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Republicans Block Efforts to Protect Americans with Pre-existing Conditions in Latest Coronavirus Bill

Washington, DC — Today, Congress is closing in on reaching a deal on a coronavirus relief package to address the crisis while President Trump continues to mishandle the response. The proposal, strengthened dramatically by the efforts of Senate and House Democrats, currently includes several vital measures to help the country. However, due to Republican opposition, it fails to include key elements essential to providing health care during this crisis, including Democratic proposals to stop Trump’s Texas lawsuit, stop Trump’s junk insurance plans, and allow the uninsured to purchase health coverage on the federal ACA exchange. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement in response:

“No one should have to worry about the status or quality of their health care, particularly during this emergency. If Republicans were truly serious about protecting Americans during this crisis, they would agree to ban junk insurance plans that don’t fully protect people with pre-existing conditions who need treatment for the coronavirus, and they would tell the president to drop the Texas lawsuit that would rip 20 million Americans off their health care. Instead, Republicans insist on supporting President Trump’s policies that are rejected by the majority of the American people ”

BACKGROUND:

Trump Is Pushing Short-Term Junk Plans That Would Not Need To Cover Coronavirus Treatment. Junk plans do not need to comply with the consumer protections established by the Affordable Care Act, including coverage of essential health benefits. The expansion of junk plans under Trump has already led to reports of patients receiving thousands of dollars in unexpected medical bills: In February, a Florida man covered by Trump-backed short-term plan discovered he “may owe thousands” after he sought a test for coronavirus.

Trump Is Backing A Lawsuit That Could Rip Away Coverage From 20 Million People In The Middle Of The Outbreak. The Trump administration is currently backing a lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act and, if they are successful, 20 million people would lose insurance overnight. The lawsuit also threatens protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions. This means that anyone who contracts coronavirus – a potential pre-existing condition – could be charged more or denied coverage altogether by insurance companies.

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Medicaid Expansion

Surrounding the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, especially for 17 million people who are healthier due to Medicaid expansion,said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 10 of 10 focuses on Medicaid Expansion. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

Research Confirms Medicaid Expansion Has Had Far-Reaching Benefits, Resulting In Better Health Outcomes, Access To Care, And Financial Security For Patients. 

Medicaid Saved At Least 19,200 Lives. A report by the Center On Budget And Policy Priorities found that “the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults is preventing thousands of premature deaths each year, a landmark study finds. It saved the lives of at least 19,200 adults aged 55 to 64 over the four-year period from 2014 to 2017. Conversely, 15,600 older adults died prematurely because of state decisions not to expand Medicaid.”  [Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 11/6/19

Medicaid Expansion Led To Coverage Gains For Children. A study in Health Affairs found that “710,000 children gained public coverage when their parents enrolled in Medicaid between 2013 and 2015. If the remaining 19 non-expansion states expanded Medicaid, 200,000 additional children would gain health coverage through existing programs. The effect was largest among children whose parents gained Medicaid eligibility through the expansion.”  [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

The Chance Of Accruing Medical Debt Is 20 Percent Lower In States That Have Expanded Medicaid. “A survey comparing expansion and non-expansion states finds that the chance of accruing medical debt is 20 percent lower in expansion states. It also finds that Medicaid coverage, by reducing enrollees’ unpaid medical bills, improves their credit, leading to lower-interest mortgage, auto, and credit card loans that save them an estimated $280 per year in interest.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/2/18]

Additionally, Medicaid Expansion Has: 

If The Affordable Care Act Is Struck Down, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Eliminated

Despite the increasing disparities between states that chose to expand Medicaid and those that did not, the Trump administration and its Republican allies remain intent on decimating Medicaid expansion and jeopardizing the health of 17 million Americans who depend on Medicaid expansion for coverage. 

  • Seventeen Million People Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. 
  • Access To Opioid Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving hospitals with $9.6 billion more in uncompensated care.
  • States Would Lose Important Federal Health Care Funding — an estimated reduction of $135 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $135 billion, or 34.6 percent in the first year.

