiatives that have been instigated and put into place by the Biden administration, just like in the Inflation Acceleration Act that I mentioned before with the prescription drug pricing. That is something I’m very interested in as a pharmacist. I’ve been asking my colleagues, ‘How are we going to undo that when we get into the majority?’” Carter also remains a vehement opponent of the Affordable Care Act, insisting on his official website that, “Improving health care in America begins with repealing this disastrous law.” 
  • Buddy Carter Wants “Everything On The Table” When It Comes To Social Security And Medicare Cuts. Buddy Carter has said that as chair of the Budget Committee, “Our main focus has got to be on nondiscretionary — it’s got to be on entitlements.” Carter went on to say that “everything is on the table” for Medicare and Social Security and that he plans to use the nation’s debt ceiling and the threat of catastrophic default to force changes to the programs. Carter is a member of the Republican Study Committee, whose recent budget outlined radical proposals like raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and converting Medicare to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare. Carter is a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare.
  • Buddy Carter Has Voted Eight Times To Repeal The Affordable Care Act And Opposed Measures To Lower Premiums And Drug Prices. Since taking office in 2017, Buddy Carter has voted eight times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 

Education And Labor Committee

Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is seeking a waiver to circumvent term limit rules to serve as chair of the Education and Labor Committee. If she is unsuccessful, the gavel will most likely go to Tim Walburg (R-MI) 

  • Virginia Foxx Is Still Committed To Repealing The Affordable Care Act And Opposed Allowing Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices For Seniors. Virginia Foxx’s official website still states that she remains “committed to replacing ObamaCare with patient-centered health care that works for the American people.” Since taking office in 2005, Virginia Foxx has been a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act and other efforts to expand health coverage and lower costs, including voting against initial passage of the law and voting for at least 60 attempts to repeal or substantially alter the ACA. Foxx has strongly opposed granting Medicaid the power to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors, voting against the Inflation Reduction Act and against 2019 prescription drug negotiation legislation, which she called a “socialized drug pricing scheme.” 
  • Virginia Foxx Is A Member Of The Medicare-Slashing Republican Study Committee. Foxx is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, whose recent budget outlined radical proposals like raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and converting Medicare to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare
  • Tim Walberg Has Voted Dozens Of Times To Repeal The ACA And Opposed Measures To Bring Down Costs And Allow Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices For Seniors. Since taking office in 2011, Tim Walberg has voted for at least 60 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 
  • Tim Walberg Is A Member Of The Medicare-Slashing Republican Study Committee. Walberg is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, whose recent budget outlined radical proposals like raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and converting Medicare to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare

Energy And Commerce

Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) is the most likely Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee in a Republican House.

  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers Voted Against Lowering Drug Prices For America’s Seniors And Promises Aggressive Oversight To Potentially Derail Prescription Drug Price Negotiations. Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. McMorris Rodgers has promised aggressive oversight of HHS drug price negotiations if she is Chair of Energy and Commerce in a potential effort to delay or derail the program. 
  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers Has Voted Dozens Of Times To Repeal The Affordable Care Act. Since taking office in 2005, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has been a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act and other efforts to expand health coverage and lower costs, including voting against initial passage of the law and voting for at least 60 attempts to repeal or substantially alter the ACA. 
  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers Is A Member Of The Medicare-Slashing Republican Study Committee. McMorris Rodgers is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, whose recent budget outlined radical proposals like raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and converting Medicare to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare

Ways And Means

Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Jason Smith (R-MO), and Adrian Smith (R-NE) are locked in a tight battle for the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee. 

