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REACTIONS: Ron Johnson Shows GOP Hand, Pledges to Repeal ACA If Republicans Take Power

Today, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) revealed the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act if they take back Congress and the White House. Not only are Republicans unified in their decision to fight widely popular legislation to lower prescription drug costs, expand coverage, and improve care, but they are going right back to their old playbook of threatening patients with pre-existing conditions and raising costs for working families. News reports and reactions from lawmakers and advocates make clear that electing Republicans means higher health care costs, worse care, and more money in the pockets of rich CEOs and big drug companies. 

Coverage:

Axios: Johnson: GOP Should Be Ready To Repeal Obamacare If They Take Control In 2024. “The last time Republicans controlled the White House and Congress they were unable to successfully repeal and replace Obamacare. Republicans made numerous efforts to repeal Obamacare for almost a decade, before abandoning the push in 2018…Johnson told the Breitbart News Daily podcast on Monday that Republicans need to ‘get out act together’ for the 2024 election so they can ‘make good on what we’ve established as our priorities.’” [Axios, 3/7/22]

Washington Post: Sen. Ron Johnson Says Obamacare Should Be Repealed If GOP Wins Power Back. “Sen. Ron Johnson said he wants to see the GOP repeal the Affordable Care Act if his party wins the White House and the House and Senate majorities in 2024, a move that would resurrect a fight that Republicans had waged for nearly a decade, then largely abandoned in 2018…Since Biden took office, Obamacare has only grown more popular. The White House announced last year that about 31 million Americans now have health-care coverage through the ACA, a record high since the law was enacted in 2010.” [Washington Post, 3/7/22]

Statements:

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison: “Over the last few weeks, we’ve been reminded what a Republican majority would look like – raising taxes on over half of Americans, making health care coverage more expensive, and ripping protections away from millions of Americans with preexisting conditions. While Republicans double down on their harmful agenda and still don’t have any plan to lower costs for American families, President Biden and Democrats are working tirelessly to lower health care costs, cap prescription drug prices, and protect those with preexisting conditions from losing their coverage. The choice this November could not be more clear.” [Democratic National Committee, 3/7/22

DSCC Spokesperson Amanda Sherman-Baity: “Voters are learning exactly what Republicans will do with a Senate majority, in their own words: raise taxes on seniors and working families, end Medicare and Social Security – and once again try to spike the cost of health care while ripping away coverage protections from Americans with pre-existing conditions. Republicans like Ron Johnson keep showing they only care about pushing the agenda of the ultra-rich and big corporations – while working families pay the price.” [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, 3/7/22]

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Senate Communications Advisor Philip Shulman: “Ron Johnson broke his two term pledge to double down on his self-serving agenda of raising health care costs and ripping away protections for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions.” [Democratic Party of Wisconsin, 3/7/22]

Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse: “Republicans like Senator Johnson aren’t just vowing to return to Trump-era health care attacks, but the GOP is totally unified in opposing any measure to lower health care costs, including reducing prescription drug prices. The bottom line is that, while President Biden and Democrats in Congress are fighting for better health care, Republicans are going right back to their same old war on American health care.” [Protect Our Care, 3/7/22]

Tweets:

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It’s Not Enough That Republicans Are Standing In the Way of Lowering Drug and Health Care Costs, Now They Want to Return to Repeal

Ron Johnson Reignites GOP War on Affordable Care Act 

Senator Johnson, One of Mitch McConnell’s Most Important Senate Candidates, Said Republicans Need to Make a “Plan” to Repeal Obamacare if They Gain Power 

Washington, DC — Today, in an interview with Breitbart News Radio, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said the Affordable Care Act should be repealed if Republicans take back power in 2024.  In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“Once again, Ron Johnson is saying the quiet part out loud. The Affordable Care Act is more popular than ever, with record enrollment thanks to President Biden and Democrats’ work to drive down premiums costs. Yet Republicans just can’t quit their mission to raise health care costs, eliminate protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, and throw people off their coverage. Republicans like Senator Johnson aren’t just vowing to return to Trump-era health care attacks, but the GOP is totally unified in opposing any measure to lower health care costs, including reducing prescription drug prices. The bottom line is that, while President Biden and Democrats in Congress are fighting for better health care, Republicans are going right back to their same old war on American health care.” 

