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TODAY: Ahead of State of the Union Address, Rep. Susan Wild, Health Care Advocates to Discuss Urgent Need to Pass Health Care Reforms 

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28 AT 10:30 AM ET***

Pennsylvanians Are Eager to Hear President Biden’s Plans to Lower Rx Drug Prices and Expand Access to Affordable Health Care 

Philadelphia, PA — Today, February 28, 2022 at 10:30AM ET, Representative Susan Wild (D-PA-07) will join 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, 2022. 

President Biden and Democrats in Congress have made lowering costs and expanding access to health care a priority, and have been working hard to lower insurance premiums, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, expand affordable coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap, extend Medicare benefits, and to increase investment in care for seniors and people with disabilities. Provisions in the 2021 American Rescue Plan made coverage more affordable than ever before, with enhanced premium tax credits allowing four out of five eligible enrollees to find a plan for $10 or less per month. A record number of Americans signed up for coverage during the ACA open enrollment period, underscoring the need for Congress to make benefits such as the ACA subsidies in the American Rescue Plan permanent.

President Biden is expected to address the urgent need to pass these health care measures as soon as possible, and highlight the importance of lowering health care costs and expanding access, including home health care, for Pennsylvanians and millions of Americans across the country. 

PRESS EVENT:

WHO:
Representative Susan Wild (D-PA-07)
Michael Berman, Protect Our Care Pennsylvania
Antoinette Kraus, The Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Nancy Miller from Bradford County, PA who cannot afford her arthritis medication
Erin Jenkins from Pittsburgh, PA who benefits from ARPA subsidies
For Our Future PA
The 99 Percent Campaign
SEIU Healthcare
The United Homecare Workers of PA

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Monday, February 28 at 10:30 AM ET

TODAY: Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Ohio Leaders Join Protect Our Care Ahead of State of the Union Address to Discuss Urgent Need to Pass Health Care Reforms

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25 AT 12:00 PM ET***

Columbus, OH — Today, February 25, 2022 at 12:00 PM ET, U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09), State Representative Emilia Sykes, and local leaders will join Protect Our Care Ohio for a press call to discuss what Ohioans hope to hear from President Biden on health care at his first State of the Union Address on March 1. 

President Biden and Democrats in Congress have made lowering costs and expanding access to health care a priority, and have been working hard to lower insurance premiums, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, extend Medicare benefits, and invest in care for seniors and people with disabilities.

Provisions in the 2021 American Rescue Plan made coverage more affordable than ever before, with enhanced premium tax credits allowing four out of five eligible enrollees to find a plan for $10 or less per month. A record number of Americans signed up for coverage during the ACA open enrollment period, underscoring the need for Congress to make benefits such as the ACA subsidies in the American Rescue Plan permanent. President Biden is expected to address the urgent need to pass these health care measures and others as soon as possible, and highlight the importance of lowering health care costs for Ohioans and millions of Americans across the country. 

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09)
State Representative Emilia Sykes
Columbus City Councilmember Lourdes Barroso de Padilla
Norm Wernet, Alliance for Retired Americans Ohio President 

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference 

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Friday, February 25 at 12:00 PM ET

Ahead of State of the Union Address, West Virginians Discuss Urgent Need to Pass Health Care Reforms

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24 AT 11:00 AM ET***

West Virginians Are Eager to Hear President Biden’s Plans to Lower Rx Drug Prices and Expand Access to Affordable Health Care  

West Virginia — On Thursday, February 24th at 11:00 AM, health care advocates will join Protect Our Care WV 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. President Biden and Democrats in Congress have made lowering costs and expanding access to health care a priority, and have been working hard to lower insurance premiums, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, expand affordable coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap, extend Medicare benefits, and invest in care for seniors and people with disabilities. 

Provisions in the 2021 American Rescue Plan made coverage more affordable than ever before, with enhanced premium tax credits allowing four out of five eligible enrollees to find a plan for $10 or less per month. A record number of Americans signed up for coverage during the ACA open enrollment period, underscoring the need for Congress to make benefits such as the ACA subsidies in the American Rescue Plan permanent.

