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Protect Our Care Statement on the Coming Supreme Court Fight: This Is a Health Care Election

Washington, DC — On November 10, 2020 — one week after the election — the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that could overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, including protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and throw our entire health care system into chaos. Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued a statement on the upcoming fight for the future of Americans’ health care access:

“Donald Trump is before the Supreme Court right now trying to strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, including protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Trying to dismantle the health care law and all the protections it affords to Americans is extremely unpopular with voters, but President Trump was depending on the fact that relatively few voters know about the case. With the national spotlight now on the Supreme Court, President Trump won’t be able to hide behind his health care lies anymore. Voters will know that Donald Trump is fighting to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions and that he and every Republican on the ballot are trying to rip health care away from millions in the middle of a pandemic. This is a health care election. Period.” 

BACKGROUND:

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 16 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.
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.

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

Daniel Gade Lies About Protecting 3.5 Million Virginians with Pre-Existing Conditions

While Gade Would Join GOP War on Health Care, Mark Warner Is a Health Care Champion

Washington, DC — As the Virginia Senate race heats up, Protect Our Care is reminding voters that no matter what Daniel Gade says about supporting people with pre-existing conditions, the policies he supports would do the exact opposite. Gade supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, prohibits insurers from charging these people more for coverage, requires coverage of essential health benefits and bans lifetime caps on coverage. The ACA is the gold standard for protecting people with pre-existing conditions, yet Gade supports getting rid of the law in the midst of an ever-worsening public health crisis with no health care plan to replace it. 

“If elected, Daniel Gade would become just another Republican claiming to support people with pre-existing conditions while trying to get rid of the protections they rely on. Like Mitch McConnell, Gade wants to completely dismantle the ACA, which would rip health care away from more than 640,000 Virginians, end protections for more than 3.5 million Virginians with pre-existing conditions and throw the entire American health care system into chaos as the nation continues to face the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Senator Mark Warner is a proven health care champion who is working on solutions to make sure more people get the coverage they need during the coronavirus pandemic. In an election where health care is on the line, the difference between Sen. Warner and Gade could not be more stark.”

BACKGROUND: 

Fact Sheet: Trump-Backed Texas Lawsuit Would Devastate Virginians

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 millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. The result will be to — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in Court — unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Virginians Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 642,000 Virginians could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 642,000 Virginians would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 96 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 59,000 Virginia young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • 38,000 Virginia children could lose their coverage. Almost three million children nationwide gained coverage thanks to the ACA. If the law is overturned, many of these children will lose their insurance.
  • 58,000 Virginia Latinos could lose coverage. The percentage of people gaining health insurance under the ACA was higher for Latinos than for any other racial or ethnic group in the country. According to a study from Families USA, 5.4 million Latinos nationwide would lose coverage if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the ACA.
  • Virginians would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $4.7 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Virginians’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $4.7 billion. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 135 Million People Nationwide With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • 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
  •  3,580,300 Virginians have a pre-existing condition, including 444,200 Virginia children, 1,784,000 Virginia women, and 839,400 Virginians between ages 55 and 64. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Deny, Drop Coverage, And Charge More Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies will be able to do this again.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period. 
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period.
  • An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” if the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 3,902,716 Virginians Could Once Again Have To Pay For 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 3,902,716 Virginians, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could 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 they charged men for the same coverage. 
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $3,431 in Virginia. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $3,431 in Virginia, according to the AARP.
  • 289,081 Virginians in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 289,081 in Virginia.
  • 109,517 Virginia Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In Virginia, 109,517 seniors each saved an average of $1,104.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 2,974,000 Privately Insured Virginians. 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.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

If Trump Gets His Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  • More Than 300,000 Virginians Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including more than 300,000 in Virginia. 
  • Access To 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 Virginia hospitals with $1.7 billion more in uncompensated care. 

 

 

Protect Our Care “Your Health, Your Vote” Virtual Bus Tour Week One Wrap Up: National Kick Off, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

Virtual Tour Kicked Off with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer, “Hit the Road” for Events in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

On the first week of Protect Our Care’s 16-state “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour, Protect Our Care held a national kick off with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as events in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. During each stop, elected leaders, health care advocates and storytellers from each state met in a virtual format to highlight the impact of Trump’s failed coronavirus leadership, his ongoing war on pre-existing conditions, attacks on Medicaid and Medicare and his failure to lower the cost of prescription drugs — and contrast them with the leadership of House and Senate Democrats and Vice President Biden.

