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Health Care Pushed Warnock and Ossoff to Historic Victories

Georgia Senators-Elect Made Health Care a Key Priority in the Closing Days of Their Campaigns 

On January 5, 2021, Georgians elected Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate, delivering a majority to Democrats. Both Warnock and Ossoff ran and won on health care. Ossoff and Warnock support President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda to lower costs, expand coverage, and defend the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Polling shows that health care has been a top issue for Georgia voters, and Warnock and Ossoff made health care a centerpiece of their messages throughout their campaigns was key to their victories.

Warnock and Ossoff Made Health Care a Key Issue in Their Races

Jon Ossoff’s Top Policy Objective Was “Great Health Care For Every American.” “I am fighting for great health care for every American with a strong Public Option and strengthened Affordable Care Act, to defend Medicare and Social Security, for historic investment in clean energy and infrastructure, to lower taxes for working families and small businesses, to defend Roe v. Wade and the privacy of women’s health care, to enact major criminal justice reform, to get dark money out of politics and end Citizens United.” [Jon Ossoff for Senate, accessed 1/6/21

In The Senate Raphael Warnock Will “Focus On Fighting For Quality, Affordable Health Care.” “As Senator, Reverend Warnock will bring to Washington the concerns of struggling Georgia families who wonder why no one is looking out for them. He will focus on fighting for quality, affordable health care, for the dignity of working people who are paid too little as our government works more for Wall Street, and to make sure every voice is heard.” [Warnock for Georgia, accessed 1/6/21

Warnock Emphasized Health Care Throughout The Runoff Campaign. “Warnock has put an emphasis on health care during his campaign. When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, Warnock said he was preaching about the need for health care from his pulpit because he saw it as a ‘moral scandal that the richest nation on the planet’ couldn’t find a way to get health care to all of its citizens. He said the pandemic has showed us how important it is for everyone to have health care coverage. ‘A global pandemic and an airborne deadly disease is teaching us something we already should have known — that if my neighbor coughs, that could potentially leave me in peril,’ Warnock said. ‘That doesn’t make my neighbor my enemy. That just means my neighbor’s destiny and mine are inextricably connected. My neighbor may be uncovered, but I’m unprotected. The pandemic has taught us that we are as connected to one another as a cough.’” [Brunswick News, 1/4/21

Biden Ad: “I Need Raphael Warnock And Jon Ossoff In The United States Senate” To Fight The Pandemic. “President-elect Joe Biden cut an ad for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock that ties the twin runoff races for control of the U.S. Senate directly to the fate of his plan to contain the coronavirus pandemic and juice the economy. The minute-long ad released Thursday outlines Biden’s plan to boost the public health response from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ensure free testing and vaccination for every American and pump financial relief into small businesses. ‘Let me be clear, I need Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the United States Senate to get this done,’ he said of the Jan. 5 runoffs. ‘There are folks in Congress threatening to do everything in their power to block our efforts. We need you to get out there and vote for Jon Ossoff, as well as Raphael Warnock. We need them in the Senate.’” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12/17/20

Warnock and Ossoff Emphasized Health Care During Final Push Before the Election

Warnock GOTV Message: Get Ready For Affordable Health Care” “Well, call everybody you know and tell them to get up, get dressed, put your shoes on, get ready for affordable health care. Get ready for a livable wage. Get ready to reclaim our democracy and reclaim the future for all of our children. God bless you. Let’s win the future.” [Raphael Warnock, Rally, 1/4/21

Ossoff GOTV Message: “We Are Building A Movement Based On Love, For Health, Jobs, And Justice.” “We are building a movement based on love, for health, jobs and justice for the people. Health, jobs and justice for all the people, Atlanta. Let’s talk about health for a moment. 300,000 Americans killed by this virus, our hospital systems, our nursing homes buckling under the weight of this pandemic. So many who have lost so much. Loved ones buried, loved ones who have lost their lives unable to see or touch their loved ones as they pass. A government that has lied to us every step of the way. We can beat COVID-19, Atlanta. We can pass legislation to rush resources to hospitals and nursing homes. We can make sure every American gets access to testing and vaccines free of charge. We can beat COVID-19 and get our daily lives back. And do you believe, like I do, Atlanta, and like Reverend Warnock does, that healthcare is a human right? Health care is a human right, and not just a privilege for those who have enough money in their bank accounts or who live in the right zip code.” [Jon Ossoff, Rally, 1/4/21

  • Ossoff: “We Will Ensure That Every Single American Has Great Health Insurance, No Matter Their Ability To Pay, Whether They Have A Preexisting Condition, Suffering From Asthma, Or Diabetes, Or A Cancer Survivor.” “We will stand up to the drug companies who are ripping off Georgia families at the pharmacy every single day, charging outrageous prices for lifesaving medicine and insulin. We will ensure that every single American has great health insurance, no matter their ability to pay, whether they have a preexisting condition, suffering from asthma, or diabetes, or a cancer survivor, because Georgia, healthcare is a human right, and we will make it so in the United States of America.” [Jon Ossoff, Rally, 1/4/21

