Category

News

PHOTOS: Continued Action to Advocate for Lower Costs & Better Care As Congress Closes In On Budget Agreement

PHOTOS: Continued Action to Advocate for Lower Costs & Better Care As Congress Closes In On Budget Agreement

Lite-Brite Display and Mobile Billboards Highlighted the Urgency to Pass Medicare Negotiation and Lower Drug Prices for All Americans

This week, Protect Our Care continued its events and activities calling on Congress to deliver lower costs and better care to American families by passing all of President Biden’s health care priorities in the Build Back Better budget package. Congress is now closing in on a budget agreement that will transform the lives of American families nationwide. President Biden and Democrats are leading the charge to include Medicare negotiation and other key health care priorities in the Build Back Better package, but the fight is not over: Big Pharma is ramping up its lobbying and scare tactics to protect its profits and lie to the American people. These activities will make clear that this is not the time for half measures; Congress must act now to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans.

NATIONAL

LITE-BRITE: Protect Our Care hosted a Lite-Brite demonstration with activists outside of PhRMA’s headquarters in D.C. to call for an end to Big Pharma’s greed which forces millions of patients to choose between affording rent and groceries, or paying for their prescription drug costs. As Congress is in the midst of negotiating a final budget agreement, the event made clear that this is not the time for half measures, and Congress must act now to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans.

For more photos, click here. 

MOBILE BILLBOARD: A mobile billboard circled Capitol Hill and Nationals Park during the Congressional Baseball Game urging lawmakers to support giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices in the upcoming budget legislation. The mobile billboard specifically called on U.S. Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05) to meet the demands of their constituents and vote in favor of Medicare negotiation. These lawmakers recently voted against negotiation in committee, but they still have the chance to support the final bill when it comes to the House floor.

CALIFORNIA
SOUND TRUCK: A mobile billboard and sound truck sponsored by Protect Our Care appeared at Rep. Scott Peters’ Office. The mobile billboard and sound truck broadcasted a radio ad calling out the congressman for his recent vote against giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans — a proposal supported by 94% of all Americans, and 9 in 10 voters in his district. Medicare negotiation is central to President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal.

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn & Rep. Lauren Underwood Join Protect Our Care to Discuss Urgent Need to Lower Health Costs & Expand Coverage in Budget Package

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn & Rep. Lauren Underwood Join Protect Our Care to Discuss Urgent Need to Lower Health Costs & Expand Coverage in Budget Package

Lawmakers Joined Health Care Storytellers to Discuss Closing the Medicaid Coverage Gap & Making American Rescue Plan Subsidies Permanent in Upcoming Budget Legislation 

Listen to the Call Here. 

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06) and U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) joined Protect Our Care and health care storytellers for a virtual press conference to discuss the urgent need to close the Medicaid coverage gap and make the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits permanent in upcoming budget legislation. During the call, speakers made clear that these steps to expand coverage and reduce costs will transform health care for millions of working families and that Congress must act now to pass these historic measures. An estimated seven million people would gain coverage as a result of these two policies alone. 

President Biden included both of these measures as part of the Build Back Better proposal, but as Congress continues to negotiate, it is essential they remain in the final package. Polling shows strong, unwavering support among voters across the political spectrum for all of the Build Back Better health care priorities.

“Today, 12 states still have not expanded Medicaid, and one of those 12 happens to be my home state of South Carolina where 200,000 of my fellow South Carolinians are uninsured who would be eligible for Medicaid if our state expanded — 100,000 of them fall into the so-called coverage gap,” said House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. “Today, we have an opportunity to do something about this and we ought not wait on somebody else to do it. I think it would be un-American of us to leave citizens in these 12 states behind as we go on to improve other parts of health care services in our country. I’m hopeful that as we move forward, we do what is necessary to bring those people into coverage.” 

“Health care is a right, not a privilege, and we must advance universal coverage and health equity in the Build Back Better Act. Thanks to the two-year version of my Health Care Affordability Act that was included in the American Rescue Plan, we’ve cut our nation’s uninsured rate, provided substantial savings for individuals and families, and taken the most significant step towards health equity since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. But if we fail to act now and make the advance premium tax credit expansion permanent, all of this progress will be wiped out in just two years,” said Representative Lauren Underwood. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make high-quality health care affordable and accessible to all; the American people are counting on us to get this done, and we must deliver.”