Additionally, Kristin Urquiza — founder of the group Marked By Covid and adviser to Protect Our Care — joined the tour this week and will be at numerous stops along the way. Urquiza, who founded Marked By Covid after her father passed away from COVID-19, was quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel during the Wisconsin stop: “’I am so overwhelmed with the fact that the president continues to not only endanger the lives of us generally but his own supporters,’ she said. ‘It just brings home the point that he cares about himself and his own interests, first and foremost.’”

NATIONAL KICK OFF:

Monday, September 14, 2020: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Protect Our Care to kick off the “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour to make sure voters know health care is on the ballot in November. Since taking office, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have been waging a war on health care including their botched coronavirus response, refusal to provide Americans with meaningful COVID relief through legislation, proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare and failure to lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Tour Announcement
Politico Pulse: PROTECT OUR CARE HITS “ROAD” WITH VIRTUAL TOUR

Read Protect Our Care’s Guide to the 2020 Health Care Election Here

PENNSYLVANIA

Tuesday, September 15, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Pennsylvania to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) Marked by COVID founder Kristin Urquiza and health care advocated Erin Gabriel, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Pennsylvanians’ care. They also called on Republicans to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Coverage:
The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA): Casey, Cartwright Highlight What’s at Stake for Health Care in Election

Read Protect Our Care’s Pennsylvania’s Voter Guide Here

WISCONSIN

Thursday, September 17, 2020: Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Wisconsin to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response. Headlined by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, the event highlighted how Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Wisconsinites’ care. 

Watch the Full Event Here

Coverage
WSAW (Wausau, WI): Wis. Democrats Hold Virtual Panel Events as Pres. Trump Visits Mosinee

Channel 3000 (Madison, WI): Democrats Hold ‘Your Health, Your Vote’ Event Ahead of President’s Wisconsin Visit

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Donald Trump Tears Into Joe Biden in Return Visit to Wisconsin

Read Protect Our Care’s Wisconsin Voter Guide Here

SHOT/SHOT: Trump’s Secret Health Care Plan Is So “Top-Secret” It Doesn’t Seem to Exist

SHOT: New York Times: Trump’s Secret Health Plan Is a Promise Voters Have Heard Before. “When Donald J. Trump first ran for the White House, he promised to ‘come up with a great health plan,’ one that would repeal the Affordable Care Act but replace it with something better while maintaining its biggest selling point: protecting people with pre-existing medical conditions…After four years, during the worst health crisis in a century, the unkept promise may be catching up to Mr. Trump. There still does not seem to be any plan, because other than abolishing the Affordable Care Act — which requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and which the White House is asking the Supreme Court to overturn — the Republican Party cannot agree on one.” [New York Times, 9/17/20]

SHOT: Washington Post: Opinion: Trump’s ‘Terrific’ Health-Care Plan Is So Secret His Own Health Advisers Don’t Know It Exists. “There’s secret, top-secret, code-word-secret — and then there’s whatever President Trump’s health-care plan is. It’s apparently so deeply classified that the people overseeing the plan don’t even know they’re involved…Trump has asked the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare, including its protections for those with preexisting conditions. The court is scheduled to hear arguments a week after the election.Maybe by then we’ll have seen Trump’s replacement plan.” [Washington Post, 9/17/20]

ANALYSIS: At Least 5 Million Black and Hispanic People May Lose Health Care Coverage Due to Pandemic

Washington, DC — In a newly released analysis, Avalere found at least 5 million Black and Hispanic people may lose health care coverage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. These worsening disparities are the result of Donald Trump’s failed leadership and his never-ending attacks on health care, including his lawsuit to completely overturn the Affordable Care Act in court that would be especially devastating to Black Americans and Latinos. If successful, this lawsuit would throw our entire health care system into chaos — including further exacerbating the health disparities revealed by this analysis. 

“Donald Trump has failed Black and Hispanic people in a myriad of ways, but this report makes clear that he’s costing them their lives,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “President Trump’s failed coronavirus response has meant more people losing access to health care coverage — with Black and Hispanic people who have historically faced systemic barriers to care bearing the brunt of his policies. Additionally, Trump continues to push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in court, which puts millions more at risk of losing health care coverage. The president’s relentless war on health care and inability to lead during this pandemic has worsened inequities for Black and Hispanic communities.” 

FACT CHECKS: Trump Lies About Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions While Trying to Destroy the ACA in Court

Last night at an ABC News town hall, President Trump was confronted by Ellesia Blaque — a voter with a pre-existing condition — and lied to her face, claiming that he and his administration are “not going to hurt pre-existing conditions.” Blaque told CNN that she left the event “fuming” because “he didn’t answer” her question about pre-existing conditions. CNN called his answer “a complete reversal of reality.” 