Ossoff’s Closing Ad: “We Demand Health Care No Matter Our Wealth.” “Senate candidate Jon Ossoff’s closing TV argument is a call to action centered on Black voters’ struggles with injustice and the coronavirus pandemic as he makes his final pitch in the last week of the runoff campaign. The 30-second spot, ‘We the people,’ includes flashbacks to the stories of five Black Georgians his campaign featured in earlier ads, which highlight how the pandemic has disproportionately sickened African-American families and invoke demonstrations demanding racial justice and equality. The ad released Wednesday doesn’t mention Ossoff’s rival, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, or other Republican figures involved in the Jan. 5 runoffs for control of the Senate. Instead, it outlines far-reaching policies he and Raphael Warnock say they’ll achieve if Perdue and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler are defeated. ‘We the people. We demand healthcare no matter our wealth. We the people demand justice no matter the color of our skin. We the people demand immediate financial relief when so many can’t afford rent, gas or childcare,’ Ossoff said.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12/30/20

Warnock and Ossoff Will Fight for Biden’s Bold Health Care Agenda in the Senate

Ossoff Victory Speech: “This Campaign Has Been About Health And Jobs And Justice For The People Of This State.” “This campaign has been about health and jobs and justice for the people of this state — for all the people of this state. And they will be my guiding principles, as I serve this state in the U.S. Senate, ensuring that every Georgian has great health care, no matter our wealth, ensuring that we invest in an economic recovery that includes all communities, that rebuilds our state’s infrastructure, that lays the foundations for prosperity in rural Georgia, suburban communities, and urban communities alike, and securing equal justice for all, following in the footsteps of leaders who have departed us in this last year like Congressman John Lewis and C.T. Vivian.” [Jon Ossoff Victory Speech, 1/6/21

Warnock Pledged To “Beat This Pandemic With Science” And Fight For “Essential Benefits” In His Victory Speech. “I know we can beat this pandemic with science and common sense. I know we can rebuild a fairer economy by respecting the dignity of work and the workers who do it. An economy that honors those whom we now call essential workers by paying them an essential wage, providing them essential benefits. I know we can move closer to justice with empathy and understanding, passion and purpose. To everyone out there struggling today—whether you voted for me or not—know this: I see you. I hear you. And I will fight for you. I will fight for your family.” [Raphael Warnock Victory Speech, 1/5/21

Warnock, Ossoff Ran and Won on Health Care and Now Americans Are in Store for a Bold Health Care Agenda

With Majority Control of Congress and the White House, Democrats Poised to Pass Bold Measures to Expand Coverage, Lower Costs and End the Pandemic

Washington, DC — With Democratic victories in both Georgia Senate races last night delivering a Democratic majority in the Senate, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“Georgians elected Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff because they are health care champions who will help President-elect Biden and House Democrats enact a bold agenda to ensure everyone has access to quality, affordable health care and to end the coronavirus pandemic.

“This race was run and won on health care, just like Democratic victories in Senate races in Arizona and Colorado in November, just like capturing the House in 2018 and holding it in 2020 and just like President-elect Biden’s victory over President Trump. President Trump’s first act as president was to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, and, politically, it’s been all downhill for Republicans ever since. In 2017, they lost the repeal fight and two gubernatorial races over health care and Medicaid expansion. In 2019, they lost gubernatorial races in Louisiana and in Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky over Medicaid expansion. They’ve been on the losing side of ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid all over the country. They lost the House, the presidency and now the Senate all because of their unbridled zeal to deny people access to affordable health care, rip away protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and their failure to address the pandemic.

“Democrats recaptured the political high ground on health care long ago, and by winning the Senate majority last night, they now have a clear mandate to reverse four years of Trump’s sabotage and to enact a health care agenda. Under President-elect Biden’s leadership, the Democrats will build on the ACA to expand coverage, lower costs for prescription drugs, address racial inequities in health care and end the pandemic. As President-elect Biden might say, that’s a big effing deal.”

Elected Officials and Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Encourage Americans to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline

United States Senators, Members of Congress and Local Elected Officials Remind Americans to Sign Up for Coverage Through the ACA Ahead of December 15 Deadline

As open enrollment draws to a close in most states, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Tina Smith (D-MN), Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (D-MN), U.S. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Cindy Axne (D-IA-03) and U.S. Representative-elect Deborah Ross (D-NC-02) along with other elected officials and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care for events nationwide. These national and local leaders met virtually to discuss the HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Americans with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas the Trump-Republican lawsuit that, if successful, would overturn the entire ACA, rip health care away from over 20 million Americans and end its protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions — all during the worst public health crisis in a century. Even as the ACA continues to face constant threats from the GOP, the marketplaces remain resilient, with more than 11 million people having signed up last year and even more affordable coverage options to choose from this year.

ALASKA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: Anchorage Assemblymembers, United Way and Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Alaskans Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Anchorage Assemblymembers, United Way and Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center joined Protect Our Care Alaska for a virtual roundtable to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Alaskans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Assemblymember Meg Zaletel and Suzanne LaFrance, Jane Straight of the United Way of Anchorage, and Samantha Longacre of the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center all spoke to the critical importance of getting coverage before it’s too late. You can view a recording of the event here.