“For several years, my three daughters and I went without health care and insurance because I could not afford it. It was a difficult and unacceptable space that many other lower-income American families are currently in,” said Carrie Duran, a Medicaid expansion recipient from New Hampshire. “Thanks to expanded Medicaid in my state, I no longer have to deny myself and my family health care. I urge lawmakers in states without expanded Medicaid to think of the importance of assisting lower-income families and to support ending the coverage gap.”

“Far too many Americans are struggling to afford health care in this country,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “More than two million people are locked out of coverage entirely in 12 states that have rejected Medicaid expansion, and millions more stand to benefit from reducing health care costs for people purchasing coverage on their own — including older adults, farmers, middle-class business owners and more. These steps are essential to reducing stark racial disparities in health coverage and ensuring people have access to the care they need during the pandemic and for years to come.”

Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux to Highlight How Historic Health Care Investments, Including Medicaid Saves Lives Act, in Democrats’ Budget Legislation Will Impact Georgians

**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 AT 2:30 PM ET**

Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux to Highlight How Historic Health Care Investments, Including Medicaid Saves Lives Act, in Democrats’ Budget Legislation Will Impact Georgians 

Atlanta, GA — On Wednesday, September 29, 2:30 PM ET, U.S. Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA-07) and local advocates will join Protect Our Care Georgia for a virtual press conference to highlight how Medicaid Saves Lives Act and other healthcare provisions will lower costs and expand access to health care in Georgia and across the country. 

Expanding access to quality, affordable health care has never been more critical. The pandemic has laid bare the high costs and alarming inequities in our health care system, and it has demonstrated that health care must be a right, not a privilege. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are fighting to make this a reality in Georgia, by working to include historic health care provisions, such as Medicaid Saves Lives Act, in their budget reconciliation legislation.

President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal includes driving down prescription drug prices, expanding Medicare benefits to include vision, dental, and hearing, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and dramatically lowering the cost of health insurance for millions.

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
U.S. Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA-07)
Amy Bielawski, Small Business Majority
Elaine Shelly, Atlanta writer, teacher living with MS
Harry Heiman, MD, MPH, board member, Georgians for a Healthy Future
Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP, Atlanta-based oncologist and internist 

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference to Highlight Lifesaving Health Care Legislation

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Wednesday, September 29 at 2:30 PM ET

PRESS CALL: House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn & Rep. Lauren Underwood, Health Care Storytellers Join Protect Our Care to Discuss Urgent Need to Lower Health Costs & Expand Coverage In Budget Package

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 AT 10:30 AM ET // 9:30 AM CT***

PRESS CALL: House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn & Rep. Lauren Underwood, Health Care Storytellers Join Protect Our Care to Discuss Urgent Need to Lower Health Costs & Expand Coverage In Budget Package

Closing the Medicaid Coverage Gap & Making American Rescue Plan Subsidies Permanent Would Expand Coverage to Seven Million People

Washington, DC — On Wednesday, September 29 at 10:30 AM ET // 9:30 AM CT, U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06) will join U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to discuss the urgent need to close the Medicaid coverage gap and make the American Rescue Plan’s premium tax credits permanent in upcoming budget legislation. President Biden included these measures as part of the Build Back Better proposal, but as Congress continues to negotiate, it is essential these provisions remain in the final package. Poll shows strong, unwavering support among voters across the political spectrum for the Build Back Better health care priorities.

Americans from all walks of life are struggling to afford health care in this country. More than two million people are locked out of coverage entirely in 12 states that have rejected Medicaid expansion. And millions more stand to benefit from reducing health care costs for people purchasing coverage through the ACA marketplaces. These steps are essential to reducing racial disparities in health coverage and ensuring people have access to the care they need during the pandemic and beyond. 