Here’s the truth: one week after the election, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas — a lawsuit brought by the Trump administration to terminate the Affordable Care Act. If successful, Trump’s lawsuit would rip away health care from more than 23 million Americans, end protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and throw the entire American health care system into chaos as the nation continues to face the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic. 

Washington Post: Trump’s ABC News Town Hall: Four Pinocchios, Over and Over Again. Four Pinocchios again! Trump regularly, but falsely, claims that he and the Republicans would keep provisions in the Affordable Care Act that protect people with preexisting health conditions. But the House and Senate GOP plans backed by Trump likely would have resulted in higher costs for people with preexisting conditions in some states, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Trump administration also refused to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit that would end protection for preexisting conditions, putting the entire law at risk, and later asked the Supreme Court to strike down the entire act, actively seeking to end the guarantee for patients with preexisting conditions. The Trump administration, meanwhile, has issued new rules that promote the use of low-quality, short-term plans that were prohibited under the ACA. These plans typically don’t have the same protections for people with existing health conditions, allowing insurance companies to deny coverage or charge higher prices.” [Washington Post, 9/15/20

New York Times: Fact Check: Trump Repeated Inaccurate Claims About the Coronavirus, Protests, and His Own Record at His Town Hall. “The president falsely claimed ‘we’re not going to hurt pre-existing conditions’ while Democrats ‘will get rid of pre-existing conditions.’ His administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down the health care law that includes protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, and in 2017 unsuccessfully tried to repeal it. Democrats and their nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr., have consistently aimed to uphold that law.” [New York Times, 9/16/20

CNN: Fact Check: Trump Made at Least 20 False or Misleading Claims at ABC Town Hall. “Trump claimed that he would be ‘doing a health care plan’ that would ‘protect people with pre-existing conditions.’ He then said of the Democrats, ‘They will not do that.’ Facts First: This is a complete reversal of reality. Democrats created these protections for people with pre-existing conditions, in Obamacare; Biden was vice president at the time, and he is running on a promise to preserve and strengthen the law. Trump, conversely, has repeatedly tried to get bills passed that would have weakened the protections — and, as Stephanopoulos pointed out, is currently in court trying to get the entirety of Obamacare overturned. Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put forward a ‘new health care’ plan that would protect people. But he has never unveiled any plan that would offer protections equivalent to the ones in Obamacare — and, regardless, his claim about Democrats is absurd.” [CNN, 9/16/20

ABC News: “Trump Is Suing to Dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Which Guarantees Coverage for Preexisting Conditions, and Has Not Proposed An Alternative.” “While Trump and Republicans have repeatedly insisted on protecting preexisting conditions, the Trump administration is currently in court seeking to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees coverage for Americans with preexisting medical conditions. Republicans, urged on by Trump, sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, falling several votes short in the Senate. They sought to replace the program with an alternative that included multiple options, which experts said offered skimpier preexisting condition protections than Obamacare. These short-term and association health plans, alternatives promoted by the Trump administration, while cheaper, have fewer benefits for consumers, including weaker preexisting condition protections. Trump has also repeatedly promised his own health care proposal that has failed to materialize; in June of 2019, he told Stephanopoulos it would be unveiled within two months, and said as recently as last month that it would be released in ‘two weeks.’ Trump again claimed the health care plan was forthcoming — but offered no specific details or timeline.” [ABC News, 9/15/20

New Census Data Reveals a Million More Uninsured Last Year Largely Due to Trump’s Sabotage Putting Them at Risk Before the Pandemic

Washington, DC – New Census Bureau data released today shows the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans’ continued sabotage of our health care system resulted in one million Americans becoming uninsured last year, including 320,000 more uninsured children. This means the number of uninsured people increased by at least 2.3 million since President Trump took office — from 27.3 million in 2016 to 29.6 million in 2019. This data does not take into account the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left an estimated 12 million people without employer-sponsored health care coverage. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“The latest Census numbers prove once again that the Trump-GOP sabotage agenda and their mismanagement of the pandemic has left millions of Americans without coverage when they need it the most. With their ongoing lawsuit to overturn the health care law, sabotage of open enrollment and promotion of junk insurance plans, Republicans have purposefully created chaos and uncertainty in our health care system. Health care is on the ballot in 2020, and these latest numbers show just how much Donald Trump’s war on health care is impacting Americans’ access to health care coverage.”

NEW REPORT: Protect Our Care Highlights What’s at Stake for Health Care in 2020 Election

Read the Report Here

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new report about what’s at stake for health care in the 2020 election. Since taking office, President Trump has taken every opportunity to undermine health care including his botched coronavirus response, proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, failure to lower prescription drug prices and attacks on protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The report outlines these attacks for voters as they get ready to cast their ballots in seven weeks. 