ARIZONA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Health Care Advocates and Experts Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Arizonans Covered
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Arizona father and dedicated health care advocate Steve Gomez, and lead navigator with the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers Allen Gjersvig joined Protect Our Care Arizona for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Arizonans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. You can view a recording of the event here.

COLORADO
Thursday, December 10, 2020: Connect for Health Colorado and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Coloradans Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
To celebrate #GetCovered day ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, health care advocates and health insurance and policy experts joined Colorado Protect Our Care for a digital discussion of the the current ConnectForHealthCO.com Open Enrollment period and to provide Coloradans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. State Representative and ER nurse Kyle Mullica, co-chair of Health Care Voters Laura Packard, Connect for Health Colorado representative Saphia Elfituri, Strategic Engagement Director for Colorado Consumer Health Initiative Adam Fox, and Aaron Silverstein highlighted the importance of getting enrolled in coverage ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline. You can view a recording of the event here.

FLORIDA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Health Care Advocate Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Floridians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) and a Broward County health care advocate, Ryann Greenberg, joined Protect Our Care Florida for a virtual press event to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Floridians with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Floridians need it the most. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
NBC 6 Miami: Segment on Open-Enrollment Event with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
WLRN / WFSU / WMFE: Radio Report on Open Enrollment w/ Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Playing on NPR Affiliates Across Florida, Including Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee

Friday, December 11, 2020: U.S. Rep. Val Demings and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Floridians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10) and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Florida for a virtual press event to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Floridians with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Floridians need it the most. Rep. Demings was joined by Primary Care Access Network ACA Marketplace Director Anne Packham and Dr. Mildred Garcia. You can view a recording of the event here.

GEORGIA
Friday, December 11, 2020: U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and Health Care Advocates Encourage Georgians to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-04) and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Georgia for a Virtual Press Conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Georgians with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Georgians need it the most. Congressman Johnson was joined by Georgians for a Healthy Future Executive Director Laura Colbert, Georgia Primary Care Association navigator Roberto Gutierrez, and two-time cancer survivor Cindy Pursley. You can view a recording of the event here.

IOWA
Friday, December 11, 2020: State Sen. Joe Bolkcom and Health Care Advocates Encourage Iowans to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on Dec. 15
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, health care advocates will join Progress Iowa and Protect Our Care for a press call to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Iowans with resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act when Iowans need it the most. State Senator Joe Bolkcom, Health Care advocate Tammy Gertsen, who gets her health insurance through the ACA marketplace, and Jason Snell, who was covered through Medicaid Expansion when he contracted COVID-19 earlier this year. Listen to a recording of the call here.

MAINE
Friday, December 11, 2020: Maine Senate President Troy Jackson and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get Mainers Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Senate President Troy Jackson and Consumers for Affordable Health Care Director Ann Woloson joined Protect Our Care Maine for a press call to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Mainers with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Speakers emphasized this as a critical need, especially as job losses mount and threaten employer-based coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to a recording of the call here.

MICHIGAN
Tuesday, December 8, 2020: Protect Our Care and Health Care Advocates Discuss Open Enrollment, Getting Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, Dr. Farhan Bhatti, a board-certified family physician and CEO of Care Free Medical, and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care Michigan for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Michiganders with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. They were joined by Amber Bellazaire, a policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy, and Sarah Stark, a patient advocate. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
Fox 17: WATCH: Health Care Advocates Encourage Michiganders to Sign Up for Affordable Care Act by Dec. 15

MINNESOTA
Tuesday, December 8, 2020: U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, MNsure CEO Nate Clark, and Health Care Advocates Encourage Minnesotans to Sign Up for Health Coverage
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, and MNsure CEO Nate Clark joined Protect Our Care Minnesota for a virtual press event to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Minnesotans with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. They were joined by Megan Halena, the program director at Generations Health Initiatives in Duluth, Denise Robertson, the Navigator Program Director for Health Access MN, and Jessica Intermill, a Minnesotan who relies on the ACA for coverage after she developed a pre-existing condition. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
KTOE: MNsure Officials Reminding Minnesotans About Upcoming Enrollment Deadline
KEYC: Sen. Tina Smith Urges MNsure Enrollment
Duluth News Tribune: Editorial: This Is No Time to Be Without Health Insurance

MONTANA
Sunday, December 13, 2020: Missoulian Op-Ed: As COVID-19 Cases Surge, Open Enrollment Period More Important Than Ever
On Sunday, Montana placed an Op-Ed in the Missoulian regarding the importance of Montanans to sign up for health insurance during the Open Enrollment period. Read the op-ed here.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Friday, December 4, 2020: U.S. Senators Shaheen and Hassan Join Health Care Advocates to Urge Granite Staters to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15th
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan called on Granite Staters to get covered by checking out affordable, comprehensive plans offered in the ACA 2021 Open Enrollment. They pointed to HealthCare.gov as a place where Granite Staters can find the resources they need to access health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act between now and December 15th. The Senators were joined by health care advocates Lucy C. Hodder, Director, Health Law and Policy, UNH School of Law, Dr. Patrick Ho, Chief Resident in Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and President of the New Hampshire Psychiatric Society, Zandra Rice-Hawkins from Granite State Progress Education Fund, Jeremy Smith from NH Navigator, and Covering NH, a project of Granite State Progress Education Fund and the NH Health Care Coalition, in collaboration with Protect Our Care NH. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
Union Leader: Obamacare Is Still Working for New Hampshire
Concord Monitor: Enrollment Period for Health Insurance Ends Tuesday