 

Democrats Mark ACA’s 10-Year Anniversary and Highlight the Ongoing Threats to the Law in Midst of the Coronavirus Crisis

Yesterday, Democrats in both chambers reflected on the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Members stressed the overwhelming benefits of the ACA including quality affordable coverage for 20 million American and protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions among many other provisions and protections. And many Democrats, especially those who ran and won on health care in 2018, were quick to highlight the existential threats to the ACA from the Trump administration and Republicans’ court case to overturn the law at a time when the country is in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and Americans are more concerned than ever about their health care. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi Said “Thank God For The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act.” “‘We couldn’t need it more in terms of this pandemic,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on a call yesterday hosted by the Democrat-connected group Protect Our Care. ‘As we prayerfully go into this further discussion on the coronavirus challenge, thank God for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.’” [Washington Post, 3/24/20

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: 10 years ago, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, because we believe health care must be a right, not a privilege. Today, Americans know their coverage is protected thanks to the ACA – coverage they need now more than ever. #ProtectOurCare

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: Democrats were proud to pass the #ACA 10 years ago, and thanks to the expansion of Medicaid, 17 million Americans gained coverage. It’s deeply concerning the Trump Administration continues to seek to undermine this program, but Democrats will continue to #ProtectOurCare.

Majority Whip James E. Clyburn: Today is the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Without the ACA, millions of Americans will lose their health care coverage, & protections for people with pre-existing conditions will disappear. Now, more than ever, Americans need access to affordable health care.

Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal: On #ACA10, let us remember the #ACA protects pre-existing conditions for 975,000 MA residents, has reduced premiums by 11% for MA residents for those receiving premium tax credits, and has reduced the uninsured population by 96,810 people in our state.

Energy & Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone: 10 years ago today, the #ACA was signed into law. I am honored to have helped draft this landmark legislation. The #COVID19 pandemic has been a sobering reminder of the importance of access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

Education & Labor Chairman Bobby Scott: Today is the 10th anniversary of the ACA. The Trump Administration must end its lawsuit, which would strike down the law as well as pre-existing condition protections for 130 million Americans, especially amid the #COVID19 pandemic. #ProtectOurCare #ACA10

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Ranking Member Patty Murray: The Affordable Care Act expanded access to affordable, quality health care for millions of patients. But since day one in office, President Trump & the GOP have worked to undermine the protections people rely on most. For #ACA10, here 10 of their health care attacks.

Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden: Ten years ago today the Affordable Care Act became law. Since then, we’ve seen countless reminders about why it’s so important that every American has access to quality, affordable care. Few of these reminders has come as swiftly as the #COVID19 outbreak.

Senator Bob Casey: THREAD: Over the past 10 years, the #AffordableCareAct has helped millions of working families, seniors and people with disabilities. Yet the Trump Admin is trying to sabotage the #ACA – in the middle of a pandemic. Here’s what’s at stake if Republicans refuse to #DropTheLawsuit:

Senator Debbie Stabenow: The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of people in Michigan since President Obama signed it 10 years ago today. #ACA10

Senator Mark Warner: Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. I don’t even want to think about the problems we’d be having right now if the ACA hadn’t provided coverage and protections for pre-existing conditions to millions of Americans.

Rep. Colin Allred: As the nation grapples with the spread of #COVID19, protecting the Affordable Care Act is more important than ever. Since my first day in Congress, I’ve been working hard to defend the #ACA and its critical protections, like those for folks with pre-existing conditions. #ACA10

Rep. Angie Craig: Despite massive layoffs and a global pandemic, the Administration is continuing their lawsuit that threatens millions of Americans’ health coverage. Today is the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, and I am once again urging the administration to #ProtectOurCare.

Rep. Sharice Davids: 20+ million Americans have gained health coverage since the Affordable Care Act became law ten years ago. Now more than ever, we must not turn our back on them. #ProtectOurCare

Rep. Abby Finkenauer: It’s the 10th anniversary of the passage of the #ACA, and it is more important than ever that we expand and protect it. The GOP is STILL suing to overturn the ACA, and if they win, the uninsured rate in Iowa will double. That’s unacceptable. #IA01

Rep. Lizzie Fletcher: Today marks 10 years since the #AffordableCareAct became law. 60,000 people in #TX07 get their insurance through the marketplace, including those with pre-existing conditions. #COVID19 underscores the role that health care plays in our lives, & I’ll continue to #ProtectOurCare.

Rep. Susie Lee: Since becoming law in 2010, the #AffordableCareAct has improved health care for millions of Americans. As our nation faces an unprecedented public health crisis, it’s more important than ever to protect our health care, especially for Americans w/pre-existing conditions. #ACA10

Rep. Lucy McBath: Ten years ago, the #AffordableCareAct became law. It now covers over 20 million Americans & protects more than 133 million people living with pre-existing conditions. Now more than ever, we must protect & expand access to affordable, quality health care. #ForThePeople

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell: Today, on the 10th anniversary of Affordable Care Act, in the midst of #COVID19 pandemic, I’m calling on President Trump to drop his lawsuit that would destroy this law. The #ACA is helping us to combat the spread of the #coronavirus by ensuring tests & treatments are covered.