What’s At Stake For Wisconsinites:

  • 224,000 Wisconsinites could lose coverage. The Center for American Progress estimates that 224,000 Wisconsinites are at risk of losing coverage if the ACA is overturned. 
  • 41,000 Wisconsin young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • 28,000 Wisconsin children could lose their coverage. Thousands of Wisconsin children gained coverage thanks to the ACA and risk losing their coverage if the law is overturned.
  • Wisconsinites would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $1 billion in the first year. A 2019 Urban Institute analysis estimated that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on Wisconsinites’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $1 billion

“We Have an Opportunity Right Now to Change Lives”: Representatives Kildee and McBath Demand Lower Insulin Prices to Deliver Relief to Millions of Families

Call Comes on the Heels of the State of the Union Address Where President Biden Urged Congressional Action to Lower Drug Prices


Watch the Full Event Here.

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (MI-05) and Lucy McBath (GA-06) joined Protect Our Care to discuss their new legislation to lower insulin costs for millions of diabetics across the country. This week, Reps. Kildee and McBath joined Representative Angie Craig (MN-02) to introduce the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would limit out-of-pocket insulin costs to $35 per month for diabetics with insurance. Just last night, President Biden made the case that lowering insulin costs is a critical step to ensure access to this lifesaving drug and put more money in working families’ pockets. 

“No one should have to choose between taking their medication and putting food on the table. At a time when Big Pharma is making record profits, Congress must do more to lower costs,” U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (MI-05) said. “As President Biden said in his State of the Union address, now is the time to cap the cost of insulin at $35 per month. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to pass this legislation and lower costs for Michigan families and seniors.”

“We have an opportunity right now to change lives and save lives,” said U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (GA-06). “Just last night, America listened as President Biden voiced his support for legislation that would cap the cost of insulin at $35 a month. I am so proud to join my colleagues and lead legislation that would benefit families across the country and help provide certainty and affordability to the Americans everywhere who need insulin to live full and healthy lives.”

“Insulin is a hormone everyone in the world needs to live. Non-diabetic people have access to it completely for free, but diabetics are price-gouged and forced into insulin, food rationing and other tough circumstances because they need it from an outside source. A $35 copay cap would be an excellent first step in reducing the cost burden on diabetics with insurance,” said Brooks Bellman, 28-year-old Type 1 Diabetic from Atlanta, GA. 

“About eight percent of the population in this country has diabetes. That’s probably 20 to 25 million people,” said Dr. Morris E. Brown, an endocrinologist from Atlanta, GA. “The cost of insulin can run to 200 plus dollars a month, depending on how much insulin you’re taking. To go to $35 a month would be huge. In my experience, diabetics are Republicans and diabetics are Democrats. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why this is not a bipartisan issue, and why it doesn’t, on a voice vote, pass the House and the Senate.” 

“Drug company greed has forced millions of diabetics to pay outrageous prices for a medication that has been around for a century,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “In the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should be risking their life by rationing or skipping doses because they can’t afford the medication they need. Representatives Kildee and McBath’s bill capping out-of-pocket insulin costs to $35 a month for diabetics with insurance is a critical step to drive down prescription drug prices. It will put more money in families’ pockets and give them peace of mind knowing they won’t have to choose between purchasing this lifesaving medication and putting food on the table.” 

Health Care Tops List of Ways to Lower Costs for Families in President Biden’s State of the Union Address

During His Speech, President Biden Put Health Care at the Top of His Priorities, Meeting the Demands of Voters Across the Political Spectrum 

Last night, President Biden delivered his first State of the Union address, where he emphasized the importance of lowering health care costs for working families across the country. President Biden named five common sense policies that will reduce everyday costs for the American people: limiting insulin prices, giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, reducing premium costs, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and investing in maternal health. After a year of significant progress in addressing the cost of health care, President Biden made clear that this is only the beginning, and Democrats will continue to keep lower health care costs at the forefront of their agenda. 