Monday, December 14, 2020: U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and Health Care Advocates Discuss the Addiction Crisis and Urge Granite Staters to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15th
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH-02) called on Granite Staters to check out comprehensive healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before Open Enrollment ends at midnight on Tuesday, December 15th. Rep. Kuster joined a roundtable discussion today on the state of New Hampshire’s ongoing addiction crisis, and how the ACA has played a crucial role. Speakers Jake Berry, Vice President of Policy at New Futures, Jonathan Brown from Harbor Care in Nashua, Dr. Seddon Savage of Dartmouth Hitchcock, and Mary Drew, Founder & CEO of Reality Check discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the shape of substance use treatment and recovery in New Hampshire in 2020 with health insurance for thousands of Granite Staters battling substance use disorder. Watch the recording of the event here.

NORTH CAROLINA
Thursday, December 10, 2020: North Carolina DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, U.S. Rep-Elect Deborah Ross, Senator Terry van Duyn, and Representative Graig Meyer Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get North Carolinians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, U.S. Rep-Elect Deborah Ross (D-NC-02), Senator Terry van Duyn, and Representative Graig Meyer joined Protect Our Care North Carolina for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide North Carolinians with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Speakers also called out Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for failing to pass comprehensive legislation for COVID-19 relief since March, as the economic downturn puts employer based health coverage at risk. You can view a recording of the event here.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Monday, December 14, 2020: State Rep. JA Moore, Health Care Advocates Discuss the Current Open Enrollment Period to Get South Carolinians Covered Through the Affordable Care Act
State Rep. JA Moore and Tiffany James joined Protect Our Care South Carolina for a virtual roundtable to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide South Carolinians with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Speakers also blasted Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, for failing to pass comprehensive legislation for COVID-19 relief since March, as the economic downturn puts employer-based health coverage at risk. Speakers urged Congress to provide relief for South Carolinians immediately. You can watch the event here.

WISCONSIN
Monday, December 7, 2020: U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, Commissioner of Insurance Afable, and Health Care Advocates Encourage Wisconsinites to Sign Up for Coverage Ahead of Open Enrollment Deadline on December 15th
Ahead of the Open Enrollment deadline, US Senator Tammy Baldwin and Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance Mark Afable joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin for a virtual press conference to discuss the current HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment period and to provide Wisconsinites with the resources they need to get health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. They were joined by Vik Verma, a Merrill resident who depended on his ACA insurance after he was seriously injured in a car accident, and Lillian Cheesman, a Milwaukee-based attorney who relies on the marketplace to get insurance for her family and run a small business. You can view a recording of the event here.

Coverage:
Wisconsin Examiner: Deadline Approaches to Sign Up for Individual Health Insurance
Up North News: Enrollment Ends Dec. 15 for Insurance Coverage Through Affordable Care Act
Channel 3000: ACA Open Enrollment Runs Through Dec. 15
WisPolitics: U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin Says She Hopes Federal Lawmakers Can Pass A Funding Bill Before Government Funding Expires at the End of the Week

Xavier Becerra’s Decades-Long Health Care Record

Xavier Becerra has been on the frontlines fighting for health care throughout his career by working to expand people’s access to health care and protect underserved communities — all while taking on powerful special interests. Becerra’s decades of experience in health care make him uniquely qualified to serve as Health and Human Services Secretary as our country faces the challenges of an ever-worsening global pandemic. As California’s AG, Becerra held drug companies accountable for the opioid crisis and stopped hospital systems from overcharging patients. He’s been on the legal forefront of defending the Affordable Care Act, opposing junk plans and fighting pharmaceutical companies to make prescription drugs more affordable. Becerra will undo the sabotage Republicans have been waging on health care for the last decade and use his policy experience to enact President-elect Biden’s vision of lowering health care costs, expanding access and improving care.

Expanding Access To Care 

  • Becerra was an original co-sponsor of the Affordable Care Act and helped write the portion of the ACA that addresses Medicare benefits and reimbursements. 
  • Becerra served in Congress for 24 years and was the first Latino to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee where he tirelessly worked to protect Medicare and Social Security.
  • Starting in 2007, Becerra was the lead sponsor of the Medicare Savings Programs Improvement Act. The bill expanded cost-sharing subsidies for low-income seniors who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits by increasing the amount of resources they could receive and making assistance available to more seniors who need medical care, but can’t afford it. Portions of Becerra’s legislation were included in legislation passed by the House in 2008 and 2015
  • Becerra sponsored legislation to raise the cap on benefits for patients receiving Medicare physical therapy. 
  • In 2009, Becerra sponsored the E-Centives Act, which provided incentives for Medicaid providers to improve care by implementing electronic health records. A version of Becerra’s bill was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 
  • Becerra helped draft the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT) of 2014, requiring the HHS Secretary to conduct research on issues related to socioeconomic status in Medicare’s value-based programs.
  • As California Attorney General, Becerra worked with the state senate on legislation that would make healthcare more affordable and accessible by cracking down on anticompetitive behavior and consolidation in the healthcare market. The bill required the Attorney General’s Office to review and approve affiliations or acquisitions between healthcare systems, facilities, or provider groups to ensure transactions either improve care coordination or increase healthcare access for underserved populations. 

