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“An Outrageous Attack on Health Care”

Protect Our Care Opposes Trump Administration Rule that Keeps Children and Families Away from Health Care and in the Shadows

In response to media reports that the Trump administration is manufacturing a “public health crisis” through its proposed “public charge rule,” Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“As if ripping families apart at the border and putting children in cages wasn’t bad enough, the Trump administration now wants to use health care as a weapon against legal immigrants in America. This is yet another outrageous attack on health care in this country and the ability of immigrants to live their lives with dignity.”

Read more in the Washington Post:

A White House Proposal Has Legal Immigrants Forgoing Health-care Services Out of Fear

Pro-Repeal Republican Incumbents Should Be Scared this Morning

Last night’s results from the special election in the 12th Congressional District of Ohio reaffirm what we have already seen in elections across the country: support for health care repeal is an albatross at the ballot box.

Every Republican who voted for health care repeal should be worried this morning. Republicans running for re-election in competitive districts have one thing in common: they overwhelmingly voted to take away Americans’ health care — and they’ll have to answer for this on the campaign trail. Of the Republican incumbents whose races are considered “toss up” or “lean Republican” from the Cook Political Report, all but three who were there on the day of the vote voted for the House health repeal bill:

Toss Up

CA-10 Rep. Denham voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

CA-25 Rep. Knight voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

CA-48 Rep. Rohrabacher voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

FL-26 Rep. Curbelo voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

IA-01 Rep. Blum voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

IA-03 Rep. Young voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

IL-06 Rep. Roskam voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

IL-12 Rep. Bost voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

KY-06 Rep. Barr voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

ME-02 Rep. Poliquin voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

MI-08 Rep. Bishop voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

MN-02 Rep. Lewis voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

MN-03 Rep. Paulsen voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

NY-19 Rep. Faso voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

NY-22 Rep. Tenney voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

TX-07 Rep. Culberson voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

TX-32 Rep. Sessions voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

VA-07 Rep. Brat voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

Lean Republican

AR-02 Rep. Hill voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

CA-45 Rep. Walters voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

FL-16 Rep. Buchanan voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

FL-18 Rep. Mast voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

IL-13 Rep. Davis voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

IL-14 Rep. Hultgren voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

KS-03 Rep. Yoder voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

NC-13 Rep. Budd voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

NE-02 Rep. Bacon voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

NJ-03 Rep. MacArthur voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

OH-01 Rep. Chabot voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

PA-16 Rep. Kelly voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

UT-04 Rep. Love voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

VA-02 Rep. Taylor voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

WA-05 Rep. McMorris Rodgers voted for the House Republican health repeal bill.

Sen. Dean Heller Doubles Down on Health Repeal, Says It Was a “Missed Opportunity” While GOP Plots To Do It Again

The last 24 hours in health care politics have been revealing.

First, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), the most vulnerable Republican senator this year, called last year’s failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act a “missed opportunity” and doubled down on his support for health repeal in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

  • Dean Heller: “We made the big mistake of trying to do that first and it was too heavy of a lift.… It was a missed opportunity, without a doubt.”

Second, we learned that Republicans indeed want to try to repeal health care again should they win in the November midterms election.

  • AXIOS: Republicans eye another ACA repeal vote if midterms go their way

Leslie Dach, chair of Protect our Care, commented, “Dean Heller has doubled down on his war on Nevadans’ health care. His dream, and that of his party, of having another chance to gut protections for pre-existing conditions should be every Nevadan’s worst nightmare.”

The Public Reminds Senators What’s At Stake With Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination

Across the Country, Patients, Advocates and Providers Demand Their Senators #StopKavanaugh

In Key States, Protect Our Care Doubles Down on Highlighting Health Care is #WhatsAtStake

POLITICO Playbook: Protect Our Care Launches $150,000 Push To Educate Public About What’s At Stake With Brett Kavanaugh’s Nomination To The Supreme Court. “Protect Our Care is going up with one week of TV and radio health care-focused ads in Maine, Alaska and Nevada targeting Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Dean Heller (Nev.). The group is spending $150,000 on the push in what a spokesman for the group described as an ‘opening salvo’ in its effort to ‘educate the public about what’s at stake for health care with Trump’s SCOTUS pick.’ Protect Our Care will also be engaging in field activity all week in those three states, along with 11 others, focused on talking about pre-existing conditions protections, Medicaid and women’s health.” [POLITICO Playbook, 8/6/18]

NBC4 Columbus: Commercial Battle Brewing Over President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee. “A pro-Obamacare political action group is launching a new television and online ad campaign aimed at building opposition against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. The group, Protect Our Care, announced it’s launching ads in: Maine, Alaska, and Nevada. You can watch the ad posted to YouTube below.” [NBC Columbus, 8/6/18]

Nevada Independent (NV): Pro-Obamacare Group Targets Heller Over Challenges To Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions. “A pro-Affordable Care Act group is releasing a new television advertisement today targeting Republican Sen. Dean Heller amid the Trump administration’s efforts to challenge the federal health care law’s protections for pre-existing conditions in court. The 30-second spot from Protect Our Care urges viewers to call Heller’s office and tell him to oppose Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying that the current D.C. appeals court judge could support the president’s effort to get axe protections for pre-existing conditions if he is appointed to the highest court.” [The Nevada Independent, 8/6/18]

Juneau Empire (AK): Health Care Campaign Wants Alaskans To Reach Out To Sen. Murkowski About Supreme Court Vote. Amber Lee, the state coordinator for Protect Our Care, said “Murkowski, a republican, has proven to be a key figure in recent health care votes and debates. She’s been a vocal supporter of women’s reproductive rights and case a key “no” vote during a July 2017 vote to repeal and replace the ACA. Lee is hoping Alaskans reach out to Murkowski with personal stories about how ACA and the Medicaid expansion in Alaska in 2015 have positively affected their lives. The hope is that these personal stories will show Murkowski just how much her constituents will lose if ACA is repealed.” [Juneau Empire, 8/6/18]

Constituents Speak Out, Urge Their Senators to Take a Stand

Kristen Nilsen, a Mainer with a pre-existing condition who has faced higher costs due to Republican sabotage of the ACA, shared her health care story:

“Prior to the Affordable Care Act, I would have had to spend $1,500 a month [on health care], and that was all due to the fact that I had a very minor pre-existing condition that prevented me from getting an affordable plan. So I was very pleased that I was able to use the Affordable Care Act… My concern is that the Republicans will continue the sabotage that they have been waging against the ACA… and people wkith pre-existing conditions will get discriminated against if Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed.”