Poll after poll confirms that President Biden’s health care priorities remain overwhelmingly popular among voters of all parties. If passed, these reforms could save families thousands of dollars per year, giving them more breathing room to pay for other essentials like food, rent, and child care. 

  1. Lowering the Cost of Insulin for Millions With Diabetes. For decades, millions of diabetics in this country have had to pay outrageous prices for the medications they need to survive. Even when insulin vials only cost a few dollars to produce, drug companies have hiked the price to hundreds of dollars per month, forcing patients to ration insulin and skip doses altogether — which can have devastating consequences. President Biden is determined to cap insulin out-of-pocket costs to $35 a month for Americans with insurance. This will put more money in families’ pockets and give them peace of mind knowing they can afford this life saving medication.
  2. Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate Lower Drug Prices. For nearly 20 years, Medicare has been banned from negotiating the price of prescription drugs, and Big Pharma has been able to dictate prices while Americans pay three times more for their medications than people in other countries. President Biden is determined to empower Medicare with the ability to negotiate prices for select drugs purchased at the pharmacy counter and administered at a doctor’s office. As the President stated in his State of the Union address, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been successfully negotiating the price of prescription drugs for years, and there is no reason we cannot accomplish this for Americans on Medicare. 
  3. Lowering The Cost Of Health Coverage. The American Rescue Plan drastically cut health coverage costs across the board, with millions of families on ACA Marketplace plans saving an average of $2,400 a year on their health care premiums. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are dedicated to ensuring these savings are made permanent and no American is ever again forced to make the impossible choice between putting food on the table or ensuring they have health insurance for their family. 
  4. Closing The Medicaid Coverage Gap. There are currently 2.2 million Americans being denied Medicaid coverage, solely because they live in a state that has refused expansion. President Biden is determined to close the coverage gap once and for all and provide quality, stable health coverage to more than two million people, of which 62 percent are in the labor force, 30 percent are parents with children at home, more than 25 percent are essential workers, and 15 percent of adults have a disability. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap is the single most important policy to reduce racial inequities in the American health care system, with people of color comprising 60 percent of individuals in the coverage gap.
  5. Investing In Maternal Health. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of the industrialized world, with 2020 seeing yet another rise in maternal mortality for American women, with Black mothers experiencing the highest increases. President Biden is committed to passing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which addresses the root causes of maternal mortality. The Momnibus will provide funding to address social determinants of health, invest in health equity research and practices, and provide health care workers with the necessary tools to confront discriminatory and biased practices. 

Polling:

Giving Medicare The Power To Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices Remains Top Reason Americans Want President Biden’s Agenda Passed. Four out of the five top priorities are health provisions in President Biden’s agenda. [Navigator, 1/28/22]

  • Drug Price Negotiation. Overall, 79 percent believed empowering Medicare to negotiate drug prices was a good reason to pass President Biden’s agenda, including 92 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents, and 66 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/28/22]
  • Insulin Cost Capping. Overall, 78 percent believed capping insulin copays at $35 a month was a good reason to pass President Biden’s agenda, including 90 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/28/22]
  • Lowering Premiums. Overall, 78 percent believed lowering premiums for people purchasing health coverage on their own was a good reason to pass President Biden’s agenda, including 91 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of independents, and 64 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/28/22]

Majority of Americans Continue To Support President Biden’s Plan To Lower Prescription Drug Prices. Overall, 70 percent of registered voters support the Medicare drug price negotiation provision in Build Back Better, including 91 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of Independents, and 48 percent of Republicans. [Navigator, 1/12/22]

Voters From Across Political Spectrum Strongly Support Cutting Prescription Drug Prices By Passing President Biden’s Agenda. “Of the 16 provisions listed in the survey, five of the top six priorities for voters were health measures…Biden’s comments on lowering prescription drug costs will resonate with the entire electorate: 7 in 10 voters back the provision, including 4 in 5 Democrats and 3 in 5 Republicans.” [Morning Consult/Politico, 12/8/21]

Health Care Remains The Most Important Reason to Pass President Biden’s Agenda. “Top reasons cited as good reasons to pass the plan are lowering health insurance costs, giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices, [and] expanding Medicare…” [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]

  • Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Remains High Priority For Passing President Biden’s Agenda. 77 percent believe allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs is a good reason to pass the bill, including 94 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents, and 57 percent of Republicans. [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]
  • Three In Five Americans Believe Passing President Biden’s Agenda Is Urgent. “Intensity of urgency is high – especially among Democrats (91% say it is “urgent”), Black Americans (82%), and Hispanic Americans (74%).” [Navigator Research, 11/11/21]

“Now Is the Hour”: President Biden Pledges to Continue to Lower Health Care Costs in State of the Union Address 

Washington, DC — Tonight, President Biden delivered his first State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. During his speech, he stressed the importance of lowering prescription drug and health care costs for working families, expanding coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap, fighting corporate greed that puts profits ahead of patients, and addressing the mental health and addiction crisis exacerbated by the pandemic. Along with Democrats in Congress, President Biden is making clear that delivering lower prices and putting more money in families’ pockets remains a top priority for his administration. 

President Biden’s State of the Union address comes as Democrats continue to work toward making critical investments to lower insurance premiums, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, close the coverage gap, extend Medicare benefits, and improve care for veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities. In his first year, President Biden has already brought dramatic relief to millions of American families by reversing Republican health care sabotage, opening a special enrollment period, restoring critical funding in health care education and outreach, and passing the American Rescue plan to make premiums more affordable than ever. Thanks to his leadership and vision, over 30 million Americans now have health coverage because of the ACA, including a record 14.5 million covered under the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

One year in, President Biden has already made remarkable progress by expanding affordable health care coverage and lowering premiums. And tonight he reiterated his commitment to lowering the cost of drugs and making quality health care affordable for every American. For far too long, drug companies and corporate greed have gone unchecked, shamelessly forcing families to make impossible choices between putting food on the table and paying for essential drugs like insulin. As costs continue to rise, it’s more important than ever that Congress prioritize lowering health care prices to reduce everyday expenses for working families and ensure everyone has access to the care they need.” 

Background:

A Year of Accomplishments: President Biden Is Lowering the Cost of Health Care, Expanding Coverage, and Leading Us Out Of The Pandemic

PRESS CONFERENCE: Representatives McBath and Kildee to Discuss Latest Actions to Lower Insulin Costs

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2 AT 1:00 PM ET***

Call Comes After U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (D-MI), Lucy McBath (D-GA), and Angie Craig (D-MN) Introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act 

Washington, DC — On Wednesday, March 2, 2022, U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (D-MI-05) and Lucy McBath (D-GA-06) will join Protect Our Care for a virtual press conference to discuss their new legislation to lower insulin costs for millions of diabetics. The Affordable Insulin Now Act, which was also introduced in the Senate by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), would limit out-of-pocket insulin costs to $35 per month for millions of diabetics with insurance. Lowering insulin costs is an essential step to drive down health care costs and put more money in working families’ pockets.  

VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE:

WHO:
U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (MI-05)
U.S. Representative Lucy McBath (GA-06)
Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care Executive Director
Brooks Bellman, 28-year-old Type 1 Diabetic from Atlanta, GA
Dr. Morris Brown, endocrinologist from Atlanta, GA.

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference 

WHEN: Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 1:00 PM ET

WHERE: Register for the Event Here.

IN THE STATES: Protect Our Care Calls for Action to Lower Health Care Costs Ahead of the State of the Union Address

U.S. Representatives Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), and Susan Wild (PA-07) Headlined Events in Arizona, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia

Ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address, Protect Our Care hosted events in five states to celebrate the administration’s health care accomplishments and to urge further action to lower health care costs for families. Last year, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, making coverage more affordable than ever before. The law’s enhanced premium tax credits allowed four out of five enrollees to find a plan for $10 or less per month. As a result, a record number of Americans signed up for coverage during the 2022 open enrollment period, putting more money in families’ pockets and giving millions of people peace of mind knowing they can afford the health care they need. 