Fighting to Protect the Affordable Care Act

  • In the House, Becerra fought back against multiple attempts to repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act, voting at least nine times against efforts to fully repeal or defund the law. Becerra stood up to protect the law and its achievements, which he said he was “very proud” of. 
  • Becerra has been a stalwart legal defender of the Affordable Care Act, taking on at least four cases to protect the law: 
    • Becerra has led the 20+ state coalition of attorneys general fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act from the Republican effort to repeal the entire law via the California v. Texas lawsuit. The case was heard at the Supreme Court on November 10, 2020. 
    • Becerra joined a coalition of attorneys general filing a lawsuit in opposition to the Trump administration’s expansion of Association Health Plans that offer junk insurance that doesn’t have to comply with ACA coverage requirements and protections. 
    • Becerra intervened in House v. Hargan, a lawsuit filed by Republicans seeking to eliminate cost sharing reduction payments and undercut the affordability of the ACA’s health plans. He then led a multi-state coalition in California v. Trump suing the administration over its decision to stop making CSR payments as required by the ACA. 
  • Becerra led a coalition of attorneys general who successfully secured a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s “Public Charge” rule, which targeted immigrant families who often rely on health safety net programs. 

Reducing Drug Prices

  • Becerra led the defense of California’s law banning collusive “pay for delay” pharmaceutical agreements that delay generic drugs from entering the market and keep costs high. 
  • Becerra launched a House Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force in 2016 to address the rising costs of prescription drugs. 

Fighting The Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Becerra led a bipartisan multi-state coalition to urge the federal government to take action to increase the supply and affordability of drugs to fight Covid-19.
  • Becerra has repeatedly urged President Trump to fully invoke the National Defense Production Act to ensure that Americans have enough PPE. 
  • In May 2020, Becerra and other state attorneys general called on CMS Administrator Seema Verma to increase transparency and accountability from nursing homes as Covid-19 continued to spread through Medicare and Medicaid facilities. Following Becerra’s letter, CMS issued interim rules to ensure that nursing homes would quickly notify family members of illness and provide data to federal public health institutions about any cases

Reproductive Rights And Equitable Care

  • Becerra sued to overturn the Trump administration’s “Healthcare Refusal Rule,” which jeopardizes health and safety by allowing anyone remotely involved in a healthcare transaction—from doctors to ambulance drivers or front office staff— to deny care on religious or moral objections. 
  • Becerra is a stalwart supporter of reproductive freedom. He led a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s rules that would take away access to birth control and defended the Title X Family Planning Program in court, which funds care for more than four million people each year. 

NEW REPORT: Priorities for Addressing Racial Disparities in Health Care Under a Biden Administration

HHS Secretary-Designate Xavier Becerra Uniquely Qualified to Lead on Reducing Racial Disparities in Health Care 

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care released a new report detailing priorities for addressing racial disparities in health care access and outcomes. Donald Trump’s health care sabotage coupled with his complete failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the deep inequalities in our health care system that are the result of structural racism. This new report details meaningful steps President-elect Biden and HHS Secretary-designate Xavier Becerra can take to address these racial disparities as they work to enact priorities of expanding coverage, lowering costs, and taking on health inequities.

Report: Protect Our Care’s Priorities for Addressing Racial Disparities in Health Care

“Donald Trump’s war on health care and the coronavirus pandemic have shed even more light on the deep inequities caused by structural racism in our health care system. These inequities mean people of color face higher rates of chronic illnesses as well as steep barriers to accessing health care,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “When President-elect Joe Biden takes office, there are a series of steps he and HHS Secretary-designate Becerra can take to begin to make meaningful changes to reverse these racial disparities in health care access and outcome. This new report summarizes these actions and the impacts they will have for communities of color across the country.”

NEW REPORT: A Roadmap for President-Elect Biden and His Team to Reverse Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

Read the Report Here

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care released a new report detailing how President-elect Joe Biden can use executive action to begin to reverse the last four years of Donald Trump’s health care sabotage. 

President-elect Biden will be a health care president, and he has chosen a strong, experienced, diverse team that will be ready on day one to reverse Trump’s health care sabotage. His health care team, led by Xavier Becerra, will hit the ground running to enact President-elect Biden’s health care plans. During his campaign, Biden put forth a sweeping plan to expand coverage and lower costs by creating a public option, lower drug prices through Medicare negotiation and guarantee that no one pays more than 8.5 percent of their income on health coverage. The Biden plan will ensure that 97 percent of Americans are covered, and it will lower costs for millions of families at a time they need it most. While major elements of President-elect Biden’s plan will require Republicans in Congress to end their war on health care, this report details executive action Biden can take to begin to reverse the damage Trump has caused. 