Allison Stephens, a Nevadan who is the parent of a child with pre-existing condition, shared her story:

“When my son was 6 years old, he was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. The fact is, my son has to see a specialist who comes from out of state, he has to take chemo injection, he has to take special eye exams because of the autoimmune nature of his illness. My son has a pre-ex and without the protections of the ACA we would be in a scenario where he could be denied access to insurance or denied access to care.”

Genevieve Morgan, a Mainer with a pre-existing condition who met with Senator Collins in Washington, D.C., last week, shared her story:

“While I was getting a check-up, it revealed an anomalous high blood-pressure reading, which led to further tests that showed I had a genetic incurable disease… my children are now at a 50/50 chance of inheriting it. We are all one doctor’s appointment away from catastrophe… the system should at least give people with pre-existing conditions the protection of having health insurance.”

Mark Regan of the Disability Law Center of Alaska said:

“A concern about Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his nomination to the Supreme Court is the extent to which Judge Kavanaugh will likely protect people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions.”

Laura Packard, a Nevadan living with pre-existing condition patient, shared her story:

“Senator Heller knows the threat that Brett Kavanaugh poses to million of Nevadans and to Americans’ access to health care across the country and we demand that he stand up for the people he was elected to represent. I have a whopper of a pre-existing condition: I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I have a policy through the ACA, but who would insure me if not for these protections?”

Part of Coordinated Effort of Organizations Representing Millions of Concerned Constituents Nationwide

Fierce Healthcare: Planned Parenthood, Progressive Groups Launch Offensive Against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. “Protect Our Care, Planned Parenthood and other progressive organizations are launching a ‘full court press’ during the next several weeks to reach out to senators and host events on the issue, Woodhouse said. A particular focus is on states such as Maine and Alaska, which Republican senators viewed as crucial targets to flip on the issue—such as Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski—represent. Woodhouse said the GOP’s failure to repeal the ACA proves that the fight to block Kavanaugh’s nomination is winnable, especially as healthcare continues to be a key issue for voters heading into the election this fall.” [Fierce Healthcare, 8/6/18]

The Hill: Advocacy Groups Plan Offensive Against Trump’s Supreme Court Pick. “Advocacy groups opposing President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee say they’re ramping up the pressure on key senators during this week’s congressional recess… Protect Our Care, a pro-ObamaCare group, will launch new TV and radio ads in Maine, Alaska, and Nevada, warning that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would result in the reversal of the law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions. ‘The future of American health care for generations is once again going to come down to a handful of Senators,’ said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care.” [The Hill, 8/6/18]

Washington Examiner: Abortion, Obamacare Defenders Ramp Up August Recess Opposition To Brett Kavanaugh. “Organizations defending abortion rights and Obamacare are teaming up for a series of events in August to rally voter opposition to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood and state advocates will host more than 80 events from Aug. 6-10 across the U.S., including in Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Seattle, holding phone banks and writing postcards to send to voters. They plan to put pressure on senators while they are back in town for the summer recess.” [Washington Examiner, 8/6/18]

MedPage Today: Anti-Kavanaugh Momentum Growing, Pro-Choice Groups Say. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care explained, ‘We have every reason to believe that if Collins and Murkowski came out against this nomination, there would be a majority to oppose it…with all that said, we’re not just focusing on five or six targets,’ because even Republicans such as Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) who are leaning toward voting in favor of Kavanaugh should understand the long-term repercussions of doing so. ‘We want a broad campaign so they understand the consequences of their vote.’” [MedPage Today, 8/6/18]

View Protect Our Care’s TV Ad, airing this week in Nevada, Alaska and Maine.

Listen to Protect Our Care’s Radio Ad, airing this week in Alaska.

Organizations Announce Wave of Grassroots Opposition to Kavanaugh’s Nomination

TV Ads, More Than 100 Events, Online Organizing, and More During Senate Recess

Washington, DC – Today, organizations representing millions of supporters and concerned constituents nationwide announced a wave of grassroots opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination while the Senate is home for recess. Speakers from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Protect Our Care, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Alliance for Justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights detailed plans for more than 100 events, ad buys, and online and on-the-ground organizing this week to sound the alarm on how Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court would threaten people’s health and rights.

Kavanaugh has the least support of any Supreme Court pick in three decades, and people across the country are opposed to his nomination because, if confirmed, he would shift the balance of the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s record says it all: If given a chance, he would overturn Roe v. Wade and gut the Affordable Care Act. Trump pledged to only appoint nominees who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade and dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and Kavanaugh fits the bill.

Quote from Kelley Robinson, National Organizing Director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“A vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a vote against the constitutional right to safe, legal abortion and a vote against the Affordable Care Act. This recess is critical. That’s why Planned Parenthood supporters and organizations across the country are participating in over 100 events this week. They range from letter-writing parties to phone banks to voter education events. We are under no illusion that this is an easy fight, but a majority of senators have said they want to see the Affordable Care Act preserved and the ability of women to make their own health care decisions protected. If the Americans who care about these issues make their voices heard, we can win this.”