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC-06), House Majority Whip
U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14)
Carrie Duran, Medicaid expansion recipient from NH
Himali Patel, ARP tax credit recipient from GA
Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care

WHAT: Press Call to Discuss Urgent Need to Lower Health Costs & Expand Coverage In Budget Package

WHERE: Dial In: 877-229-8493, PIN: 118261

WHEN: Wednesday, September 29 at 10:30 AM ET // 9:30 AM CT

HAPPENING SOON: PRESS CALL: U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein of Johns Hopkins, Protect Our Care Sound the Alarm on Impact of Government Shutdown Amidst Pandemic

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 AT 3:15 PM ET // 2:15 PM CT***

HAPPENING SOON: PRESS CALL: U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein of Johns Hopkins, Protect Our Care Sound the Alarm on Impact of Government Shutdown Amidst Pandemic

Washington, D.C. — On Tuesday, September 28 at 3:15 PM ET // 2:15 PM CT, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Joshua Sharfstein of Johns Hopkins, and Protect Our Care’s Coronavirus War Room will hold a virtual press conference to discuss the ramifications of Republicans dangerous willingness to shut down the government during the ongoing pandemic. 

Republicans are threatening to shut down the government in the middle of a pandemic where 120,000 people a day are being infected by COVID-19 and 2,000 people a day are dying. This is part of a larger pattern of Republican lawmakers and officials who have worked to sabotage proven effective measures such as mask and vaccine mandates, have pushed conspiracy theories and disinformation that would harm—not protect—those most vulnerable and have attacked science and experts like Dr. Fauci.

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Kathleen Sebelius, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services
Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management
Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director, Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference on the consequences of Republicans Risking Government Shutdown Amidst a Pandemic

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Tuesday, September 28 at 3:15 PM ET // 2:15 PM CT

ADVISORY: Protect Our Care Hosts Lite-Brite Demonstration & Mobile Billboard in Nation’s Capital Calling on Lawmakers to Pass Medicare Negotiation Now

***FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY***

ADVISORY: Protect Our Care Hosts Lite-Brite Demonstration & Mobile Billboard in Nation’s Capital Calling on Lawmakers to Pass Medicare Negotiation Now

POC Will Sponsor Lite-Brite Display Outside of PhRMA Headquarters & Mobile Billboard on Capitol Hill to Demonstrate the Urgency to Lower Drug Prices for Americans

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care will host a Lite-Brite demonstration outside of PhRMA’s headquarters in D.C. making clear that it’s time to put an end to drug company greed and put patients first. And, tomorrow, a mobile billboard will circle Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to support giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices in the upcoming budget legislation. The mobile billboard specifically calls on U.S. Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04), and Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05) to meet the demands of their constituents and vote in favor of Medicare negotiation. These lawmakers recently voted against negotiation in committee, but they still have the chance to support the final bill when it comes to the House floor. 

This week, Congress is closing in on a budget agreement that will transform the lives of American families nationwide. President Biden and Democrats are leading the charge to include Medicare negotiation and other key health care priorities in the Build Back Better package, but the fight is not over: Big Pharma is ramping up its lobbying and scare tactics to protect its profits and lie to the American people. These activities will make clear that this is not the time for half measures; Congress must act now to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. 

TUESDAY

WHAT: Lite-Brite Display in Front of PhRMA’s Headquarters

WHEN: Tuesday, September 28 at 8:30 PM ET

WHERE: 950 F St NW, Washington, D.C., 20004

WEDNESDAY

WHAT: Mobile Billboard (MBB) on Capitol Hill Urging Lawmakers to Do the Right Thing and Bring Down Drug Prices 

WHEN: Wednesday, September 29 between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM ET

WHERE: Capitol Hill, Capitol Complex Area

U.S. Representatives Colin Allred and Sharice Davids Call for Immediate Action to Lower Drug Prices As Congress Closes In On Budget Agreement

U.S. Representatives Colin Allred and Sharice Davids Call for Immediate Action to Lower Drug Prices As Congress Closes In On Budget Agreement

U.S. Reps. Allred & Davids Discuss Urgent Need to Pass Medicare Negotiation in Looming Budget Agreement

Watch the Event Here

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX-32) and Sharice Davids (D-KS-03) joined Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to call for passing all of President Biden’s health care priorities in the Build Back Better budget package, including giving Medicare the power to negotiate for drug prices. The event follows a new op-ed from Reps. Allred and Davids, along with Cindy Axne (D-IA-03), Andy Kim (D-NJ-03), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), outlining the strong case for allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.