Report: Protect Our Care’s Agenda for Executive Action to Reverse Trump’s Health Care Sabotage

“During his time in office, Donald Trump has taken every opportunity to wage a war on health care, including relentless attacks on people with pre-existing conditions, repeated attempts to dismantle and undermine the Affordable Care Act and a complete failure to respond to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Voters rejected the Republican war on health care and elected Joe Biden, who campaigned and won on health care, and pledged to immediately begin reversing the Trump administration’s health care sabotage. This new report details what executive actions President-elect Biden can take to  provide meaningful changes for Americans’ health care access and affordability.”

IN THE NEWS: Biden’s Choice for HHS Secretary a “Vigorous Defender” of the ACA

Throughout his career, Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) has been fighting to ensure Americans have access to affordable, quality health care, including the Affordable Care Act. During his time in Congress, he was pivotal in helping to pass the health care law, and as California’s attorney general, he has been one of the ACA’s staunchest defenders. He led the fight to protect the law in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that seeks to completely dismantle the ACA. Here’s a look at Becerra’s long history as a health care champion: 

New York Times: Becerra “Has Been At The Forefront Of Legal Efforts On Health Care, Leading 20 States And The District Of Columbia In A Campaign To Protect The Affordable Care Act.” “But as attorney general in California, he has been at the forefront of legal efforts on health care, leading 20 states and the District of Columbia in a campaign to protect the Affordable Care Act from being dismantled by his Republican counterparts. He has also been vocal in the Democratic Party about fighting for women’s health.” [New York Times, 12/6/20

Associated Press: By Selecting Becerra To Lead HHS, Biden Has Put “A Defender Of The Affordable Care Act In A Leading Role To Oversee His Administration’s Coronavirus Response.” “President-elect Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be his health secretary, putting a defender of the Affordable Care Act in a leading role to oversee his administration’s coronavirus response.” [Associated Press, 12/7/20

Los Angeles Times: Becerra “Has Become One Of The Most Important Defenders Of The Affordable Care Act.” “Becerra, 62, a rising star in California politics, has become one of the most important defenders of the Affordable Care Act, leading the fight to preserve the landmark law against efforts by the Trump administration and conservative states to persuade federal courts to repeal it. Becerra also has carved out an increasingly important role confronting healthcare costs, using his position to challenge pricing practices at Sutter Health, one of California’s most powerful medical systems. And he has become a leading champion of reproductive health, going to court repeatedly to challenge Trump administration efforts to scale back women’s access to abortion services and contraceptive coverage.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/6/20

CNN: Becerra Served As “Chief Defender Of The Affordable Care Act” Under Trump. “One of Becerra’s highest-profile health care roles recently has been chief defender of the Affordable Care Act in court…In particular, Becerra has pointed to the Affordable Care Act providing coverage for 20 million Americans through Medicaid expansion or the Obamacare exchanges, guaranteeing protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions and funding state and local public health systems.” [CNN, 12/6/20

CBS News: Becerra Has Served “As A Top Defender Of The Affordable Care Act.” “While he has no medical training or experience in public health, he has served as a top defender of the Affordable Care Act. While in Congress, he was a leading advocate for passage of the law and as California’s attorney general, he has defended the law in federal court, including in recent weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court.” [CBS News, 12/7/20

NBC News: Becerra Is “A Vigorous Defender Of The Affordable Care Act.” “President-elect Joe Biden on Monday picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and created three new senior White House positions intended to signal a more aggressive response to Covid-19, including addressing its disproportionate impact on Black people and Latinos. Becerra, 62, served 12 terms in the House of Representatives and was a vigorous defender of the Affordable Care Act who led the defense of the law in the Supreme Court last month.” [NBC News, 12/6/20

Bloomberg: Becerra Is An “Ardent Backer” Of The ACA, “Having Helped Write The Law And Then Defended It In Court.” “While he may not have worked in the health industry, Biden found in Becerra someone who does have experience in his other key health-care ambition — to expand the Affordable Care Act. Becerra is an ardent backer of it, having helped write the law and then defended it in court, despite his personal preference for the Medicare for All plan that Biden rejected as a candidate.” [Bloomberg, 12/8/20

Reuters: “In Congress, Becerra Played A Key Role In Passing The Affordable Care Act.” “In Congress, Becerra played a key role in passing the Affordable Care Act – former President Barack Obama’s key domestic policy achievement. In his current role, Becerra leads the coalition of 20 states defending the program better known as Obamacare, including before the Supreme Court last month.” [Reuters, 12/6/20

Bloomberg: “The Most Important Consideration Was Becerra’s History Of Fighting For The Affordable Care Act.” “As California attorney general, Becerra has led other states with Democratic attorneys general to file lawsuits defending the Affordable Care Act against the efforts of President Donald Trump’s administration to dismantle it…A person familiar with Biden’s thinking said the most important consideration was Becerra’s history of fighting for the Affordable Care Act, first for its passage while he served in the House, and then as California attorney general.” [Bloomberg, 12/6/20