Quote from Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director, Protect Our Care:

“Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to be someone he could count on to do what he failed to get Congress to do, repeal health care for millions of Americans. When we say Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court means that the future of Americans’ health care for generations is once again coming down to the vote of just a handful of Senators, we mean it. That’s why Senators will be confronted at every turn with an important request from the concerned patients, providers and advocates that make up the Protect Our Care coalition: to stand up tall for health care and against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Quote from Adrienne Kimmell, Vice President of Communications and Strategic Research, NARAL Pro-Choice America:

“Thousands of NARAL members across the country have sprung into action: calling their senators, organizing their friends and neighbors, and planning for the largest progressive Supreme Court mobilization in recent history. Our members are acutely aware that Roe v. Wade is at stake and they’re letting their Senators know that if they vote yes on Brett Kavanaugh, they are voting to criminalize abortion and punish women.”

Quote from Nan Aron, Founder and President, Alliance for Justice:

“There’s an undeniable groundswell of energy and enthusiasm around alerting the public about Brett Kavanaugh’s record. AFJ is reaching out to its member organizations, activists, law professors, and nonprofits to engage them in this national debate. AFJ and AFJ Action Campaign have each launched five-figure digital ad campaigns in targeted states across the nation to sound the alarm. This is the Supreme Court nomination fight of our lives.”

Quote from Ashley Allison, Executive Vice President, Campaigns & Programs, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

“All 100 senators and the American people they represent deserve to see Kavanaugh’s full record before a hearing is scheduled, we’re mobilizing our coalition on the ground to make sure folks are aware of what’s at stake with this nomination. On August 8th and 9th, The Leadership Conference is teaming up with Alliance for Justice, Planned Parenthood, and others to host nationwide days of action. The 8th will mark an in-district day where people across the country will visit their senators to express their concerns about Kavanaugh. And on the 9th, we’re hosting a call-in day to light up the Capitol switchboard. We look forward to engaging our broad civil and human rights coalition to amplify how groups at the local and state levels are involved in this fight. Too much is at stake for our civil and human rights. But together, we will fight. And together, we will Stop Kavanaugh.”

Sen. Collins and Murkowski Oppose Thorough Review Of Brett Kavanaugh’s Record

As Part of Recess Campaign, Protect Our Care Wants to Know: #WhatAreTheyHiding?

After promising to conduct a “rigorous and exacting” and a “careful, thorough vetting“ of Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are walking back their commitments by saying they do not need to see Kavanaugh’s record from the three years he served as staff secretary in the George W. Bush administration which, he describes as “among the most instructive” in his role as a federal judge.

  • Sen. Murkowski: “I know that Democrats basically said, anything he has ever touched … needs to be produced. I think there comes a point where the request is no longer reasonable.”
  • Sen. Collins: “I don’t see a need for those.”

These Senators oppose a thorough review of Brett Kavanaugh’s record, despite the fact that he worked on a number of issues that directly impact Americans’ health during his time as staff secretary. Among the issues we know he worked on are:

  • Abortion: During Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary, President Bush signed into law an abortion ban. Kavanaugh’s records on this ban could offer valuable insight as to leanings on Roe v. Wade.

  • Medicaid: Also during Kavanaugh’s tenure as staff secretary, President Bush was pushing for Medicaid to be converted into a block grant program, which would have a profound impact on Medicaid’s core structure. As Republicans continue to push for Medicaid to be converted into block grant program and encourage states to adopt policy that restricts access to the program, Kavanaugh’s record on the issue is especially important.

  • Marriage Equality: While Kavanaugh was staff secretary, President Bush announced his support of a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

In refusing to ask for Kavanaugh’s record on these issues, Senator Collins and Murkowski are failing on their commitment to their constituents.

UnitedHealth Tells You All You Need to Know About Junk Plans

Billions in Profits, Millions in CEO Salary, and Less and Less Coverage for Everyone Else

Last week, the Trump Administration announced the expansion of junk plans that eliminate key protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These plans can deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, impose annual or lifetime limits on care, charge women more, and do not have to cover prescription drug coverage, maternity care, or hospitalization. If you have a pre existing condition including everything from cancer to high blood pressure they can deny you coverage or charge you what they want; and when you get sick they can refuse to cover you if they find you had been sick before.

Here is the story of the largest junk plan provider, UnitedHealth: more for them, less for everyone else.

Of every dollar a customer paid UnitedHealth in premiums, only 44 cents went to medical care. The rest went to things like broker commissions, salaries and profits. UnitedHealth, spent only 43.7 percent of premium dollars from junk plans on medical care, almost half of what they must under ACA-compliant plans. The ACA requires insurance companies spend at least 80 cents of every dollar they take in from premiums on medical costs, meaning that only 20 cents can go toward profits and CEO salaries and other administrative costs. Junk plans, on the other hand, are exempt from this requirement, and so they typically spend dramatically less on care.  

  • Recent research from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners finds that the average short-term plan in 2017 spent less than 65 percent of premium dollars on medical care.
  • Brokers also make higher commission on junk plans; they earn 5 percent commission on ACA-compliant plans, while they make 20 percent commission on junk plans.

People who had a UnitedHealth junk plan warn they don’t deliver quality care. UnitedHealth’s subsidiary that sells junk plans — Golden Rule —  didn’t deliver on their promises to customers and got an average review of one out of five stars on Consumer Affairs. The reviews help show just how bad the plans are:

  • S. James of Palm Bay, FL: “As you may have read from all the other reviews regarding Golden Rule, they do not pay any of their claims citing ‘pre-existing conditions’ as the reason for their denial. I submitted a claim after a hospitalization and after more than 6 months of reviewing my past medical records, they have denied my claim as a pre-existing condition.“
  • Mike of Perkasie, PA: “Horrible insurance. You have to pay out of pocket for any doctors visits, your deductible is 5000 which is ridiculous and the prescription rx prices are horrible. It’s also not part of the Affordable Care Act and cannot be deducted on your write offs. If you decide to get this lousy insurance, make sure you DO NOT get short term, get long term. Why? Because if your blood sugar comes up a little high ONE TIME, which happens to a lot of people every blue moon, they will drop you for a pre-diabetes diagnosis which we all know pre-diabetes is a joke. The blood test after my slightly high sugar blood test results came back PERFECT and that doesn’t matter to them. You cannot appeal. Well, I did but it was a waste of time for me and my doctors office.”
  • Karis of Wylie, TX: “I enrolled in gap benefits for three months, and was only supposed to be charged three times. I was charged twice in one month, again the next month, and again, a month after my benefits had ended. I will be calling until that money is back in my account, and never again will I make the mistake of enrolling in insurance with this Ponzi Scheme.”