Rep. Chris Pappas: In these unprecedented times, the Affordable Care Act – signed into law 10 years ago today – is needed more than ever. I called on @SecAzar to establish a Special Enrollment Period for patients to get ACA marketplace coverage during this pandemic #ACA10

Rep. Haley Stevens: Quality, affordable health care is a right. 10 years after its passage, the #AffordableCareAct expanded coverage to over 20M more Americans and protects over 133M Americans with pre-existing conditions. I have and always will fight to #ProtectOurCare. Full stop. #ForThePeople

Rep. Xochitl Torres Small: 10 years ago, the #AffordableCareAct became law. The challenges our community face today with the current public health emergency underly the importance of access for all New Mexicans. 

Rep. Lauren Underwood: 10 years ago, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, expanding health care coverage to over 20 million Americans & protecting people living with preexisting conditions. More than ever, it’s critical that we all work to expand access to quality, affordable health care.#ACA10

Coverage of the ACA’s 10-Year Anniversary: 

The Root: The Affordable Care Act Turns 10 Today. We Cannot Turn Back The Clock On Black Women’s Reproductive Health And Rights. “Since the ACA was enacted, the proportion of black women of reproductive age without health insurance fell by 36 percent, and 30 percent of black women who were previously uninsured are now enrolled in Medicaid. The ACA’s policies meant more women of all races had insurance, and more of their health needs were covered than ever before. Sexual and reproductive health care for people of all genders improved under the ACA, and women’s lives are better for it. As of 2015, at least 15 million black women gained access to guaranteed no-cost birth control. And for women having children, the ACA was a significant improvement. Maternity care must be covered as an essential health benefit by individual market health plans. Prior to 2013, just 12 percent of plans on the individual market included maternity benefits. The infant and maternal mortality rates declined in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, especially among black babies and women.” [The Root, 3/23/20

Rep. Jan Schakowsky In The Hill: America’s Small Businesses Are Thriving, Thanks To The Affordable Care Act. “Hundreds of thousands of businesses have benefited from the ACA, and their successes are felt nationwide. With each growing small business, communities are strengthened, jobs are created, and America’s competitive advantage is reinforced. On this milestone anniversary, we have so much to celebrate. The ACA is at its highest approval rating since passage, with a majority of the American public in support. But if we are not vigilant, the Trump administration will undo this progress as they push their agenda to sabotage the ACA.” [The Hill, 3/23/20

Rep. Dina Titus in the Las Vegas Sun: “Now Is The Time To Strengthen And Fight For The Affordable Care Act” “Now more than ever, Nevadans are relying on the access to quality, affordable health care provided by the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration’s obsession with sabotaging this landmark achievement — particularly as our nation grapples with the deadly coronavirus outbreak — is irresponsible and cruel. The Affordable Care Act has drastically improved the U.S. health care system over the past 10 years. At this critical time for so many patients, Trump should stop trying to destroy it.” [Las Vegas Sun, 3/23/20]

Laura Packard In USA Today: “Ten Years After The ACA Was Born, On March 23, 2010, We Need Leaders Who Will Fight To Protect Our Care.” “Republicans including my senator, Cory Gardner, voted again and again for repeal without any protections for the most vulnerable and installed activist Supreme Court justices determined to strip our care. They could be working on making health care more affordable and accessible to all, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Instead they focus on pushing junk insurance plans, ratcheting up work requirements to strip health care away from low income people, and dismantling the protections of the ACA for all. In this moment, we can see that our health care system was last on their priority list. Now, in the time of coronavirus, it’s more clear than ever that when a health care system does not work for some of us, it fails us all. Ten years after the ACA was born, on March 23, 2010, we need leaders who will fight to protect our care. Some of us will not survive without it.” [USA Today, 3/22/20

Politico: “Obamacare Is Still Very Much With Us, And In Many Respects Its Stronger Than It’s Ever Been.” “Obamacare is still very much with us, and in many respects is stronger than it’s ever been — unless the latest lawsuit kills it…Despite turbulence around the law — the repeal efforts, the court challenges, the early HealthCare.gov struggles — the marketplaces seem to have stabilized. That’s largely thanks to its generous insurance subsidies, which have created a reliable base of customers shield from high premiums.” [Politico, 3/22/20