The success of the American Rescue Plan only underscores the need for Congress to pass additional measures to lower health care costs. President Biden and Democrats in Congress have been working hard to lower insurance premiums, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, close the Medicaid coverage gap, extend Medicare benefits, and invest in care for seniors and people with disabilities. President Biden has repeatedly said lowering health care costs is a top priority and, tonight, he is expected to address the need to pass these health care reforms as soon as possible. 

ARIZONA

On Wednesday, February 23, Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) and constituent Kathy Saulsberry joined health care advocate Iesha Meza and Protect Our Care Arizona to discuss what Arizonans hope to hear from President Biden when he delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1. 

“It is unconscionable that Arizona families have to make tough choices between providing for their families or paying for lifesaving medications,” said Representative Gallego. “It does not have to be this way, and improvements made under the American Rescue Plan show just what is possible if Congress passed permanent solutions to lower health care costs.” Watch the full event here

Coverage:

WEST VIRGINIA

On Thursday, February 24, local health care and patient advocates joined Protect Our Care West Virginia to discuss what West Virginians hope to hear from President Biden when he delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1.

Mindy Salango, a Type 1 diabetic who lives in Morgantown says the fight for health care reform and lowering prescription drug prices has gone on long enough. “The diabetic community has been screaming for help into a void for over fifteen years. I really hope President Biden continues to make healthcare reform top priority and Congress can come through for the American people.” Watch the event here

OHIO

On Friday, February 25, U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) and  leaders from across Ohio joined Protect Our Care Ohio to discuss what Ohioans hope to hear from President Biden when he delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1. 

“As we prepare for President Biden’s State of the Union, it’s a good time to reflect on how Democrats have delivered lower costs and increased access to health care,” said Representative Kaptur. “The American Rescue Plan provided a lifeline to our nation throughout the pandemic, and it strengthened the Affordable Care Act for middle class workers and families. From lowering the cost of prescription drugs and insulin, to protecting the Affordable Care Act and strengthening Medicare, President Biden and Congressional Democrats are leading the way for the American people.” Watch the full event here

Coverage: 

  • Gongwer: “Leaders from across the state shared what they hope to hear from President Joe Biden at his first State of the Union”

NEW HAMPSHIRE

On Monday, February 28, a range of health policy experts joined Protect Our Care NH and Granite State Progress to discuss what Granite Staters can expect to hear from President Biden when he delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1. Watch the event here

PENNSYLVANIA

On Monday, February 28, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) joined For Our Future, The 99 Percent Campaign, SEIU Healthcare, the United Homecare Workers of PA, The Pennsylvania Health Access Network, and Protect Our Care Pennsylvania to discuss what Pennsylvanians hope to hear from President Biden when he delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1. “Lowering drug prices, making the American Rescue Plan’s subsidies for the Affordable Care Act permanent, and expanding our home and community care services are issues not just widely popular with the American people; these are issues that will literally save lives,” said Representative Wild. “Getting all of this across the finish line won’t be easy, but none of this would be even possible without health care advocates who have forced these issues to be front and center. I won’t stop fighting until Congress passes these reforms and delivers a brighter health care future for every American.” You can watch the event here

Coverage:

As President Biden Fights to Lower Drug Prices, New Data Underscores Need for Congressional Action

Kaiser Report Reveals Massive Price Hikes on Prescription Drugs Amid Worries About Inflation

Washington, DC — New data from the Kaiser Families Foundation revealed that half of drugs covered by Medicare saw price increases greater than inflation in 2020. The news comes ahead of the State of the Union address, where President Biden is expected to urge Congress to prioritize lowering the cost of prescription drug prices. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“The numbers released today confirm what we already know to be true: drug prices are too damn high. Big drug companies have gone unchecked for far too long, and families across the country are struggling to afford the medications they need to survive. Price hikes outpacing inflation take more money out of patients’ pockets and raise health care costs across the board. Lowering drug prices is among the most important actions Congress can take to lower the cost of living for the American people. As Democrats move forward on negotiations for their economic proposal, it is imperative that they continue to prioritize addressing drug prices.”