UnitedHealth made $2.8 billion in profits in Q1 and paid its CEO $83.2 million last year. It is not alone — insurance companies made millions in Q1 of 2018: Aetna made more than $1.2 billion and Anthem raked in over $1.3 billion, all while CEOs are paid millions. Last year, health CEOs made $1.7 billion. Aetna’s CEO made $58.7 million and Centene’s CEO made $24.9 million.

While Senators Are Home for Recess, Americans Say: #StopKavanaugh

Coast to Coast, Americans Hold Events and Flood Social Media with Their Stories

Protect Our Care Up with New TV and Radio Ads in Three States

…all to Remind Key Senators that Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions, Medicaid, Women’s Health and More Are #WhatsAtStake in Supreme Court

Washington, DC – As Senators return home for recess, they will be confronted at every turn with an important request from concerned patients, providers and advocates: to stand up tall for health care and against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“Brett Kavanaugh was hand-picked to be a rubber stamp for President Trump’s anti-health care agenda, which is driving up costs and reducing health care for all of us. With Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the future of Americans’ health care for generations is once again coming down to the vote of just a handful of Senators. Americans are sick and tired of fighting for our health care, but we’ll do whatever it takes to protect our care — it’s that important. That’s why people will speaking out all week to ask their Senators to stand up for our health care and keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Court,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care.

Throughout the week:

  • Protect Our Care is up with digital and  TV ads in Maine, Alaska and Nevada, and radio ads in Alaska, urging constituents to contact their Senators to preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions and vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination;
  • Patients, providers and advocates will be personally asking their Senators to vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination at public events and private meetings, and
  • Across 14 states constituents will be sharing their stories, hosting house parties and roundtable discussions, writing letters to their Senators, delivering letters and stories as well as requesting meetings with their Senators while they are home on recess.  
  • On Thursday, August 9, people living with pre-existing conditions, enrolled in Medicaid, and whose health care is otherwise at risk with Kavanaugh’s nomination will be holding events and other activities at Senators offices to be sure their Senators keep their personal stories top of mind when considering Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Watch Protect Our Care’s ad, airing all week on TV and online in Maine, Alaska and Nevada.

Listen to Protect Our Care’s radio ad, airing in Alaska.

With health care being a top issue on American’s voters’ minds, people are already flooding social media with stories why they demand that their Senators stand up for their health and oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court.


President Trump had two litmus tests for Supreme Court candidates: overturning the Affordable Care Act and overturning Roe vs. Wade. In being selected for the Court, Brett Kavanaugh met Trump’s test and could tip the balance of the Court in the wrong direction.

At Risk: Protections For 130 Million Americans With A Pre-Existing Condition

Roughly half of non-elderly American adults and one in four children, or up to 130 million people, have at least one pre-existing condition. That includes everyone with cancer, diabetes, asthma, and any form of mental health issue or substance use problem. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies were able to discriminate against them, by charging them more, dropping coverage once people got sick, or denying coverage altogether. The ACA banned all of those practices, providing health security to millions.

Ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions is the official policy of the Trump Administration. The Trump Administration’s Department of Justice has taken the extraordinary step of joining the latest partisan lawsuit that seeks to strike down the ACA and has argued the Courts put Americans at the mercy of insurance companies by overturning provisions in the law that now prevent insurance companies from denying coverage completely or charging people more because of a pre-existing condition. Experts estimate that even if a cancer patient could get covered, they would have to pay as much as $140,000 a year more in premiums.

At Risk: Protections for Women and People Over 50

But that’s not all! If successful, the lawsuit joined by the Justice Department would also get rid of protections that prevent insurance companies from charging women and adults over 50 more for their health care coverage. Put another way, if these protections are taken away, we would go back to a time when older Americans could be charged an “age tax” of up to five times more for the same coverage as someone younger and women could be charged up to 50 percent more, just because they are women. Studies by AARP say premiums for someone over 50 could go up by more than $4,000 a year.

At Risk: Women’s Health Care

  • Access to safe and legal abortion: By age 45, one in four women in the U.S. has had an abortion, for reasons that are deeply personal. But Brett Kavanaugh has used his power as a judge to prevent a pregnant young woman from accessing a safe and legal abortion she wanted. His track record, coupled with Trump’s campaign promises to only appoint justices who will overturn Roe vs. Wade, put women’s right to safe and legal abortion in jeopardy.
  • Birth control coverage: Thanks to the ACA, 62.4 million women now have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs. Women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013. Three courts of appeals are considering the Trump Administration’s efforts to allow any employer to deny coverage.
  • Access to Planned Parenthood: One in five women have turned to Planned Parenthood for care at some point in their lives for a wide range of health and education services, but numerous state and federal efforts are underway to block low-income women from continuing to rely on this provider of choice for so many. Currently, three cases working their way through the courts challenge state actions to prevent Planned Parenthood patients’ access to birth control and other preventive care.
  • Coverage for nursing moms:  Following the ACA, which helped give new moms access to lactation consultants, breast pumps, and time and space at work to pump their milk until as late as a year after birth, the rate of women breastfeeding 12 months after giving birth rose from 27 percent to 34 percent, the largest increase in any recent three-year period. Two court cases challenging the breast-feeding services available to moms at no cost under the ACA, however, could jeopardize these gains for maternal and infant health.