Andy Slavitt In USA Today: Affordable Care Act At 10: Amid Coronavirus, Never More Popular, Threatened Or Necessary. “The Republican plan to repeal the ACA without a replacement has been exposed for its absurdity. Imagine 21 million people losing coverage now. Health coverage wouldn’t have prevented the spread of the virus, but with 20-60% of Americans who could potentially get COVID-19, guaranteeing affordable coverage for people with preexisting conditions and other ACA protections are looking like just the basics we need to dig out of this.” [USA Today, 3/23/20

New York Times: The ACA “Greatly Expanded Coverage.” “When it was passed, nearly a quarter of Americans (22.3 percent) between 18 and 64 were uninsured. By 2016 — just two years after the law’s insurance marketplaces opened and states were allowed to expand Medicaid to more low-income people — that rate had plunged to 12.4 percent. In all, about 20 million more people have coverage now than before the law.” [New York Times, 3/23/20

  • New York Times: The Results Of Medicaid Expansion Have Been “Significant.” “Still, all but 14 states have now expanded the program, and the results have been significant: Medicaid enrollment increased by about 13 million, or 34 percent, in the so-called expansion states between 2013 and 2019, according to federal data. The uninsured rate for poor adult citizens with no dependent children — a group that had often been ineligible for Medicaid — plummeted, dropping to 16.5 percent in 2015 from 45.4 percent in 2013, according to the Urban Institute.” [New York Times, 3/23/20
  • New York Times: “As The Coronavirus Sweeps Through The Country, Many State Officials Are Relying On The Affordable Care Act To Provide Health Coverage For Residents Who Have None.” “Now, as the coronavirus sweeps through the country, many state officials are relying on the Affordable Care Act to provide health coverage for residents who have none. On Friday, California became one of the latest states to set up a special enrollment period so people can sign up for insurance on their state-run marketplaces, and the Trump administration is considering reopening enrollment in the larger federal marketplace, which serves most states, for a limited period.” [New York Times, 3/23/20
  • New York Times: “The Law Has Also Played An Important Role In Keeping Care Affordable For The 160 Million Americans Who Get Coverage From An Employer.” “The law has also played an important role in keeping care affordable for the 160 million Americans who get coverage from an employer, including by requiring those plans to cover the children of beneficiaries until age 26. Before the law, employer-provided plans often set strict limits on what they would pay toward medical bills during a single year and over a lifetime. An estimated 105 million Americans had some sort of lifetime cap before the passage of the health care law. The A.C.A. outlawed those limits.” [New York Times, 3/23/20

SHOT/CHASER: States Open ACA Enrollment for Uninsured Americans as Trump Doubles Down on Desire to “Terminate” the Law in Midst of Crisis

SHOT: “The Rush By Numerous Obamacare-Friendly States To Reopen Enrollment In The Past Week Week Demonstrated The Law’s Potential As A Safety Net In A Time Of A Major Health Crisis.” [Politico, 3/23/20

CHASER: Trump Doubles Down on Commitment to “Terminate” the Law and Strip Health Care from 20 Million Americans Amidst Coronavirus Crisis: “Trump reaffirms that his administration will go forward with lawsuit to end the Affordable Care Act: ‘what we want to do is terminate it’ and replace it with something better.” [Sam Stein Twitter, 3/22/20

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Affordable Coverage

Surrounding the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, particularly in improving access to care and financial stability,said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 9 of 10 focuses on Affordable Coverage. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website.

The ACA Included Key Affordability Measures: 

  • Insurers can no longer charge more because of a pre-existing condition. Because of the ACA, insurers in the individual market can no longer drop or deny coverage, or charge you more because of a pre-existing condition. More than 135 million Americans have a pre-existing health condition. Additionally, insurers can no longer put annual or lifetime limits on the care you receive.
  • About 9 million Americans receive tax credits to help them afford coverage. Because of the ACA, most people getting coverage on the marketplace qualify for tax credits to help pay for coverage. 8.9 million of the ACA’s 11.4 million marketplace enrollees receive premium tax credits.
  • Seniors save more on prescription drugs. Because of the ACA, the Medicare prescription drug donut hole is closed. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.
  • Women can no longer be charged more than men for the same coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than men for the same coverage. Before the ACA, 1 in 5 women reported postponing or going without preventive care due to cost.
  • Most privately-insured Americans receive free preventive care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 137 million Americans, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • More than 60 million people have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket fees. The ACA guarantees that private health plans cover 18 methods of contraception and make them available to 62.4 million patients with no out-of-pocket costs. In addition to increasing access to this essential treatment, this ACA provision has saved money for women and their families: women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013.