Kaiser Health News: “Becerra Mounted A Vigorous Defense Of Democratic Health Laws Against The Trump Administration And Other Republicans.” “On Monday, Biden announced he has asked Becerra to serve as HHS secretary. Becerra mounted a vigorous defense of Democratic health laws against the Trump administration and other Republicans. He led the effort by 20 states and the District of Columbia to fight a suit brought by Republican state officials and supported by President Donald Trump to overturn the Affordable Care Act. That case was argued before the Supreme Court last month.” [Kaiser Health News, 12/8/20

NPR: “Becerra’s Experience As California Attorney General Could Prove Useful” As Biden Seeks To Strengthen The ACA. “As the top law enforcement official in California, Becerra has repeatedly gone to court to fight Trump administration policies on healthcare, the environment and immigration. Earlier this year, he led a coalition of 20 states and D.C. that asked the Supreme Court to review a circuit court decision that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act…This means much of Biden’s ability to keep promises around strengthening the ACA will require administrative and executive action, and Becerra’s experience as California attorney general could prove useful. He holds a law degree from Stanford.” [NPR, 12/6/20

The Hill: Becerra’s “Work On Defending The Affordable Care Act From Trump Administration Attacks…May Have Won Him The Role.” “California Attorney General Xavier Becerra would be taking over the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as secretary amid the worst pandemic in a century if confirmed by the Senate, but it’s his work on defending the Affordable Care Act from Trump administration attacks that may have won him the role. As California attorney general, Becerra helped lead the legal fight to protect the health care law from a Trump-backed lawsuit against it. He also led a whole slew of lawsuits against the Trump administration’s regulatory changes to ObamaCare and abortion policy.” [The Hill, 12/7/20

Politico: Becerra “Will Get To Refocus The Sprawling Department’s Work On Expanding Health Coverage And Fortifying The Affordable Care Act.” “Becerra, if confirmed, will get to refocus the sprawling department’s work on expanding health coverage and fortifying the Affordable Care Act, with the law appearing likely to survive its latest bout at the Supreme Court. He’ll also have to reverse signature Trump policies on reproductive health, refugees and safety net program like Medicaid. With Congress gridlocked on many of those issues, Becerra’s HHS would become the Biden administration’s prime engine for change on a host of policy priorities.” [Politico, 12/7/20]

President-Elect Biden’s Health Care Team Is Ready on Day One to Tackle the Pandemic and Improve America’s Health Care

Senate Republicans Should Support These Highly Qualified Nominees

Watch the Event Here

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care held a press call with former HHS Secretaries U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL-27) and Kathleen Sebelius about President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of his intention to nominate Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Dr. Vivek Murthy to Surgeon General. Biden also selected Jeff Zients as White House COVID-19 Coordinator, Dr. Rochelle Walensky as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as the COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair and Dr. Anthony Fauci as Chief Medical Adviser to the President on COVID-19. Dr. Fauci will also continue in his role as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Xavier Becerra is tremendously well-qualified to be next the Secretary of Health and Human Services,” said U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala. “Through his long tenure in Congress and his experience as Attorney General of California leading the fight to protect the ACA, Xavier Becerra has proven to be a champion for the expansion of quality, affordable health care to every American. He will be an invaluable asset to the administration and to the country.”

“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have put forward a very strong, competent, compassionate strategic health team. We are in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis in this country, so getting the health team in place as rapidly as possible is really important to save lives and to save entire communities,” said former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Americans day in and day out rely on HHS to deliver services that they need and expect in their lives, and Attorney General Becerra is well equipped, having run a major agency in California, to bring those management and operations skills to the forefront.”

“President-elect Biden has appointed a strong, experienced, diverse team that will be ready on day one to battle this pandemic. They will respect the science, have a plan, and know how to execute it. They will hit the ground running and immediately work to contain the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic. They know what needs to be done to build on the Affordable Care Act to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans, which is more important than ever in the middle of this pandemic,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Attorney General Becerra has deep experience in health care, in Congress and state government. He is an experienced manager and proven champion of the ACA. Vivek Murthy was a tremendous Surgeon General in the Obama administration and will be a trusted advisor and voice for public health. Every Republican senator should support the speedy confirmations of Attorney General Becerra and Dr. Murthy to these vitally important positions.”

NEW VIDEO: Experts, Analysts Agree Biden’s Pick for HHS Secretary, Xavier Becerra, Is a Health Care Champion

Watch the Video Here

Today, Protect Our Care released a new video highlighting experts and analysts praising President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to become Secretary of Health and Human Services. During his time in Congress, Becerra helped pass the Affordable Care Act, and during his time as California Attorney General, he led the fight to defend the law in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that could rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and end protections for more than 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. Becerra is a health care champion who will execute President-elect Biden’s bold plans to increase access to quality care, lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, make health care more affordable, strengthen Medicare and Medicaid and work to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.

The release of the video is part of a broader effort by Protect Our Care to highlight Becerra’s qualifications and to generate support for him which includes launching a petition in support of his nomination at https://www.protectourcare.org/support-becerra/.  