At Risk: Medicaid Coverage and Eligibility

Medicaid is a lifeline for one in five people, providing critical preventive care, substance use treatment, acute care, and more to more than 70 million people. Medicaid is the primary provider for long-term care in the country, covering 6 in 10 nursing home residents, and pays for roughly half of the births in this country.

But the Trump Administration has launched a new assault on Medicaid enrollees by pushing states to adopt rigid rules (so-called “work requirements”) that create burdensome paperwork requirements designed to kick people off coverage. These new rules are working their way through the courts and could very well make their way to the high court before long.

Why Senators Should Demand a Thorough Review Of Kavanaugh’s Records

Brett Kavanaugh worked on a number of issues that directly impact Americans’ health and rights during his time as staff secretary. Among the issues we know he worked on are:

  • Abortion: During Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary, President Bush signed into law an abortion ban. Kavanaugh’s records on this ban could offer valuable insight as to leanings on Roe v. Wade.
  • Medicaid: Also during Kavanaugh’s tenure as staff secretary, President Bush was pushing for Medicaid to be converted into a block grant program, which would have a profound impact on Medicaid’s core structure. As Republicans continue to push for Medicaid to be converted into block grant program and encourage states to adopt policy that restricts access to the program, Kavanaugh’s record on the issue is especially important.
  • Marriage Equality: While Kavanaugh was staff secretary, President Bush announced his support of a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

Senators who refuse to review all of Kavanaugh’s records on these issues are failing on their commitment to Americans.

Pharmaceutical Companies Are Big Winners in Trump’s America

They are gaming the system and earning huge profits from Republican tax breaks and charging consumers more.

As second quarter earnings start to pour in, one trend is clear — pharmaceutical companies are reaping huge benefits from Republican tax breaks and earning massive profits while President Trump pushes sham drug pricing policies.

Pharmaceutical Companies Have The Highest Profits In The Health Industry. With earnings from only 85 of 118 health care companies announced, profit is already higher for Q2 than it has been for any quarter in the past year. So far, health companies have announced $47 billion in global profit, with pharmaceutical companies making the highest profit margins. Why the sudden growth? In large part, because of Republican corporate tax breaks.

Republican Tax Cut Fueling Pharmaceutical Profits. As Axios reports: “But the larger earnings also stemmed from Republicans’ massive cut in corporate taxes. The income tax expense for drug giant AbbVie, for example, was 93% lower in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.”

At The Same Time, Pharmaceutical Companies Also Reaping Profits By Charging Higher Prices. Between February 1st and July 15th, drug companies raised prices on 255 drugs. As Bloomberg notes, “For all..categories of drugs, list prices rose far faster than inflation. Prices for 10 commonly used diabetes drugs rose 25.6 percent, on average, while average prices for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune treatments rose 40.1 percent.” To learn more the high costs of drug prices, check out a handy explainer video from the Center for American Progress.


How Pharmaceutical Companies Are Playing The Trump Administration

Pharmaceutical Companies Are Doing Nothing But Posture In Response To President Trump’s Twitter Rants. Politico reports that despite President Trump’s Twitter rants, pharmaceutical companies have found a way to make symbolic concessions that have not resulted in lowering prescription drug prices:

The Drug Industry’s Strategy Is To Take “Nothing Burger” Steps That Give Trump Something To Brag About. The gestures turned out to be largely symbolic — efforts to beat Trump at his own game by giving him headlines he wants without making substantive changes in how they do business. The token concessions are ‘a calculated risk,’ said one drug lobbyist. ‘Take these nothing-burger steps and give the administration things they can take credit for.’” [Politico, 8/3/18]

Pharmaceutical Companies Do This By Cutting Prices For Products That Are No Longer Used And “Halting” Price Increases During Times Of The Year When There Are Not Normally Price Increases. Of the few companies that actually cut prices, for instance, most targeted old products that no longer produce much revenue — such as Merck’s 60 percent discount to a hepatitis C medicine that had no U.S. revenues in the first quarter. Others volunteered to halt price increases for six months — in some cases, just weeks after announcing what is normally their last price hike for the year.” [Politico, 8/3/18]

Secretary Azar, Former Eli-Lilly Executive, Encourages Pharmaceutical Companies To Play Along. “He publicly touts industry price freezes and reversals ‘in part to show Trump they’re making progress, but also to show the industry that you get recognized for playing ball,’ said a person familiar with the discussions.” [Politico, 8/3/18]

Azar Does This While At The Same Time Pushing For Pharma-Friendly Policy. ““[Trump’s] strategy diverges sharply from what Azar is saying publicly — raising doubts about how serious the administration is about cracking down on drugmakers…The HHS secretary’s rhetoric often targets pharmacy benefits managers — the obscure middlemen who manage the drug side of patient’s health insurance benefits — not drug companies. And targeting the middlemen is a play directly out of pharma’s strategy book — drug companies have long sought to pin patients’ frustration with rising costs on PBMs. HHS has also signaled it wants to overhaul a drug discount program for hospitals that could put money back in pharma’s pocket.” [Politico, 8/3/18]

Why Mississippians’ Insurance Is Getting Even More Expensive: The Trump Administration and Washington Republicans Keep Sabotaging Health Care

Washington, D.C. – As preliminary Mississippi rate filings for 2019 individual-market health insurance indicated potential premium increases due to Washington Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“For the past year and a half, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have engaged in a deliberate, aggressive campaign to sabotage health care and now families in Mississippi are paying the price in increased premiums. Costs are going up for hardworking Mississippians, but the Republican tax bill gave insurance companies its record tax breaks and soaring profits. Until we stop Republicans’ war on health care, health care experts predict that rates will keep rising by double digits. Washington Republicans should stand up to the Trump Administration’s sabotage campaign and start working on bipartisan solutions to make coverage more affordable.”