If The Texas Lawsuit Succeeds, The Individual Marketplace And Financial Assistance That Helps Individuals Purchase Health Insurance Will Be Eliminated. 

According to the Urban Institute, 19.9 million people could lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, meaning the number of uninsured Americans would increase from 30.4 million to 50.3 million, representing a leading to a 65 percent increase in the uninsured rate. As the uninsured rate swells, so will the amount of uncompensated care, which Urban predicts will grow by at least 82 percent.

Nine Million People In The Marketplaces Would Pay More For Coverage. Nearly 9 million people would lose financial assistance that helps them purchase health care in the marketplace. In 2019, the average monthly premium tax credit was $514

Protect Our Care Marks 10-Year Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act with Nationwide Action

Protect Our Care marked the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act with a groundswell of activity including press calls and op-eds across the country highlighting the importance of the law on this landmark anniversary. In addition to holding a national press call today with Speaker Pelosi today, Protect Our Care was joined by elected officials and health care advocates across nine states for press calls to bring attention to the overwhelming benefits of the Affordable Care Act over the past 10 years and to highlight ongoing threats to the ACA including the lawsuit from Trump and Republicans to overturn the law in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. 

PRESS CALLS HAPPENING TODAY:

NATIONAL

Monday, March 23rd – ACA Anniversary Press Call With Speaker Pelosi
On the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Laura Packard, a stage four cancer survivor, along with Protect Our Care held a press call to highlight the passage of the landmark law and show what’s at stake for Americans if President Trump and Republicans overturn the ACA as the nation grapples with the coronavirus. Listen to the call here

National op-ed:
USA Today // Laura Packard // Opinion: I’d be bankrupt or dead without the Affordable Care Act. We’re both survivors — so far.

IN THE STATES

IOWA

Monday, March 23rd – Iowa ACA Anniversary Press Call
Iowans, advocates, and local elected officials from across the state will join Protect Our Care, Progress Iowa, Iowa Citizen Action Network, and Iowa Voices for a press call to mark the ten-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a time when the threat of the coronavirus reminds us all of the importance of everyone having access to quality and affordable health coverage.

Iowa op-eds:
Des Moines Register // State Rep. Jennifer Konfrst // Affordable Care Act, now 10 years old, is more important than ever because of coronavirus

MAINE

Monday, March 23 – Press Call with Maine Leaders and Advocates
State Senate President Troy Jackson will join Protect Our Care for a press call to mark the ten-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a time when the threat of the coronavirus reminds us all of the importance of everyone having access to quality and affordable health coverage.

NORTH CAROLINA

Monday, March 23 – ACA Anniversary Press Call with Reps. Butterfield and Price
On Monday, March 23rd at 7:00pm, Rep. David Price and Rep. G.K. Butterfield will join Protect Our Care, Action NC, Mom’s Rising, and Little Lobbyists for a call to mark the ten-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a time when the threat of the coronavirus reminds us all of the importance of everyone having access to quality and affordable health coverage.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Monday, March 23 – ACA Anniversary Press Call
Covering New Hampshire and Protect Our Care NH will offer a press call to mark the ten-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a time when the threat of the coronavirus reminds us all of the importance of everyone having access to quality and affordable health coverage.

Coverage:
New Hampshire Union Leader // Advocates celebrate 10 years of Obamacare, seek special enrollment to deal with COVID-19

New Hampshire op-eds:
The Conway Daily Sun // Jayme Henriques Simoes // Saving ACA more critical with new virus
Concord Monitor // Jayme Henriques Simoes // My Turn: Especially now, Granite Staters rely on the ACA 

MINNESOTA

Monday, March 23 – ACA Anniversary Press Call with Attorney General Ellison
Protect Our Care Minnesota was joined by Attorney General Keith Ellison, Assistant Senate DFL Leader Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, State Rep. Kelly Morrison, M.D., DFL-Deephaven, and community advocate Jessica Intermill to mark the passage of the Affordable Care Act 10 years ago, discuss how the law improved access to health care for Minnesotans, and talk about the role the ACA plays in ongoing coronavirus response efforts despite continued efforts to eliminate the law. Listen to the call here

NEVADA

Monday, March 23 – Nevada ACA Anniversary Press Call
Today, Protect Our Care Nevada was joined by State Sen. Yvanna Cancela, State Assemblyman Edgar Flores, insurance broker Alberto Ochoa, and cancer survivor Joe Merlino to mark the passage of the Affordable Care Act 10 years ago, discuss how the law improved access to health care for Nevadans, and talk about the role the ACA plays in ongoing coronavirus response efforts despite Republicans’ continued efforts to eliminate the law. Listen to the call here