A Year of Accomplishments: President Biden Is Lowering the Cost of Health Care, Expanding Coverage, and Leading Us Out Of The Pandemic 

Washington, DC — Tomorrow, President Biden will deliver his first State of the Union address. From day one, President Biden has put the health and well-being of Americans first. His administration immediately took steps to reverse the health care sabotage of the Trump administration by opening a special enrollment period, restoring critical funding in health care education and outreach, and making premiums more affordable than ever. As a result, 5.8 million people became newly insured, and millions more were able to save hundreds of dollars per month on their health care.

In March 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, which put money into the pockets of families struggling to make ends meet, delivered robust funding for vaccine distribution, and helped safely reopen schools and the economy. Importantly, the American Rescue Plan included historic measures to drive down health care costs for millions of Americans. The law’s enhanced premium tax credits allowed more than three million Americans to find a plan for $10 or less per month.  In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“President Biden has fought tirelessly to end the pandemic and lower everyday costs for American families. When President Biden took office, only 1.6 million Americans were fully vaccinated, but today, more than 215 million Americans are fully vaccinated and 93 million are boosted. By listening to the experts and following the science, President Biden has always prioritized keeping families safe, creating jobs, and delivering relief to working families through common sense measures designed to help get America back on track.

“President Biden’s hard work is already paying off. A record number of Americans have signed up for coverage during the 2022 open enrollment period, giving millions of people peace of mind knowing they can afford the health care they need. It is clear that health care remains Democrats’ top priority as they work to lower premium costs, reduce drug prices, expand coverage, and improve health care for seniors. As we celebrate the accomplishments of the Biden administration, we can look forward to even brighter days ahead.”

Strengthening Health Care:

  1. More Than 30 Million Americans Now Have Health Coverage. Because of the combined force of the ACA and ARP, more than 30 million Americans now have health coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or CHIP.
  2. More Than 14.5 Million People Have Coverage Through The Individual Market. In 2021, 14.5 million people signed up for health coverage through the ACA Marketplace. This is the highest number of Americans to ever enroll in a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and it is thanks to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. 3.2 million Americans now have health coverage for less than $10 per month. Premium savings under the American Rescue Plan benefit all Americans, with families now saving an average of $2,400 a year on their health insurance premiums.
  3. No One Pays More Than 8.5 Percent Of Their Income For Health Coverage. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan builds on the ACA by ensuring enrollees have the option to purchase health care for less than 8.5 percent of their income. Previously, families earning just above 400 percent of the federal poverty level spent an average of 15 percent of their incomes on health insurance. 
  4. More Affordable Coverage For ALL Americans. The American Rescue Plan temporarily expanded the eligibility for premium tax credits above 400 percent of the federal poverty level — roughly $51,000 for a single person or $105,000 for a family of four. 
  5. Zero Dollar Premiums For Low-Wage Workers. The American Rescue Plan eliminated premiums for Americans earning up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $19,000 for a single person and $39,000 for a family of four) who buy their coverage on the Marketplace and for those receiving unemployment insurance due to the pandemic.
  6. One In Four Americans Are Now Covered By Medicaid & CHIP. 12.5 million Americans were able to enroll in Medicaid during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total number of enrollees to an all time high of 83.2 million. Reporting on the increase, The New York Times stated, “The spike in enrollment demonstrates Medicaid’s increasingly important role not just as a safety net, but also as a pillar of the American health system.” President Biden understands the critical roles Medicaid and CHIP play in American health care, which is why he has been a fierce advocate for the expansion and strengthening of Medicaid. Between February and November 2020, states that expanded their programs saw a 22 percent increase in Medicaid enrollment. Additional research has shown that Medicaid expansion states were better positioned to handle the economic fallout of the pandemic, with fewer residents becoming uninsured. 
  7. Increased Medicaid Access. President Biden understands that health care is a right, not a privilege. In 2021, he kept his promise to roll back discriminatory Medicaid work requirements that create unnecessary obstacles for low-income individuals seeking access to affordable, quality health coverage. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services have repeatedly stated that the vast majority of Medicaid beneficiaries are employed, ill, or disabled. The Biden Administration’s quick action put a permanent stop to these requirements in 12 states that received waivers under the previous administration. 
  8. Improving Maternal Health Access. The American Rescue Plan created a pathway to coverage for pregnant Americans, allowing states to extend postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months following pregnancy. The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the industrialized world, with 12 percent of maternal deaths occurring between six weeks and one year following delivery, after Medicaid coverage has ended. These numbers demonstrate the immense need for continuous health coverage for a minimum of one year following the birth of a child. 