Why Mississippians’ Insurance Is Getting Even More Expensive: The Trump Administration and Washington Republicans Keep Sabotaging Health Care

While spending most of last year trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and waging a war on our health care, President Trump and Republicans in Congress have also used their control of Washington to actively undermine the Health Insurance Marketplaces every chance they get – leading insurance companies to raise premiums for 2018 and 2019 and, in some cases, forcing them out of the individual market altogether. Washington Republicans’ goal is simple: sabotage and undermine the Affordable Care Act, then blame everyone but themselves for the consequences of their actions. President Trump keeps rooting for disaster, saying that “The best thing we can do…is let Obamacare explode” and “Let it be a disaster because we can blame that on the Democrats.

Now, initial rate filings in Mississippi forecast rate hikes again this fall because of Republican sabotage.

Republicans never ended their war on our health care. After Congress failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration is aggressively sabotaging our health care system and refusing to work to make coverage better and more affordable.

  • Experts from AARP, the Congressional Budget Office, and a wide range of other nonpartisan organizations agree that Republican actions are forcing up health care costs.
  • Republicans in Congress are supporting the Administration’s many actions to undermine health care, despite widespread opposition from patient and disease groups, doctors, nurses, hospitals, plus health care and consumer advocates.
  • The Trump Administration officials keep rewriting the rules to let big insurance companies cover fewer and fewer services while charging people more and more. The sabotage doesn’t stop there: last year the Administration fired many of the community assisters who help people enroll in health care; this year they are planning more enrollment cuts, making it even harder to sign up for coverage.
  • And now, Republicans are encouraging insurance companies to sell more junk plans that don’t have to cover basic care like hospitalization and prescription drugs, and that are allowed to charge people with pre-existing conditions more or even deny them coverage altogether. In Mississippi, no short-term plans available have to cover maternity care, and only 33 percent of plans cover prescription drugs.

This could have been avoided: if Republicans had stopped sabotaging health care, American families wouldn’t be facing another huge increase this fall.

  • Even the Trump Administration has admitted that the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces had been stabilizing prior to them coming into office.
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had predicted only modest rate increases if Republicans hadn’t sabotaged the markets.
  • Even Senate Republicans admitted this fall’s upcoming rate hikes were “avoidable,” but then they torched bipartisan stabilization talks at the last minute, prioritizing partisan politics over their last opportunity to help American families afford health care next year.

The Trump Administration’s sabotage will punish Americans by jacking up premiums again, compounding the damage done last year, when Republican sabotage pushed rates up by a national average of 37 percent, and 64 percent in Mississippi.

  • The Republican tax bill’s repeal of a key Affordable Care Act provision and the Trump Administration’s junk plan proposal will increase individual market premiums in Mississippi by an average 17.2 percent this fall, according to a recent Urban Institute study.
  • This sabotage-driven rate hike will make the damage Republicans inflicted last year through repeal attempts and sabotage even worse.
  • Higher premiums will mean fewer working families can afford coverage: during the first year of the Trump Administration, millions more Americans joined the ranks of the uninsured – the highest increase since Gallup started tracking the uninsured rate.

Despite Republican sabotage, the Affordable Care Act has improved Mississippians’ care.

  • 83,649 Mississippians signed up for Marketplace coverage this year.
  • Thanks to the Marketplace, Mississippi’s uninsured rate fell by 2.6 percent between 2013 and 2016 as Mississippians have gained access to affordable coverage.
  • Before today’s announcement, the Urban Institute predicted that Mississippi premiums for 2019 could rise 17.2 percent more because of the Trump Administration’s junk plan proposal and the Republican tax bill’s repeal of a key Affordable Care Act coverage incentive.
  • Even despite sabotage, Affordable Care Act subsidies help keep coverage affordable for 92 percent of Mississippi Marketplace consumers, whose average 2018 premium is $56 per month.
  • But because of the Republican sabotage agenda, many middle-income Mississippians could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more than they would have otherwise.

Mississippians won’t forget that Republicans and the Trump Administration keep forcing up health care costs to score political points.


  • Health care costs are a top issue in nearly every major issue-ranked poll in 2018.
  • Voters overwhelmingly trust Democrats over Republicans on health care costs.
  • In poll after poll, voters resoundingly reject President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage campaign against the Affordable Care Act.



America’s Health Insurance Plans: Administration’s DOJ Decision Would “Cause Rates To Go Even Higher For Older Americans And Sicker Patients.” “Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections, such as guaranteed issue and community rating rules that help those with pre-existing conditions. Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019. Instead, we should focus on advancing proven solutions that ensure affordability for all consumers. [AHIP, 6/8/18]

Associated Press: Administration’s Decision Could “Nudge Premiums Even Higher.” “The Trump administration’s decision to stop defending in court the Obama health law’s popular protections for consumers with pre-existing conditions could prove risky for Republicans in the midterm elections — and nudge premiums even higher.” [CNBC, 6/8/18]

Timothy Jost, Washington & Lee University Law Professor: Administration’s Decision Could Leave Millions Of Americans Facing “Denial Of Coverage Or Higher Premiums.” “Yesterday, the Trump administration’s Department of Justice dropped a bombshell in a rural Texas federal courthouse. The administration stated in a court filing (and also in letters to Congressional leaders) that it would not defend three key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the judge in the case agrees, millions of Americans with preexisting conditions could face denial of coverage or higher premiums.” [Commonwealth Fund, 6/8/18]

Ceci Connolly, Alliance Of Community Health Plans: Administration’s Decision Decision Could Spark Fresh Market Instability. “Ceci Connolly, president of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, called the legal position ‘troubling’ and warned it could spark fresh market instability. ‘At the very least it adds uncertainty at exactly the moment when plans are trying to set rates for next year,’ Connolly said in a statement. ‘At the worst, it could strip away guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. We don’t want to return to the days when people who needed the care the most could be turned away because of their health status.’” [Modern Healthcare, 6/8/18]