Nevada op-eds:
Las Vegas Sun // Rep. Dina Titus // Now is the time to strengthen and fight for the Affordable Care Act

ARIZONA

Monday, March 23 – Arizona ACA Anniversary Press Call
Today, Protect Our Care Arizona was joined by Representative Kelli Butler and State Senator Tony Navarrette to mark the passage of the Affordable Care Act 10 years ago, discuss how the law improved access to health care for Arizonans, and talk about the role the ACA plays in ongoing coronavirus response efforts despite Republicans’ continued efforts to eliminate the law. Listen to the call here.

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin op-ed:
Up North News // Leslie Dach // Opinion: Protect Our Care From Ongoing Republican Attacks

PRESS CALLS LAST WEEK:

GEORGIA

Friday, March 20 – Georgia ACA Anniversary Press Call
On Friday, March 20, Protect Our Care Georgia joined Georgians for a Healthy Future to discuss the importance of the Affordable Care Act for Georgians, especially amid the current global pandemic. Speakers included State Rep. Kim Schofield, Dr. Michelle Au, Dr. Jamie Weisman, and Cindy Pursley, a cancer survivor who relies on the ACA for care. They called on Governor Kemp to expand Medicaid and on Attorney General Chris Carr to remove Georgia from the Texas vs. United States lawsuit. Listen to the call audio here.

COLORADO

Thursday, March 19 – Colorado ACA Anniversary Press Call
Protect Our Care Colorado and Rocky Mountain Values hosted a press call joined by Rep. Dr. Yadira Caraveo, Sheena Kadi of One Colorado, Adam Fox of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI), and activist Laura Packard to mark the passage of the Affordable Care Act 10 years ago, discuss how the law improved access to health care for Coloradans, and talk about the role the ACA plays in ongoing coronavirus response efforts despite Republicans’ continued efforts to eliminate the law. Listen to the call here

Colorado op-eds:
West Word // Gale Devore // Op-Ed: Colorado Banned High-Priced Insulin, Now Congress Needs to Act
Colorado Sun // Laura Packard and Dafna Michaelson Jenet // Opinion: The ACA changed how we treat cancer — and it is all at risk because of our current leadership

Speaker Pelosi, Senator Casey, Rep. Underwood, Former HHS Secretary Sebelius and Protect Our Care Mark 10-Year Anniversary of the ACA Amidst Coronavirus Crisis

Speaker Pelosi Joined Protect Our Care on a Press Call to Highlight Landmark Anniversary of the ACA and Discuss the Ongoing Threats to the Law That Put Americans at Risk During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

Call Audio Available Here

Washington, DC — On the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14), former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Laura Packard, a stage four cancer survivor, along with Protect Our Care held a press call to highlight the passage of the landmark law and show what’s at stake for Americans if President Trump and Republicans overturn the ACA as the nation grapples with the coronavirus. 

On the call, Speaker Pelosi reflected on the progress made since the passage of the ACA and made clear the importance of strengthening and protecting the law. Just this month, the Supreme Court announced it would hear the Trump-Republican lawsuit to repeal the ACA in its upcoming term, which if successful would strip coverage from 20 million Americans and eliminate protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions. This means that during a time when Americans face unprecedented threats to their health as a result of President Trump’s failure to prepare America for the coronavirus, Republicans are still dead set on ripping away their health care.

“Ten years ago we passed this law and took a monumental step forward for the health care and financial safety of the American people,” said Speaker Pelosi. “House Democrats have been leading the way to defend and enhance the law. Instead of joining us to strengthen the law, the Trump Administration is in court again to tear it down entirely and we cannot let that happen. This is both a happy day for what we did then and it’s a challenging day for what the Trump Administration is still doing to dismantle the law at a time when we couldn’t need it more. Today I am urging President Trump withdraw from the lawsuit in the Supreme Court that, if successful, would return to lifetime limits on coverage, remove essential health benefits, open up the prescription drug donut hole, take young people off their parents insurance, and allow Americans with pre-existing conditions to be discriminated against in terms of health care and costs.”