President Biden is expected to address the urgent need to pass these health care measures as soon as possible, and highlight the importance of lowering health care costs for West Virginians and millions of Americans across the country. 

WHO:

Rhonda Rogombe, WVCBP

Dr. Jessica Ice, WVAHC

Mindy Salango, patient advocate

Lynette Maselli, Protect Our Care WV

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHEN: Thursday, February 24th at 11:00 AM 

WHERE: Register to join the Zoom event (Registration required)

 

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NEW REPORT: How The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act Will Improve Maternal Health And Reduce Racial Disparities 

The Momnibus Act Is Needed Now More Than Ever As Newly Released Data Shows Maternal Mortality Disparities Worsened in 2020

Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new report in response to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics, revealing that the U.S. maternal mortality rate jumped from 20.1 per 100,000 live births in 2019 to 23.8 in 2020. This increase was primarily driven by disproportionate mortality rates among Black mothers. In 2020, the maternal mortality rate for Black women (55.3 per 100,000) was three times higher than the rate for white women (19.1 per 100,000) in 2020. The Momnibus Act, championed by Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14), includes critical investments to help address the systemic causes of the nation’s high maternal mortality rate. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“It is unfathomable that in the wealthiest nation on earth, our mothers are dying from  preventable causes. The racial disparities in maternal mortality have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and the latest data confirms that this crisis is only getting worse without meaningful intervention. The Momnibus Act is a critical step toward ending the maternal mortality crisis and improving the health and well-being of mothers and babies. The Momnibus provisions have broad, bipartisan support, and Congress should do everything in its power to pass this legislation.”

KEY POINTS:

  • The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of the industrialized world. Women in the United States suffer from maternal mortality at a rate twice that of other industrialized nations, with health outcomes worsening over the last two decades. In 2020, the maternal mortality rate in the United States rose to 861 deaths, up from 754 in 2019.
  • Women of color are acutely impacted by the maternal mortality crisis. Systemic racism and its direct impacts on the health care system, create dangerous and deadly outcomes for women of color, particularly Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women. The racial disparities in maternal health between Black and white women are at the same rate recorded in the 1940s.
  • The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act investments will provide funding to address 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.

Read the full report here. 

Rep. Wild, AARP Urge Lawmakers to Act Now to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Watch the Full Event Here.

Washington, D.C. — This morning, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) and AARP’s Nancy LeaMond joined Protect Our Care to discuss the ongoing efforts to ensure that Congress passes legislation to bring down prescription drug prices. Representative Wild recently led a letter alongside 40 House Democrats urging Congress to move quickly to pass drug pricing legislation. President Biden has repeatedly emphasized his commitment to bringing down drug prices to lower the cost of living for Americans. 

“Lowering the costs of prescription drugs needs to be our number one priority in Congress,” said Representative Susan Wild (PA-07). “There is still a lot of work left to do to lower drug costs that have been too high for too long. Until Congress passes robust legislation to tackle these reforms, drug prices will continue to skyrocket, and millions of Americans will continue to make the impossible decision between putting food on the table for their families or purchasing their lifesaving medications.”

“For too many years, seniors have been forced to choose between the medicines they need and paying for other essentials like rent and food. They are sick and tired of waiting for Congress to act. Congress has promised for years to address the price of prescription drugs. Now is the time to get the job done,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer.

“At the end of this past year, I was at the point of possibly losing my COBRA insurance and having to figure out how I was going to be paying my medical bills,” said Sarah Opatovsky, patient storyteller from Bethlehem, PA. “We shouldn’t have a system where people rely on charity if they can’t afford their medical bills. The free market does not work when the consumer doesn’t have a real choice between taking medication or not.  We have to tackle the issue of why these prices are being charged in the first place by pharmaceutical companies.”

“Addressing high drug prices is the single most important thing lawmakers can do to lower the cost of living for families,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Democrats, Republicans, and independents overwhelmingly support giving Medicare the power to negotiate, capping seniors’ out-of pocket costs, limiting insulin costs, and cracking down on outrageous price hikes. Support for ending big drug company greed has only grown, and we are confident that under the strong leadership of President Biden and health care champions like Rep. Wild, we will get all of these measures to lower drug prices over the finish line.”