Fortune: If Administration’s Decision Is Implemented, “There’s A Strong Change Insurers Would Begin Charging Sicker People Significantly More.” “To date, many low-income people have been shielded from those increases since federal subsidies to help pay premiums rise in tandem with the spikes. Middle-class families who don’t qualify for the subsidies are left either swallowing the higher premiums or forgoing coverage. If the protections for people with pre-existing conditions are ultimately shot down, there’s a strong chance insurers would begin charging sicker people significantly more for their coverage while younger and healthier Americans would see lower prices.” [Fortune, 6/11/18]

Former HHS Secretary Tom Price: GOP Actions Responsible For Premium Increases. “President Trump’s former top health official on Tuesday said the Republican tax law would raise the cost of health insurance for some Americans because it repealed a core provision of the Affordable Care Act. Tom Price, Trump’s first secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said people buying insurance on government-run marketplaces will face higher prices because the tax law repealed the ACA’s individual mandate. The mandate had forced most Americans to have health coverage or face a financial penalty. ‘There are many, and I’m one of them, who believes that that actually will harm the pool in the exchange market, because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market, and consequently that drives up the cost for other folks within that market,’ Price said at the World Health Care Conference in Washington.” [Washington Post, 5/1/18]

America’s Health Insurance Plans: Republican Sabotage Will “Drive Up The Rate Of Premium Increases.” “Policies that disproportionately draw healthy consumers away from the individual market, like expanding access to short-term plans, will likely have an even more devastating effect on affordability, choice and competition. This will further result in adverse selection, drive up the rate of premium increases, and exacerbate affordability issues for many other people.” [America’s Health Insurance Plans Letter to HHS, 4/20/18]

Cynthia Cox, Kaiser Family Foundation: “In The Absence Of Efforts To Undermine The Market, We Would Be Seeing A Period Of Relatively Small Premium Increases.” “‘In the absence of efforts to undermine the market, we would be seeing a period of relatively small premium increases, driven mostly by the underlying growth in health care costs,’ said Cynthia Cox, the lead author of the Kaiser Family Foundation report. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re in for another year of double-digit premium increases. And if that does happen, it would be in large part due to policy changes that are happening.’” [Huffington Post, 5/18/18]

Kris Haltmeyer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Vice President: “With The Repeal Of The Individual Mandate And The Failure Of Congress To Enact Stabilization Legislation, We Are Expecting Premiums To Go Up Substantially.” Kris Haltmeyer, a vice president at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, told reporters that the premium increases were in part due to the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate in the Republican tax reform bill in December. He also cited lawmakers’ failure to pass a bill aimed at shoring up the market, which fell apart earlier this year amid a partisan dispute over abortion restrictions. ‘With the repeal of the individual mandate and the failure of Congress to enact stabilization legislation, we are expecting premiums to go up substantially,’ Haltmeyer said. He estimated that average premium increases nationwide will be in the ‘low teens,’ but that there will be major variation across areas, ranging from the low single digits to up to 70 or 80 percent.” [The Hill, 5/23]

New York Times Editorial Board: “The Administration’s Health Care Sabotage Efforts Have Already Had A Big Impact”: A 30-Percent Premium Increase. “The administration’s health care sabotage efforts have already had a big impact — but not the kind of impact officials promised. Insurance companies raised average premiums for 2018 A.C.A. policies by 30 percent. This has mostly hurt middle-class families who have to pay full freight for health insurance because they make too much money to qualify for subsidies and don’t get coverage through their employer. Few experts were surprised when the Commonwealth Fund found that the percentage of American adults who did not have health insurance jumped to 15.5 percent this year, from 12.7 percent before Mr. Trump took office. Experts say those numbers could climb higher still when the penalty for not having insurance goes away next year.” [NYT, 5/3/18]

Commonwealth Fund: Rollback Of Health Insurance Gains Spurred By “Actions By The Current Administration.” “The marked gains in health insurance coverage made since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 are beginning to reverse, according to new findings from the latest Commonwealth Fund ACA Tracking Survey. The coverage declines are likely the result of two major factors: 1) lack of federal legislative actions to improve specific weaknesses in the ACA and 2) actions by the current administration that have exacerbated those weaknesses. These include the administration’s deep cuts in advertising and outreach during the marketplace open-enrollment periods, a shorter open enrollment period, and other actions that collectively may have left people with a general sense of confusion about the status of the law. Signs point to further erosion of insurance coverage in 2019: the repeal of the individual mandate penalty included in the 2017 tax law, recent actions to increase the availability of insurance policies that don’t comply with ACA minimum benefit standards, and support for Medicaid work requirements.” [Commonwealth Fund, 5/1/18]

Center For American Progress: “Combined, The Recent Tax Law’s Repeal Of The Individual Mandate And The Administration’s Short-Term Plan Rule Will Undermine The Individual Insurance Market And Increase Premiums For ACA-Compliant Coverage.” “Last year, as part of the tax law, Congress eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty. Given the mandate’s important role in encouraging healthier people to enroll in the marketplaces, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that, in 2019, this will increase average premiums in the individual market by 10 percent. Furthermore, in February 2018, the Trump administration proposed a rule to expand short-term health insurance plans… Along with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty, this expansion of short-term plans will drive up average premiums for ACA-compliant coverage in the individual market. Recent preliminary rate filings in Virginia demonstrate that these actions are contributing to significant premium increases for marketplace coverage in 2019. In fact, some Virginia insurers specifically cited the individual mandate repeal and short-term plan rule as major factors in their rate filings… Combined, the recent tax law’s repeal of the individual mandate and the administration’s short-term plan rule will undermine the individual insurance market and increase premiums for ACA-compliant coverage.” [CAP, 5/18]