“Ten years ago we made affordable health care a reality by expanding coverage to millions of Americans who were uninsured and protecting people with pre-existing conditions. This is an historic achievement worthy of commemoration,” said Senator Bob Casey. “However, our work does not stop there. For the past 10 years, Congressional Republicans have continued their efforts to dismantle consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions, destroy the ACA through the courts and defund the law by making it harder for Americans to sign up for health care plans. These efforts are even more obscene when we are in the midst of a global public health pandemic. The best way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ACA would be for Republicans to announce that they are dropping their lawsuit. I will not stop fighting to protect the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

“Ten years ago we took an enormous step to improve the lives of the American people and progress our country’s health care system. Because of the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million more Americans have access to quality, affordable coverage, millions of people like me with a preexisting condition don’t have to live in fear, young people can stay on their parents’ health insurance, Medicaid has been expanded, and preventative services are available without out-of-pocket costs,” said Congresswoman Lauren Underwood. “As we take a moment to celebrate this momentous anniversary today, let us only allow it to be a moment. The work of ten years ago continues today and is more important than ever as Republicans and now this Administration have worked themselves breathless trying to take healthcare away from millions of Americans in Congress and in the courts. We need to work together to lower health care and prescription drug costs, expand access to mental health services, and improve the quality of health care. At this very moment we are experiencing a global pandemic that serves as a stark reminder of the value of our personal health, our family’s health, and the health of our communities.”

“We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ACA but the fight to save the law began the day the bill was signed and continues to this day with the Texas lawsuit that could strike down all of the benefits that people have received over the last 10 years,” said former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Here in the midst of the coronavirus, health care again is front and center in people’s minds and we need to remind people that this administration is trying to take health care away from Americans.”

“Ten years after the ACA was signed into law, the fate of 135 million people with pre-existing conditions hangs in the balance – many of us uninsurable without it, and many will not survive without insurance,” said Laura Packard, stage four cancer survivor and health care advocate. “Millions more Americans will join the ranks of people with pre-existing conditions too, if they develop long term damage from coronavirus. And many millions more have lost health insurance when they lost their jobs in the last few days.”

“Because of the Affordable Care Act 20 million Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions have the protections they need,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Now more than ever, we must all work to protect our health care against President Trump’s and the Republican’s ongoing attacks. Despite the progress made under the law, President Trump and Republicans remain dead set on ripping it apart and stripping millions of their health coverage, even as we confront the threat of coronavirus made worse by the Trump administration’s disastrous response. President Trump must immediately drop his Texas lawsuit.”

ACA at 10 Days of Action: Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions

Surrounding the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. Working with partner organizations and health care advocates, Protect Our Care will highlight a different aspect of the law each day while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in overturning the law through the courts.  

“The Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, especially in implementing protections for people with pre-existing conditions,said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Over the course of these 10 days of action, Protect Our Care will remind Americans how the ACA has improved the lives of millions while making clear that President Trump and Republicans’ lawsuit to overturn the law poses an existential threat to Americans’ health care.” 

Days of Action: Day 8 of 10 focuses on Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions. To learn more about our days of action, visit our website

The Affordable Care Act implemented key protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Ten years later, these protections are some of the most popular provisions in the health care law. 

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 135 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  • More than 17 million children, 68 million women, and 32 million people aged 55-64 have a pre-existing condition.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick.

Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

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

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

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

The ACA Includes Four Key Provisions That Protect People With Pre-Existing Conditions: 

  • COVERAGE GUARANTEE: Rule that forbids insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. 
  • COST: Rule that prevents insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions more. 
  • ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS: Requirements that insurance companies cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs and maternity care.
  • LIFETIME CAPS: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.

Republicans Want To Put Insurance Companies Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 Million People With Pre-Existing Conditions.

Repeated attempts to undermine and sabotage the ACA puts protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions at risk. Moreover, the Trump administration is backing a lawsuit seeking to overturn the entire health care law. WIthout the ACA, protections for pre-existing conditions would be eliminated overnight and the uninsured rate would increase by 65 percent. 

More Than 140 Million Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventative Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. More than 140 million Americans are enrolled in plans that provide free preventive services, including 133 million people with employer coverage. 

Premium Surcharges Could Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.

Reinstate Lifetime And Annual Limits On 109 Million Privately Insured Americans. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market. In 2009, prior to the implementation of the ACA, 59 percent of workers covered by employer-sponsored health plans had a lifetime limit. 

Insurance Companies Would Not Have To Provide The Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.