Leading Us Out Of The Pandemic, Giving Americans the Tools They Need:

  1. Shots in Arms. 76 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 65 percent are fully vaccinated. Over 93 million Americans have received a booster shot, providing the best protection against the omicron variant. The Biden Administration has made booster shots free and convenient at over 80,000 locations nationwide. Vaccines are our best tool to prevent severe sickness and death from all variants of Covid-19 and they have already prevented 1.1 million deaths and 10.3 million additional Covid hospitalizations. 
  2. New Access To Therapeutic Drugs And High Quality Masks. On January 4, President Biden announced that the federal government doubled the U.S.’ order for Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral pill, Paxlovid, which has been shown to reduce hospitalizations and severe illness significantly, another vital tool for reducing suffering and bringing the pandemic to an end. Twenty million doses of Paxlovid continue to be delivered across the country, with the first shipments sent to hospitals on Christmas Eve. In the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history, the Biden administration distributed 400 million free, high-quality N95 masks at thousands of sites around the country.
  3. Increased Testing. Since taking office, the Biden administration has taken numerous steps to increase Americans’ access to vital Covid-19 testing, both at home and at testing sites around the country.  There are more than 20,000 free testing sites around the country, including new federal sites deployed in response to the omicron variant surge. Four times as many rapid tests are available for Americans to use at home than were available last summer, and the administration’s wildly successful distribution of half-billion rapid tests this winter provided four free tests to every American household upon request, in addition to an earlier rule requiring insurance companies to reimburse members for their purchase of rapid tests. 
  4. Schools Open. Thanks to the efforts of the Biden administration to provide safe and effective vaccines for students, and funding for masks and ventilation in schools, nearly 100 percent of American students were back in the classroom full time in December 2020, up from under three-quarters at the end of last school year.  
  5. Workers Back To Work. The Biden administration has presided over the largest one year drop in the unemployment rate in U.S. history, and the creation of more than six million jobs, the most of any first year president in history. Despite the devastating Omicron surge, the addition of 467,000 jobs in January served as a strong signal that the economy continues to move in the right direction under President Biden. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the success of the vaccination program, workers are able to go back to work more safely and confidently.  

The State Of Our Union Today And When President Biden Took Office:

Vaccinations. President Biden’s science based approach to the pandemic inspired confidence in America’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Due to his leadership, vaccinations prevented more than one million deaths and more than 10 million COVID hospitalizations by November of 2021.

Schools. Thanks to funds from the ARP, schools had the tools necessary to stay open and mitigate risk, even during the Omicron surge. 

Jobs. The American economy is currently on track to recoup all of the jobs lost during the pandemic by the end of 2022. Without the ARP, it would have taken the U.S. an additional four years to recover economically.

TODAY: Senator Reverend Warnock to Visit Metro Atlanta Pharmacy to Highlight Efforts to Lower Insulin Costs

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23 AT 1:30 PM ET***

Atlanta, GA — Today, February 28, 2022 at 1:30 PM ET, Senator Warnock will travel to a metro Atlanta pharmacy to hold a listening session with Georgians with diabetes, health care professionals and diabetes advocates to discuss his new proposal to limit out-of-pocket costs for insulin to $35 per month. 

Earlier this month, Senator Warnock introduced the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which is expected to lower insulin costs for many of the over one million Georgia patients living with diabetes; these patients represent more than 12% of the state’s adult population.

LISTENING SESSION:

WHO:
U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA)
Georgians with diabetes, health care professionals, and diabetes advocates

WHAT: Listening Session to Highlight Senator Warnock’s Affordable Insulin Now Act, Legislation to Cap Out-Of-Pockets Costs for Insulin

WHERE: Metro Atlanta area. Interested media may Register for the Event Here. Addresses and additional logistical information will be sent to RSVP’d outlets.
Please direct any additional questions to [email protected].

WHEN: Wednesday, February 23 at 1:30 PM ET **exact timing subject to change**