PRESS CALL: Congressman Gallego to Join Protect Our Care to Discuss Urgent Need to Lower Health Care Costs 

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 AT 1:00 PM ET // 11:00 AM MT***

Arizonans Are Eager to Hear President Biden’s Plans to Lower Rx Drug Prices and Expand Access to Affordable Health Care

Phoenix, AZ — On Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 1:00 PM ET // 11:00 AM MT, Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07), State Senator Raquel Terán, and State Representative Melody Hernandez, will join local advocates and Protect Our Care Arizona at the state Capitol to discuss what Arizonans hope to hear from President Biden when he delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. President Biden and the Democrats in Congress have made lowering costs and expanding access to health care a priority, and have been working hard to lower insurance premiums, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, expand affordable coverage to millions by closing the Medicaid coverage gap, extend Medicare benefits, and invest in care for seniors and people with disabilities. 

Provisions in the 2021 American Rescue Plan made coverage more affordable than ever before, with enhanced premium tax credits allowing four out of five eligible enrollees to find a plan for $10 or less per month. A record number of Americans signed up for coverage during the ACA open enrollment period, underscoring the need for Congress to make benefits such as the ACA subsidies in the American Rescue Plan permanent.

President Biden is expected to address the urgent need to pass these health care measures as soon as possible, and highlight the importance of lowering health care costs for Arizonans and millions of Americans across the country. 

PRESS EVENT:

WHO:
Congressman Ruben Gallego, (D-AZ-07)
Arizona State Senator Raquel Terán
Arizona State Representative Melody Hernandez
Iesha Meza, Arizona patient and advocate
Kathy Saulsberry, Arizona patient and advocate

WHAT: Arizona Press Conference 

WHERE:
Arizona State Capitol
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

WHEN: Wednesday, February 23 at 1:00 PM ET // 11:00 AM MT

PRESS CALL: Rep. Wild and AARP to Join Protect Our Care to Call for Lower Drug Prices for the American People 

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 AT 9:30 AM ET***

Washington, D.C. — On Wednesday, February 23, 2022, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) and AARP’s Nancy LeaMond will join Protect Our Care for a press call to discuss the ongoing efforts to ensure that Congress passes legislation to bring down prescription drug prices. Representative Wild has been a tireless advocate for lowering drug prices, most recently leading a letter alongside 40 House Democrats urging leadership move as quickly as possible to address the problem. President Biden has repeatedly emphasized his commitment to bringing down drug prices to lower the cost of living for Americans. 

During the call, speakers will call for passing all of the drug pricing provisions in the House-passed Build Back Better Act, including giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, limiting insulin prices for diabetics, capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and limiting outrageous price hikes. All of these polices enjoy overwhelming support from voters and would dramatically bring down health care costs for families. 

PRESS CALL:

WHO:
U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07)
Nancy LeaMond, Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer and Executive Vice President at AARP
Sarah Opatovsky, constituent storyteller
Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference 

WHEN: Wednesday, February 23 at 9:30 AM ET

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

TODAY: Congressman Pappas, Granite Staters to Discuss Harsh Impacts of Drug Price Inflation

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18 AT 11:30 AM ET***

Manchster, NH — Today, Friday, February 18, 2022 at 11:30 AM ET, Granite Staters will join U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and Protect Our Care New Hampshire to discuss the urgent need for prescription drug reform. Rep. Pappas was among the 40 House Democrats who sent a new letter urging Congressional leadership to pass life-saving drug reform legislation to lower the price of medications for NH residents and millions of Americans. 

As Americans worry about rising costs and inflation, drug costs continue to surge. Between 2008 and 2016 brand-name oral prescription drugs saw cost hikes of 9% annually, while injectable drugs priced up 15% per year. The high cost of prescription drugs is also a significant driver of personal medical debt. Meanwhile, drug companies continue to rake in record profits.  Between 2000 and 2018, 35 big drug companies had a combined revenue of $11.5 trillion, with a gross profit of $8.6 trillion.