The report comes as Protect Our Care launches its virtual bus tour, which kicked off Monday night with an event featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who let voters know their health care is on the line in 2020. The tour will focus on 16 key states — including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin this week — and uplift the voices of local elected officials, advocates and storytellers to hold President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress accountable for their health care sabotage agenda. 

Report: Guide to the 2020 Health Care Election

“Voters need to know their health care is on the ballot in 2020, and this report outlines the attacks President Trump has waged on Americans’ health care since taking office,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “President Trump has completely mismanaged the country’s coronavirus response by purposely downplaying the virus and refusing to take decisive action to protect Americans. At the same time, he’s been finding any way he can to rip health care coverage from Americans, including a lawsuit to completely overturn the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic. Now is the time to hold President Trump accountable for his health care sabotage.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer Slam Trump’s War on Health Care

With 50 Days Until the Election, Protect Our Care Launches “Your Health, Your Vote” Virtual Bus Tour 

Watch the Full Event Here

Washington, DC — Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Protect Our Care to kick off the “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour to make sure voters know health care is on the ballot in November. Since taking office, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have been waging a war on health care including their botched coronavirus response, refusal to provide Americans with meaningful COVID relief through legislation, proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare and failure to lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

Watch the Full Event Here

“Instead of trying to crush coronavirus, [the president] is trying to crush the Affordable Care Act, and we’re going to make sure he does not do that,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “This election is essential. That is what is at stake this election.”

“As your bus virtually travels through each of these 16 states, you’ll find the number one election issue on people’s minds is health care, and you’ll find they trust Democrats to increase accessibility, safeguard protections for pre-existing conditions and lower health care costs,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “Americans are ready for leaders who will keep up that fight, especially in the fact of the relentless attacks from Republicans. That’s why Democrats are going to win across the board in November.”

“Health care is on the ballot in 2020, and Trump has taken every opportunity to sabotage our health care, pledging to rip health care away from millions, gut protections for pre-existing conditions and slash funding for Medicaid and Medicare — even in the midst of a pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “With 50 days until the election, it’s time to hold President Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress accountable for their war on health care.” 

“From his fumbling of the country’s coronavirus response to his relentless efforts to rip health care from millions of Americans by trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, Donald Trump has shown us his real agenda — sabotaging our health care,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “We want to make sure voters know that four more years of Donald Trump would be a disaster for health care.”

The virtual tour will make stops in 16 key 2020 states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine, Iowa, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois and Texas to hold Trump and his Republican allies in Congress accountable for his relentless attacks on health care and his complete mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. The tour will also include other special events. 

This is Protect Our Care’s third national bus tour. The “Your Health, Your Vote” tour will feature important local voices, including elected leaders, health care advocates and storytellers, from each state in a virtual format to highlight the impact of Trump’s failed coronavirus leadership, his ongoing war on pre-existing conditions, Medicaid and Medicare and his failure to lower the cost of prescription drugs — and contrast them with the leadership of House and Senate Democrats and Vice President Biden.

COVERAGE: In Act of Desperation, Trump Issues “Toothless” Executive Order on Drug Prices

Yesterday, Donald Trump continued to play politics with Americans’ health care by signing an executive order that he claims will lower prescription drug prices in an effort to intentionally mislead voters ahead of Election Day. Reporters and experts were quick to point out that in reality, this stunt does nothing to actually lower drug prices, calling the order “toothless.” In order to lower prices, President Trump would need to put regulations into place — a process that takes considerable time and one that he has continually skipped. The New York Times also pointed out that the order relies on authority under the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration is actively trying to overturn in court. Since taking office, President Trump has broken his promise to stop drug prices from skyrocketing. Sunday’s executive order is more of the same.

The executive order requires additional regulations that would take months to go into effect, if the administration even puts them into place:

Washington Post:The Health 202: Trump Issued Another Toothless Executive Order on Drug Prices. “President Trump proclaimed yesterday that he’ll go even bigger and bolder on a long-touted effort to lower drug prices in the United States.But he has yet to put any teeth into the effort, nearly two years after first announcing it.In a move widely regarded as a political play seven weeks before the election, Trump announced via tweet he had signed an executive order aiming to lower drug prices in the Medicare program through what is known as ‘the most favored nation policy.'” [Washington Post, 9/14/20