President Biden and Democrats are leading the charge to include Medicare negotiation and other key health care priorities in the Build Back Better package, but the fight is not over: Big Pharma is ramping up its lobbying and scare tactics to protect its profits and lie to the American people. This event made clear that this is not the time for half measures; in order to meet the demands of voters across the political spectrum, Congress must give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. 

“For too long hard-working families have been forced to pay higher and higher prices for the medicines they need,” said Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32). “It’s why Congress must act and include strong reforms that allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices across the board. I know what it is like to campaign hard on this issue and win. The American people overwhelming support this, and I will keep fighting until we get this done.”

“We have an opportunity to make a difference in countless lives—and not only that, but including the ability for Medicare to negotiate prices in the reconciliation bill can help pay for other critical priorities for Kansas, like closing the Medicaid coverage gap and continuing subsidies for folks who buy their own insurance,” said Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS-03). “Of all the statistics we share about the impact of allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, here’s a big one: 72% of registered voters in my district worry that Congress won’t do enough to stand up to pharmaceutical companies and lower the prices of prescription drugs. We can’t let them be right.”

“This week, lawmakers have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform health care for millions of Americans,” said Protect Our Care Communications Director Anne Shoup. “Medicare negotiation is absolutely central to the Build Back Better package, and it will help American families who are sick and tired of paying three times more for their prescriptions than people in other countries. The proposal creates half a trillion dollars in savings that can be reinvested in expanding Medicare benefits, closing the coverage gap, and keeping premium costs down on the ACA marketplaces. Leaders like Representatives Allred and Davids know now is not the time to back down. Congress must stand up to Big Pharma once and for all and deliver lower drug prices now.” 

PRESS CALL: U.S. Representatives Colin Allred and Sharice Davids Join Protect Our Care to Call for Lower Drug Prices Now

***PRESS CALL ON SEPTEMBER 28 AT 10:30 ET // 9:30 AM CT***

PRESS CALL: U.S. Representatives Colin Allred and Sharice Davids Join Protect Our Care to Call for Lower Drug Prices Now

U.S. Reps. Allred & Davids Will Call for Congress to Pass Medicare Negotiation for Lower Drug Prices in Budget Agreement

Washington, DC — On Tuesday, September 28 at 10:30 ET // 9:30 AM CT, U.S. Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX-32) and Sharice Davids (D-KS-03) will join Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to call on their colleagues in Congress to deliver lower costs and better care to Americans by passing all of President Biden’s health care priorities in the Build Back Better budget package, including allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Reps. Allred and Davids recently joined U.S. Representatives Cindy Axne (D-IA-03), Andy Kim (D-NJ-03), and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) on an Op-Ed in the Washington Post outlining the strong case for allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.

Congress is closing in on a budget agreement that will transform the lives of American families nationwide. President Biden and Democrats are leading the charge to include Medicare negotiation and other key health care priorities in the Build Back Better package, but the fight is not over: Big Pharma is ramping up its lobbying and scare tactics to protect its profits and lie to the American people. This event will make clear that this is not the time for half measures; Congress must give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. 

PRESS CALL: 

WHO:
U.S. Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32)
U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (D-KS-03)
Brad Woodhouse, Executive Director of Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference to Discuss Urgent Need to Lower Drug Prices

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Tuesday, September 28 at 10:30 AM ET // 9:30 AM CT

 

Protect Our Care Hosts Week of Action to Advocate for Lower Costs & Better Care As Congress Closes In On Budget Agreement

Protect Our Care Hosts Week of Action to Advocate for Lower Costs & Better Care as Congress Closes in on Budget Agreement

Press Events, Radio Ads, Flyers, Mobile Billboards, and Chalking Demonstrate to Members of Congress the Urgent Need to Act to Lower Drug & Health Care Costs

Protect Our Care held a week of events and activities calling on Congress to deliver lower costs and better care to American families by passing all of President Biden’s health care priorities in the Build Back Better budget package. Democrats are working tirelessly to give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, close the Medicaid coverage gap, expand Medicare benefits to include vision, dental and hearing, and reduce health care costs for millions of people purchasing coverage on their own. 