VIRTUAL EVENT: 

WHO:
U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01)
Sandi Denoncour, registered nurse and Executive Director at Joan G. Lovering Health Center
Sergio Zullich, Pharmacy Director at Indian Stream
Amy Brady, storyteller from Hollis, NH
Mike Costaldo, storyteller from Dover, NH
Dianne McCann, retired nurse and storyteller from Durham, NH

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHEN: Friday, February 18, 2022 at 11:30 AM ET

WHERE: Send Email to Register for the Event

Senator Warnock Fights to Deliver Relief to Patients with Affordable Insulin Now Act

Washington DC — Today, Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) will introduce the Affordable Insulin Now Act, legislation that caps out-of-pocket insulin costs for millions of diabetics with private insurance and Medicare coverage. In response, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement: 

“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. Senator Warnock’s bill capping insulin out-of-pocket costs to $35 a month for Americans with insurance will put more money in families’ pockets and give them peace of mind knowing they won’t have to choose between purchasing this life saving medication and putting food on the table. We commend Senator Warnock for his unwavering commitment to fighting for a future where quality, affordable health care is a reality for every American.” 

Want to Reduce the Cost of Living? Pass the Health Care Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

As the U.S. emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are planning for the long-term success of American families. Build Back Better makes essential investments in the areas all Americans need to live healthy lives and improves their capacity to participate in the economy, including lowering costs for prescription drugs, health insurance premiums, hearing care, and home health services. Build Back Better is a critical tool in rebuilding the post-pandemic economy, which is exactly why 17 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences authored an open letter in support of President Biden’s Build Back Better package and urged its passage. 

The Five Ways Build Back Better Lowers the Cost of Living

  • Checks Big Pharma’s Greed And Cuts Drug Costs. Over the past 20 years, price increases for brand-name drugs in Medicare Part D have risen at more than twice the rate of inflation. Build Back Better stops this predatory practice from Big Pharma by prohibiting drug companies from raising prices faster than the rate of inflation. This cap would apply to all Americans, and is essential to stop arbitrary price increases on life saving medications. Additionally, Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs would be capped at $2,000 per year and insulin co-pays for all Americans with insurance would be capped at $35 each month. 
  • Cuts Monthly Premiums For Nine Million Americans. Build Back Better would be the most significant expansion of American health care since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, by reducing health care premiums for more than nine million Americans purchasing their own coverage through the marketplaces. Individuals would save an average of $600 annually on their premiums and for a family of four making $80,000 a year, premiums will drop nearly $250 a month, or nearly $3,000 a year. Not only would these savings have a profound impact on individuals and families alike, the thousands saved would be reinvested in the American economy. 
  • Closes The Medicaid Gap And Cuts Medical Debt. Build Back Better would allow more than two million Americans currently trapped in the Medicaid coverage gap to access zero dollar premium health coverage. Of those currently in the coverage gap, 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. Medicaid expansion under the ACA caused a significant reduction in poverty and reduced income inequality across the board by more than 5 percent. In states that have expanded Medicaid, the chance of accruing medical debt is 20 percent lower than non-expansion states and, a 2018 analysis found that Medicaid expansion led to a nearly $6 billion decline in unpaid medical bills and to higher credit scores.
  • Gives Health Workers And Families A Boost. For years, American families have been struggling to keep their loved ones at home, while the home health care workers caring for them have barely been able to make ends meet. Build Back Better addresses both issues. Currently older Americans and people with disabilities are often forced to liquidate their assets to afford as little as two years of in-home care. Build Back Better would save families paying out-of-pocket an estimated $5,800 a year for four hours of care per week. The direct care workers, who are disproportionately Black, female, and earning less than $30,000 a year, would receive a long overdue pay increase that would combat the HCBS workforce shortage that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and historically low wages. Not only will Build Back Better put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans and their families, but it will also help to address longstanding gender and racial wealth equity problems.
  • Provides A Lifeline To Seniors. Currently, 36 million Medicare beneficiaries either lack hearing coverage or are forced to purchase it on fixed incomes. In 2018, the average out-of-pocket cost for hearing care was $914. These costs create serious financial barriers for the 50 percent of Medicare beneficiaries living on incomes below $29,650 per year. The societal cost associated with age-related hearing loss is nearly $300,000 over the life of each impacted individual, making the hearing provision in Build Back Better not only an essential health benefit, but a significant benefit to the economy as well.