  • Vern Buchanan Has Voted Dozens Of Times To Repeal The ACA And Opposed Measures To Bring Down Costs And Allow Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices For Seniors. Since taking office in 2007, Vern Buchanan has been a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act, including voting against initial passage of the law, voting for at least 60 attempts to repeal or substantially alter the law. Buchanan also voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 
  • Vern Buchanan’s Priority For Ways And Means Would Be Extending Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts For The Wealthiest Americans. Vern Buchanan’s top priority on the Ways and Means Committee is making Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthy permanent, a proposal that experts say will only worsen inflation. Buchanan is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare. 
  • Jason Smith Wants To Use The Debt Ceiling To Force Joe Biden To “Reverse” His Agenda. Smith told Axios in a phone interview he thinks Republicans should leverage debt limit negotiations to ‘reverse’ the administration’s ‘radical’ policies — including by sending a bill gutting the Democratic agenda to President Biden’s desk and daring him to reject it. ‘If Republicans are trying to cut spending, surely he wouldn’t try to default. If we were trying to bring down inflation … trying to secure our border, surely he wouldn’t default,’ Smith said. 
  • Jason Smith Promised To Hold “A Lot Of Hearings” On Cuts To Medicare And Social Security. Asked about Republican plans to overhaul Social Security and Medicare, Jason Smith told Axios, “We’re going to have a lot of hearings on this. I’m not going to get into the inner details.” Smith is a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare. 
  • Jason Smith Has Voted More Than 20 Times To Repeal The ACA And Opposed Measures To Bring Down Costs And Allow Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices For Seniors. Since taking office in 2007, Jason Smith has been a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act, including voting against initial passage of the law, voting for at least 26 attempts to repeal or substantially alter the law. Smith also voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 
  • Adrian Smith Wants To Use The Debt Ceiling To Force Spending Cuts. Adrian Smith told the Washington Post, “The debt ceiling is an important tool for addressing debt and deficit. After two years of irresponsible spending by Democrats driving historic inflation, American families can’t afford for us to not have a serious debate about government spending.” Smith is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare.
  • Adrian Smith Has Voted Dozens Of Times To Repeal The ACA And Opposed Measures To Bring Down Costs And Allow Medicare To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices For Seniors. Since taking office in 2007, Adrian Smith has been a relentless opponent of the Affordable Care Act, including voting against initial passage of the law, voting for at least 60 attempts to repeal or substantially alter the law. Smith also voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. 

Oversight

James Comer (R-KY) is considered the Republican chairman-in-waiting of the Oversight Committee. 

  • James Comer Will Use The Oversight Committee To Attack Science And The Nation’s Pandemic Response. James Comer has outlined an oversight agenda that includes attacks on the CDC and the nation’s pandemic response. Comer will use the committee’s resources to investigate the origins of the coronavirus and federal funds supporting research done at Wuhan Institute of Virology as well as pandemic-era guidance from the CDC that Comer calls “confusing.” Comer and other Republicans also plan to lay the blame for high drug prices on prescription drug middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers in oversight hearings.
  • James Comer Has Voted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act And Opposed Measures To Lower Premiums And Drug Prices. Since taking office in 2017, James Comer has voted three times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and voted against the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to lower premiums and allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. Comer is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, which recently released a budget outlining plans to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and convert the program to a “premium support” system where seniors received a subsidy they could use on private plans competing against traditional Medicare.

“It’s Time to Roll Up Our Sleeves and Get to Work”: Reps. Kelly and Underwood Join Protect Our Care in Calling for Improving Medicaid Coverage in End of Year Congressional Package

Watch the Full Event Here. 

Washington DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Robin Kelly (IL-02) and Lauren Underwood (IL-14) joined Sarah Coombs from the National Partnership for Women and Families and Protect Our Care for a press event to discuss how the Congressional end-of-year package provides a critical opportunity to improve coverage for children, moms, and everyone on Medicaid. Speakers discussed the importance of expanding postpartum coverage, requiring 12 months of “continuous coverage” for children, permanently reauthorizing CHIP funding, passing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, and strengthening Medicaid coverage in Puerto Rico. Protect Our Care’s end-of-year agenda can be found here

“Now that the election is behind us, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on passing these important priorities,” said U.S. Representative Robin Kelly. “In the end of the year package, I am committed to working with my Senate and House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to permanently extend Medicaid postpartum coverage in all states. More than half of maternal deaths occur between one week and one year after giving birth. Congress should require a full year of postpartum coverage for all states. In less than five years, the state plan option will sunset, leaving new mothers vulnerable once again. This provision, along with other important Medicaid policies under consideration, such as requiring 12 months of continuous coverage for children and permanently authorizing CHIP funding, would improve the lives of women, families and children. Let us get this done.” 

“I’m calling on Congress to pass my Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act without delay,” said U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood. “The facts are alarming: Our nation has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high-income country, and more than 80 percent of these deaths are preventable. The Momnibus is the solution to this crisis, and every day that goes by without its passage is a disservice to millions of mothers and families — we can and we must pass this legislation before the end of the year.” 

“No matter the final outcome of the House, Congress has too much unfinished business to kick the can on critical policies that would help minimize health coverage disruptions, mitigate the maternal and infant mortality crisis, and protect the economic security of women and families. Congress must act now,” said Sarah Coombs with the National Partnership for Women & Families.

“The American people have made clear that expanding access to affordable health care is a top priority, and Congress should act to finish the year strong and strengthen Medicaid coverage for millions,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Medicaid is a lifeline for families across the nation, and research shows that policies to improve Medicaid coverage have far-reaching benefits for the health and well-being of communities. These steps to invest in maternal health, protect children’s coverage, and strengthen Medicaid in Puerto Rico will prevent widespread coverage loss, support rural hospitals, improve health outcomes, advance equity, and save lives.”