Outrageous: Trump Reaffirms His Desire to “Terminate” Health Care for 20 Million Americans in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

Washington, DC — Today, on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump reaffirmed his commitment to pursuing the lawsuit that would overturn the ACA in the courts saying, “what we want to do is terminate it.” If successful, this lawsuit would rip coverage away from 20 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. This comes at a time when America faces an unprecedented health care crisis and it’s more important than ever that people have access to affordable, quality health care. Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement in response: 

“It’s outrageous that President Trump would reaffirm his commitment to the lawsuit that would rip coverage away from 20 million Americans during a briefing about an ongoing unprecedented health crisis. No one should have to worry about the status of their health care, particularly during a time when Americans are more concerned than ever about their health and safety. To effectively fight the coronavirus, we need to ensure that people are getting the care and treatment they need. Instead, President Trump wants to rip coverage and vital protections away from the most vulnerable among us at a time when they need it the most.”

BACKGROUND:

View the full fact sheet on Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the ACA HERE.

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:

  • GONE: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent. 
  • GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers 17 million people. 
  • GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
  • GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance. 
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. As Americans lose coverage, already struggling hospitals will be hit even harder as their costs increase.

On the 10th Anniversary of the ACA, Protect Our Care Highlights the ACA’s Achievements and the Relentless Trump-Republican Efforts to Sabotage and Repeal the Law

POC Also Highlights How the ACA Helps Fight the Coronavirus and the Devastating Consequences of Overturning the Law in the Midst of the Crisis

March 23 is the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and there has never been a more important time to highlight the benefits of the law and the ongoing Trump Republican efforts to sabotage and repeal the law, particularly in light of the coronavirus crisis. 

This month, the Supreme Court announced it would hear the Trump-Republican lawsuit to repeal the ACA in its upcoming term, which if successful would strip coverage from 20 million Americans and eliminate protections for 135 million with pre-existing conditions. During a time when Americans face unprecedented threats to their health as a result of President Trump’s failure to prepare America for the coronavirus, Republicans remain dead set on ripping away their health care. 

“There is no question that the Affordable Care Act has been an incredibly positive force for Americans over the last 10 years, yet so much is at stake as Republicans try to overturn it in the midst of America grappling with the coronavirus pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “President Trump and Republicans need to understand just how devastating their war on health care has been and will continue to be especially as Americans’ health care is threatened more than ever with the spread of coronavirus.” 

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million Americans have health coverage and 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are guaranteed health insurance that they can afford,” said Protect Our Care Chair, Leslie Dach. “It is unimaginable that President Trump wants to take that coverage away from millions of people when they need them the most.” 

In the lead up to the anniversary Protect Our Care Our’s work has highlighted the ACA’s achievements, the devastating consequences of overturning the law, and the specific ways in which those consequences are amplified as America grapples with coronavirus including a series of memos, and fact sheets. We have also held press calls in key battleground states with elected officials and health care advocates to bring attention to how the Trump-Republican war on health care is affecting people in communities across the country. 

Here are some resources that make the connection between the Trump-Republican sabotage efforts and how the damage of their war on health care is amplified during this crisis: 

MEMO: ACA at 10 Successes and Ongoing Threats on the 10th Anniversary of Its Passage

Key points: During a time when Americans face unprecedented threats to their health as a result of President Trump’s failure to contain the virus, Republicans are still trying to rip away their health care and leave 20 million of Americans uninsured and 135 million with pre-existing conditions without protections.

Trump’s Sabotage Of The ACA Leaves The U.S. Less Prepared For Coronavirus

Key points: Trump is backing a lawsuit that could rip way coverage from 20 million Americans during the middle of the outbreak. He is also pushing short-term junk plans that would not need to cover coronavirus treatment and continues to undermine Medicaid expansion, leaving more Americans uninsured. 

Top Ways The ACA Helps Fight Coronavirus

Key points: From free preventative care, to coverage for 20 million Americans, protections for pre-existing conditions and access to critical vaccinations without cost sharing, along with so many other important areas of coverage, there’s no question the ACA plays an essential role in providing affordable health care to Americans during this crisis. 

Fact Sheet On Trump’s Lawsuit To Overturn The ACA
Key points: President Trump is trying to rip apart our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from 20 million Americans, raise premiums, end protections for 150 million people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.

ACA at 10 Fact Sheets

Key points: Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March 23, Protect Our Care is holding 10 days of action to raise awareness of the most critical components of the law which has improved the lives of millions of Americans. 

Fact sheets found here: 

  1. Affordability
  2. Children’s Coverage
  3. Expanded Coverage 
  4. Protections For Individuals With Disabilities 
  5. Prescription Drug Costs
  6. Medicaid Expansion
  7. Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions
  8. Rural Health
  9. Seniors
  10. Women’s Health