New York Times: “Rather Than Trying To Eliminate Obamacare In One Fell Swoop, [Republicans Are] Trying To Undermine It With Multiple Acts Of Sabotage – While Hoping Voters Won’t Realize Who’s Responsible For Rising Premiums And Falling Coverage.” “At the beginning of 2017, Republicans promised to release the kraken on Obamacare — to destroy the program with one devastating blow. But a funny thing happened: Voters realized that repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean taking health insurance away from tens of millions of Americans. They didn’t like that prospect — and enough Republicans balked at the backlash that Obamacare repeal fizzled. But Republicans still hate the idea of helping Americans get health care. So instead of releasing the kraken, they’ve brought on the termites. Rather than trying to eliminate Obamacare in one fell swoop, they’re trying to undermine it with multiple acts of sabotage — while hoping voters won’t realize who’s responsible for rising premiums and falling coverage.” [NYT, 5/8/18]

Washington Post Editorial Board: “The Numbers Suggest That [The ACA’s] Critics’ Sabotage Efforts Are To Blame. “The effects of the president’s underinformed instincts, enabled by the ideologues in his administration, are beginning to show up in some of the numbers, representing real pain that Americans are suffering for Mr. Trump’s deficient leadership… Obamacare critics regularly describe all problems as the inevitable result of a poorly designed law. But the numbers suggest that the critics’ sabotage efforts are to blame. After impressive declines during President Barack Obama’s second term, the fund found that the uninsured rate increased in both of the years Mr. Trump has been in office. During the campaign, Mr. Trump regularly complained that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) left too many Americans uncovered. The result of nearly a year and a half of Mr. Trump’s leadership is 4 million people added to that group.” [Washington Post, 5/8/18]

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey: 2018 Premium Increase Was Due To Federal Policy.Three factors connected to federal policy decisions are responsible for 14.7% of the 24.3% total average individual premium increase: Weakened enforcement of the Individual Mandate…Elimination of federal funding for Cost Sharing Reductions (CSR), [and] 2018 reinstatement of Health Insurance Tax…Were it not for the three factors within the control of the Federal Government, Horizon BCBSNJ’s individual premiums would have an average increase of 9.6%.” [Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, 10/17/17]

CEO of CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield: Things Are “Materially Worse” Under Trump. “Continuing actions on the part of the administration to systematically undermine the market and make it almost impossible to carry out the mission…If continued efforts at the federal level undermine the marketplaces, I would think the board would have to examine what they would want — that’s very much on their mind.” [Washington Post, 5/1/18]

Lindsey Graham: Republicans “Own The Outcome” On Health Care. “Sen. Graham told Breitbart News, ‘In October, premiums are going up. Obamacare cannot be fixed. It’s going to continue to collapse, and then, we own the outcome. By repealing the individual mandate, which is a step forward in the eyes of the public, we own the issue. We have a responsibility to do something about the collapsing Obamacare system. I believe that we’re going to get blamed more than Democrats because we stopped trying to repeal Obamacare, and to suggest that we don’t own it is just simply politically naive.’ Graham continued, ‘It can hurt us in 2018. It can hurt by our base feeling like we betrayed them. It can hurt us from people suffering from Obamacare, like we don’t have a solution. It will energize Democrats. It can undercut everything we did on the tax cut side.’” [Breitbart, 2/6/18]

Rep. Charlie Dent: “We, The Republican Party…Own” Health Care Now. “Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) argued Friday that President Trump was ‘ill-advised’ to end key ObamaCare payments, warning that the GOP now ‘owns’ whatever happens to ObamaCare. ‘I think the president is ill-advised to take this course of action because … we, the Republican Party, will own this,’ Dent, a key House moderate who is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, said on CNN. Asked about Trump’s previous comments blaming problems with ObamaCare on former President Barack Obama, Dent pointed out that Republicans currently control the White House and have majorities in both chambers of Congress. ‘Barack Obama is a former president. President Trump is the president and he’s a Republican, and we control the Congress,’ Dent said. ‘So we own the system now. We’re going to have to figure out a way to stabilize this situation … This is on us.’” [The Hill, 10/13/17]

Washington Post: “The Pottery Barn Rule Comes To Mind: You Break It, You Own It.” “This is not ‘letting’ Obamacare fail. Many nonpartisan experts believe that these active measures are likely to undermine the pillars of the 2010 law and hasten the collapse of the marketplaces. The Pottery Barn rule comes to mind: You break it, you own it. Yes, the plate you just shattered had some cracks in it. But if you dropped it on the ground, the store is going to blame you.” [Washington Post, 10/13/17]

Washington Post: “Trump’s Not Going To Be Able To Avoid Blame For Kneecapping Obamacare.” [Washington Post, 10/13/17]

“After Months Of Pinning The Blame For Obamacare’s Shortcomings On Democrats And Watching His Own Party Fail To Act, President Donald Trump Just Took Ownership Of A Struggle That’s Consumed Republicans For Seven Years.” “After months of pinning the blame for Obamacare’s shortcomings on Democrats and watching his own party fail to act, President Donald Trump just took ownership of a struggle that’s consumed Republicans for seven years. Trump’s decision late Thursday to end government subsidies to insurers to help lower-income Americans afford to use their coverage under the Affordable Care Act was the most drastic step he’s taken to undermine his predecessor’s signature achievement. It also lobbed a live bomb into the laps of Republicans lawmakers 13 months before congressional elections after he publicly berated the party’s Senate leadership for being unable to keep a longstanding promise to repeal the law.” [Bloomberg, 10/13/17]

The American People Agree: President Trump And Congressional Republicans Are Playing Politics With People’s Health Care.  A poll conducted last September found that 61 percent of voters believed President Trump was “trying to make the Affordable Care Act fail,” and 64 percent of voters said Trump is “playing politics with people’s health care.” The poll also found that the American people seriously disapprove of how Republicans in Congress are treating health care: 80 percent of voters disapprove while only 20 percent approve. [Hart Research, 9/5/17]