NPR: “As With Most Executive Actions, This Only Just Begins What Will Be a Lengthy Bureaucratic Process That May or May Not Ultimately Result in the Promised Policy.” “President Trump signed an executive order Sunday that he says lowers prescription drug prices ‘by putting America first,’ but experts say the move is unlikely to have any immediate impact….The order calls on the Health and Human Services secretary to ‘immediately take appropriate steps to implement his rulemaking plan to test a payment model’ putting in place ‘most favored nations’ policy. Translated: As with most executive actions, this only just begins what will be a lengthy bureaucratic process that may or may not ultimately result in the promised policy.” [NPR, 9/13/20

Axios: “Given That [Trump’s] Had Four Years Already to Act On What Was Also a Big Issue In 2016, There’s Plenty of Reason to Be Skeptical Of This Ever Translating Into Official Policy.” “It’s September of an election year. That means that this executive order is, at best, a statement of Trump’s intention to keep trying to achieve something big on drug prices should he get a second term. But given that he’s had four years already to act on what was also a big issue in 2016, there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical of this ever translating into official policy.” [Axios, 9/14/20

CNN: The Latest Executive Orders Come as Most of Trump’s Actions on Drug Pricing “Remain in the Proposal Phase Or Have Been Rejected By The Courts.” “Unlikely to have any impact before the election, the executive orders come at a time when Trump is trying to fulfill his longstanding campaign promise to lower drug prices, though little movement has been made. Most of the administration’s actions — including the effort to import medication from Canada — remain in the proposal phase or have been rejected by the courts.” [CNN, 9/13/20

Stat: With Election Looming, Trump Releases Major, Last-Ditch Drug Pricing Order. “The Trump administration still hasn’t released formal regulations to implement the policy. That process typically takes months, if not years…It’s still unclear when the Trump administration will formally implement the new executive order. Drug industry lobbyists expect Trump to try and skip over most of the formal regulatory steps by issuing a so-called interim final rule, a rare regulatory maneuver that lets president’s skip most of the formal regulatory steps in certain emergencies. However, the drug industry has hinted it will sue if Trump tries to use that maneuver.” [Stat, 9/13/20

The executive order relies on authority given to the administration under the Affordable Care Act, which Trump is actively trying to overturn in court: 

New York Times: In An “Odd Twist,” the Administration Is “Relying on Its Authority Under the Affordable Care Act, Which Mr. Trump and His Fellow Republicans Are Trying to Overturn in the Supreme Court.” “But it is unclear whether the White House has the authority to put the expansive order into effect. And in an odd twist, in calling for the secretary to set up the model programs, the administration is relying on its authority under the Affordable Care Act, which Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans are trying to overturn in the Supreme Court.” [New York Times, 9/13/20

House Democrats already passed legislation that would be more effective in lowering prescription drug prices: 

Wall Street Journal: “Drug Experts Say That the Best Way to Lower Drug Prices Under Medicare is to Grant the Agency the Legal Authority to Directly Negotiate Prices with Drug Companies. This Measure Wouldn’t Do That.” “The proposed executive order would appear to be of limited immediate effect. Experts see the order as the administration’s effort to show it is taking steps to lower drug pricing, as the president seeks reelection. Drug-pricing experts say that the best way to lower prices under Medicare is to grant the agency the legal authority to directly negotiate prices with drug companies. This measure wouldn’t do that.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/13/20

EXPERTS

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt Said “President Trump’s Executive Order on Drug Pricing Does Not by Itself Do Anything.” “President Trump’s executive order on drug pricing does not by itself do anything. It has to be followed up by regulations, which will take time. Trump has a history of bold talk on drug prices, only to pull back when it comes to putting actual regulations in place,” the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt tweeted. [Axios, 9/14/20

Rachel Sachs, Associate Professor Of Law At Washington University in St. Louis, Noted That House Democrats Already Passed A Bill That Would Use International Reference Pricing, But “Trump Threatened to Veto That Bill.” “In addition, Rachel Sachs, an associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis who covers prescription drug policy, reminded her Twitter followers on Sunday that ‘in December 2019, the House (led by the Democratic caucus) passed a bill that would’ve used international reference pricing to lower the price of drugs in Medicare.’ ‘Trump threatened to veto that bill,’ she wrote.” [New York Times, 9/13/20

Dan Mendelson, Founder Of Avalere Health, Said Trump’s Order Would Not Affect Drug Prices Before the Election, Adding That Biden Has “A 20 Point Advantage Over Trump On Covid-19, So It’s Not Surprising to See the Administration Try to Change The Subject.” “Dan Mendelson, founder of consultancy Avalere Health, said Trump’s move would not affect drug prices for senior citizens before the Nov. 3 election, adding that polling shows Americans are more concerned with the coronavirus than drug prices. He said Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “has a 20 point advantage over the Trump on Covid19, so it’s not surprising to see the administration try to change the subject.” [Reuters, 9/13/20