Health Care Experts Praise President-Elect Biden’s Selection of California AG Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services

This morning, President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D-CA) as his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Health care experts from around the country praised the president-elect’s decision, highlighting Attorney General Becerra’s expensive health care policy record and defense of the Affordable Care Act in California v. Texas, the Trump-Republican lawsuit that would rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and end protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions. 

WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:

Leslie Dach, Protect Our Care Chair and Former Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services: “President-elect Biden has selected a true health care champion in Attorney General Xavier Becerra. As a 12-term member of Congress, he was a leader in the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act, and as California’s AG, he is leading the states that are challenging the disastrous Trump-Republican lawsuit to terminate the law…Protect Our Care has seen first hand Attorney General Becerra’s leadership defending the ACA in court to make sure Americans can get the care they need. He is a passionate and effective fighter for quality, affordable health care and is an ideal pick to lead HHS.” [Protect Our Care, 12/6/20]

Sylvia Burwell, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services: “As a former HHS Secretary, I’m excited by the choice of @AGBecerra to lead the department at this critical time. I had the opportunity to work with Xavier when he was in the Congressional leadership. His understanding of key relationships on Capitol Hill & focus on high quality execution will be invaluable as the @JoeBiden administration addresses the #COVID19 pandemic. Xavier knows the ‘kitchen table’ issues that are at the heart of HHS & his leadership will make a difference in the lives of Americans.” [Sylvia Burwell Twitter, 12/6/20]

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Dr. Anthony Fauci praises picks for @JoeBiden’s health team: ‘I worked with all of them before. They’re excellent choices. I mean, all of them. … I’ve had considerable interactions with all of these individuals, and they’re outstanding.’ (1/2) Fauci says HHS pick @AGBecerra has ‘been in the Congress for a considerable period of time’ and is a ‘very experienced person.’ CDC pick @RWalensky ‘has been a colleague of mine.’ And as for Surgeon General pick @vivek_murthy, ‘I’ve been working with [him] for years.’ (2/2)” [Quint Forgey Twitter, 12/7/20]

Andy Slavitt, Former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services “NEW: As HHS, @AGBecerra who will become Secretary, is probably the singular top champion of the ACA. As opposed to the current guy, who, uh, isn’t.” [Andy Slavitt Twitter, 12/6/20

Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation: “KFF congratulates our Attorney General Xavier Becerra on the news of his appointment. We are proud to have the AG from our home state who has been such a leader on health care take the helm at HHS and we look forward to a productive working relationship.” [Drew Altman Twitter, 12/7/20]

Dr. Ada D. Stewart, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians: “But in an interview on Sunday night, Dr. Ada D. Stewart, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the groups that sent the letter, described Mr. Becerra as ‘a good choice’ and ‘an experienced legislator and executive…We’ve already seen his commitment to health and equity, and those things can’t be overlooked,’ she said.” [New York Times, 12/6/20]

Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California: “Xavier Becerra is an exciting and experienced selection to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services…His track record shows he will work to not just undo the damage of the last four years, but to have a pro-active plan to deal with the pandemic and to pursue patient protections and needed reforms going forward.” [Washington Post, 12/7/20

Larry Levitt, Vice President for Health Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation: “In Xavier Becerra, President-Elect Biden has selected a person who has been perhaps the biggest thorn in President Trump’s side on the ACA, reproductive health, and immigrant rights. If confirmed, he will have an opportunity to overturn much of what Trump has done.” [Larry Leavitt Twitter, 12/6/20]

Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU: “.@SEIU members have been fortunate to work with @XavierBecerra over the years to strengthen our home care workforce, defend Medicaid and protect immigrant families. He is an outstanding addition to the already-strong team @JoeBiden is building. @XavierBecerra knows that having healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege, and that healthcare providers need to have their voices heard. Thrilled that he will be our next HHS Secretary.” [Mary Kay Henry Tweet, 12/6/20]

Topher Spiro, Senior Fellow and Vice President for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress: “Xavier Becerra was laser-focused on protecting your health care. I know this because his team reached out many times. He is the right person to protect and expand health care at HHS.” [Topher Spiro Twitter, 12/6/20

Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California: “Peter Lee, who heads California’s insurance marketplace, Covered California, lauded Becerra’s work in Congress and as attorney general to defend access to affordable medical care. ‘It’s a great choice,’ Lee said. ‘He is a thoughtful, strategic leader who gets the importance of not only expanding healthcare coverage, but also addressing high costs for patients.’” [Los Angeles Times, 12/6/20

Mara Rudman, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress “Having managed the nation’s largest state justice department and having been a longtime champion for expanding access to health care, Becerra brings the experience needed to do the job—experience that is sorely lacking as the nation contends with the greatest public health crisis in generations. He has also led the current legal fights to protect the Affordable Care Act and Title X, making him an excellent pick to reverse President Donald Trump’s health care sabotage.” [Center For American Progress, 12/7/20

Matthew Cortland, Lawyer and Health Care Advocate:.@XavierBecerra is a good choice to lead HHS in this moment. We need someone with executive management experience. And, with the GOP death cult still wielding power, someone who understands the legal tools at the executive’s disposal. Becerra covers both bases.” [Matthew Cortland Tweet, 12/6/20]