This week’s events made clear that all of these reforms are essential as Americans are struggling to afford the high cost of health care. And with Republicans bought and paid for by Big Pharma and other special interests, we need every Democrat to keep up the fight. Protect Our Care will continue to ensure that lawmakers understand the importance of lowering drug prices and hold those that vote against this overwhelmingly popular proposal accountable.

NATIONAL

PRESS CALL: “There’s No Room For Error”: Protect Our Care, Center for American Progress Action Fund, and Hart Research Discuss the State of Play in Washington As Congress Closes In On Budget Agreement

Watch the Event Here

Hart Research’s Geoff Garin and the Center for American Progress Action Fund CEO Patrick Gaspard joined Protect Our Care to discuss the political situation in Washington as Congress works to pass budget reconciliation legislation and to present findings from a new national survey on voters’ attitudes towards the Build Back Better Act and health care. 

As Congress continues to negotiate budget legislation, Big Pharma and other special interests are ramping up their lobbying and scare tactics to protect profits and lie to the American people. The new survey makes clear that voters’ attitudes remain unswayed by these influences, and that every single one of these health care priorities are central to the bill’s success. Read the full memo here. 

Coverage:

RADIO ADS: In Rep. Schrader, Peters, and Rices’ Districts Urge Them to Do the Right Thing and Stand Up to Big Pharma for Lower Drug Prices

Listen to the Radio Ads Here

Protect Our Care announced a radio ad campaign to call out Representatives Schrader (D-OR-05), Scott Peters (D-CA-52), and Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04) for their opposition to giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans — a proposal supported by over 90% of all Americans and central to President Biden’s Build Back Better proposal. The ads, which are backed by five-figure buys in each district, will begin as early as today and will run through at least the end of next week.  

FLYERS: Protect Our Care placed fliers across the nation’s capital to support Senator Reverend Warnock’s call for closing the Medicaid coverage gap. This week, Sen. Rev. Warnock held a press conference with a bicameral group of legislators on the Medicaid gap fix.

Coverage:

ARIZONA

State Representative Cesar Chavez, Will Humble of the Arizona Public Health Association, and Iesha Meza, an Arizonan with Type I diabetes joined Protect Our Care Arizona for an event to urge Senator Kyrsten Sinema to do the right thing, and support Democrats’ legislation to lower prescription drug costs.

The event came after Protect Our Care joined local residents on Tuesday to urge Senator Sinema to do the right thing and support legislation to bring down drug prices with a mobile billboard and chalk art outside of her Phoenix office. The mobile billboard circled Phoenix all day calling for Senator Sinema to put patients over profits and give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans.

Constituents sent a clear message to Senator Sinema outside of her Phoenix office: lower drug prices now! 

ALASKA
SEIU, Dr. Al Gross, and a local provider joined Protect Our Care Alaska for a virtual press conference to highlight how the efforts of President Biden and Democrats in Congress will lower costs and expand access to health care in Alaska and across the country.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
A group of New Hampshire residents joined Protect Our Care NH for an online forum to highlight how the efforts of the New Hampshire Delegation in Congress could lower costs and expand access to health care in New Hampshire if the Reconciliation. Expanding access to quality, affordable health care has never been more critical, as the state struggles with a pandemic, economic recovery, climate change and hospitals on the brink.

WISCONSIN
Senator Tammy Baldwin and patient advocates from across the state joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin for an event to urge Congress to take action to lower health care costs and expand access to care. “When I first ran for the Senate in 2012, I heard from hundreds of Wisconsinites who couldn’t afford their prescription drugs. Every Congress, Senator Klobuchar and I have introduced the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act, which would allow Medicare to negotiate the best price of prescription drugs,” said Senator Baldwin. “For every other type of health care service, Medicare works to get lower prices for American seniors. But for prescription drugs – and only prescription drugs – Medicare is today prohibited by law from negotiating for the best deal for our seniors. We’re going to get rid of that limitation and give Medicare the power to lower prescription drug prices.”

Coverage: