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NEW: Protect Our Care Urges Senators Carper and Coons to Stand Up for Patients and Lower Drug Costs with New Delaware Poll, Radio Ad

New PPP Polling on Behalf of Protect Our Care Shows That Medicare Negotiation is Overwhelmingly Popular With Delawareans

Listen to the Radio Ad Here

Full Poll Results and Memo Here

Delaware — Today, Protect Our Care announced a new radio ad calling on Delawareans to tell U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Chris Coons (D-DE) that they expect their support for giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. The ad comes as Protect Our Care is releasing a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling showing that 78% of Delaware voters say they support giving Medicare the power to lower prescription drug prices for all Americans, with more than 6 in 10 saying they strongly support it. The poll also shows that a large majority (70%) of Delaware voters also say they support the overall Build Back Better plan, which would provide paid family and medical leave, expand Medicare coverage for seniors including dental, vision, and hearing coverage, and lower health care costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.

As Congress is closing in on legislation that will transform the lives of American families nationwide, the new poll and radio ad make clear that Delawareans won’t settle for half-measures and that Senators Carper’s and Coon’s votes are key to passing prescription drug pricing reform. President Biden and Democrats are leading the charge to include Medicare negotiation and other key health care priorities in the Build Back Better bill, but the fight is not over: Big Pharma is ramping up its lobbying and scare tactics to protect its profits and lie to the American people. Senators Carper and Coons must meet the demands of their constituents and give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans. 

“Delawareans are fed up with the broken system that allows drug companies to charge them three times more for medications than people in other countries,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Delawareans are counting on Senators Coons and Carper to put working families over drug company profits by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. With Republicans marching in lockstep with Big Pharma, every Democrat needs to get on board and help pass the Build Back Better Act so millions of Americans no longer have to worry about affording the medications they need to survive.”

Ad Script (60s):

Families here in Delaware pay 3 times more than people in other countries for the same life-saving medicines.

It’s not right.

94 percent of Americans want Congress to lower drug prices now. 

Your Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper are key votes. They get to decide whether big drug companies get to keep the rigged system that lets them charge as much as they want OR we put an end to that and give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices.

Too many families have to choose between paying their rent or paying for their medicine.

It shouldn’t be this way and it doesn’t have to be. 

Giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs would be life changing for patients.

Call Senators Coons and Carper. Tell them we need them to stand with Delaware patients 

Delaware families need this Build Back Better act that gives Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices.

Paid for by Protect Our Care.

Protect Our Care Hosts Events From Coast to Coast Demanding President Biden’s Health Care Priorities Remain in Final Budget Agreement

Protect Our Care Continued to Urge Members of Congress to Lower Health Costs & Strengthen Care with Press Calls, Mobile Billboards, Radio Ad and Lite Brite Demonstration 

Protect Our Care continued its events and activities calling on Congress to deliver lower costs and better care to American families by passing all of President Biden’s health care priorities in the Build Back Better budget package. Democrats are closing in on a budget agreement that could give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, close the Medicaid coverage gap, expand Medicare benefits to include vision, dental and hearing, and reduce health care costs for millions of people purchasing coverage on their own. These proposals are overwhelmingly popular among voters of all parties.  

This week’s events made clear that all of these health care reforms are essential to the success of the Build Back Better package. And with Republicans bought and paid for by Big Pharma and other special interests, we need every Democrat to keep up the fight. Protect Our Care will continue to ensure that lawmakers understand the importance of lowering drug prices and expanding care and hold those that fight reform accountable.

NATIONAL

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

Watch the Event Here

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

Listen to the Call Here. 

Coverage:

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

For more photos, click here. 

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

ARIZONA

RADIO AD: Protect Our Care announced a new radio ad today calling for Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to meet the demands of her constituents and support giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. The ad features Will Humble, the Executive Director for the Arizona Public Health Association, who explains that Arizonans pay three times more for drugs than people in other countries while Big Pharma continues to rake in record profits and hike prices on Americans.

Listen to the Radio Ad Here

CALIFORNIA

PROTEST: Protect Our Care California held a die-in at Representative Scott Peters’ (CA-52) office along with patients, advocates and Peters’ constituents to protest Peters’ vote in the Budget Committee blocking the entire Big Back Better plan including giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for Americans. The event featured tombstones on site representing the nearly 110,000 seniors who will die in the coming year due to lack of access to affordable medications. The Grim Reaper urged Rep. Peters to do the right thing for San Diegans and people across the country when the final bill goes to the House floor. The event also included a sidewalk chalk mural depicting the toll of exorbitant drug prices on the health and lives of all Americans. 

VIGIL: On Wednesday, Protect Our Care held a candlelight vigil at Rep. Peters’ office urging him to reconsider his vote against giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. Polls show the proposal has support from 90 percent of registered voters in Peters’ district, but he continues to neglect their wellbeing in order to side with Big Pharma executives who have flooded him with cash, contributing over $860K to his coffers. 

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

GEORGIA

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

NEW: Protect Our Care Launches Ads in Arizona, New Jersey, and West Virginia Calling for Action To Lower Drug Prices

New Ads Are Running on Digital Platforms in AZ, NJ & WV

Watch “Arizona Patients Can’t Wait” Here

Watch “New Jersey Patients Can’t Wait” Here

Watch “West Virginia Patients Can’t Wait” Here

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care launched new digital ads in Arizona, New Jersey, and West Virginia as part of a multi-million dollar campaign about the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. The ads showcase the impact on patients when drug companies hike the price of essential medicines again and again. The ads make clear the importance of giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans.

The ads are part of The Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices, a grassroots and communications campaign calling for comprehensive legislation to lower drug prices. This ad series is running on digital platforms, focusing particularly on older residents. Protect Our Care will continue to run ads and host events both nationally and in 14 key states, including Arizona, New Jersey, and West Virginia, throughout the summer.

“It is shameful that Americans pay three times more for medicines than people in other countries,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “While drug company profits soar, they continue to hike the price of lifesaving drugs for people across the country, forcing millions of families to choose between paying for the medicines they need to live or paying for food or rent. It’s time for lawmakers to do the right thing and support giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices. The time to act is now.”

Example Script (AZ): “Arizona Patients Can’t Wait” (:30s):

It’s always the same thing. 

The costs of prescription drugs keep going up. 

How are patients supposed to afford this?

Families need these life-saving drugs just to stay alive.

Arizona families pay 3 times more than people do in other countries to get the same medicines. 

Drug companies make more and more profits, and drug prices go up and up for patients. 

We can’t wait any longer to act.

Congress needs to give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices

After 56 Years, Medicare and Medicaid Are Only Getting Stronger

56th Anniversary Comes as Congress Has Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Expand Vital Health Care Programs 

Washington, DC — On this day 56 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law, improving the well-being of millions of Americans and saving countless lives along the way. Now, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are working to make the programs even stronger by passing legislation to close the coverage gap in states that rejected Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices, and strengthen Medicare benefits to include vision, dental, and hearing. To mark this important anniversary, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

“The 56th anniversary comes during a historic moment for Medicare and Medicaid, which have served as a lifeline for millions of Americans. This summer, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are working to close the coverage gap in 12 states that refused Medicaid expansion, give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, and strengthen Medicare benefits to include vision, dental, and hearing — changes that will transform health care for millions of Americans. There has never been a more urgent time to improve access to health care as the nation recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, and Democrats are working hard to ensure that working families, seniors, and people with disabilities can rely on Medicare and Medicaid for generations to come. It speaks to the strength of these programs that, despite the Republican war on health care, Medicare and Medicaid are stronger than ever.” 

BACKGROUND:

Medicaid

Millions Of Americans Would Gain Coverage if Medicaid was Expanded in all Fifty States.. More than 18 million Americans are currently enrolled in Medicaid expansion, but according to estimates from the Urban Institute, nearly 6 million additional people would gain coverage if the 12 remaining holdout states expanded their programs. 

Medicaid Improves Outcomes Across The Board. Medicaid expansion has been proven to increase access to care, improve financial security, and create better health outcomes. Medicaid expansion has also played a vital role in reducing racial disparities in coverage. People of color make up nearly 60 percent of the people who could gain coverage in the remaining non-expansion states. 

Support For Medicaid Is At An All Time High. 75 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the Medicaid program and 61 percent of Americans in non-expansion states support expansion. 

Nearly One in Four Americans Rely On Medicaid For Coverage. Medicaid expansion has served as a critical safety net as millions have lost jobs and their employer-based health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unsurprisingly, Medicaid enrollment has grown to an all-time high of 74 million Americans in 2021. 

Medicare

Millions Of Americans Are Covered By Medicare. Nearly 38 million individuals are covered by traditional Medicare, serving as a reliable source of health coverage for millions of seniors and people with disabilities. 

Medicare Has No Out-Of-Pocket Limit For Prescription Drugs. Individuals on Medicare are the only insured Americans to have no cap for out-of-pocket medication costs. In 2019, average out-of-pocket costs for specialty medications surpassed $8,000, while 50 percent of Medicare recipients had incomes under $29,650.

Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Would Save Billions. Empowering Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices for all Americans would save patients more than $150 billion at the pharmacy counter and create $500 billion in savings for the federal government that could be reinvested to expand Medicare benefits to include dental, vision, and hearing and close the Medicaid coverage gap in the 12 states that have refused to accept expansion.

Medicare Benefit Expansion Is Essential. Millions of Medicare beneficiaries are struggling with dental problems, poor vision, and hearing loss due to cost. Between 47 and 64 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage, 74 percent lack vision coverage, and 76 percent go without hearing coverage.

HEADLINES: ACA Enrollment Continues to Surge During President Biden’s Special Enrollment Period

Nearly One Million People Have Signed Up for Coverage Since February. 

The Biden administration announced that 940,000 Americans signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace between February 15 and April 30. Importantly, many of  these enrollees have been able to take advantage of the dramatic savings under the American Rescue Plan, with the average monthly premiums falling to $86 for those signing up in April. Another two million enrollees that signed up before the American Rescue Plan’s subsidies took effect returned to the Marketplace and saw their premiums cut by 40 percent. Coverage makes clear that the success of the special enrollment period builds momentum as the Biden administration seeks to make the American Rescue Plan’s subsidies permanent. 

HEADLINES

New York Times: Nearly One Million People Signed Up For Obamacare Coverage This Spring. “A total of 940,000 people enrolled in Obamacare coverage between Feb. 15 and April 30, new data released Thursday by Health and Human Services shows. Of those new enrollees, nearly half bought coverage last month, after Congress added billions in subsidies included in the most recent stimulus package. With that additional funding, the average monthly premium that Healthcare.gov consumers paid fell to $86 for those signing up in April, down from $117 in February and March (before the new subsidies).” [New York Times, 5/6/21

  • New York Times: “The Surge In Sign-Ups Reflects A Growing Demand For Health Insurance.” “The surge in sign-ups reflects a growing demand for health insurance. Many Americans have lost job-based coverage during the pandemic, and others who were uninsured before found themselves newly interested in coverage. The numbers undercount the overall new insurance sign-ups; they reflect enrollment only in the 36 states with marketplaces that the federal government manages.” [New York Times, 5/6/21

Axios: Enrollment Surge May Help Democrats’ Push For ACA Changes. “Democrats’ big investments in the Affordable Care Act appear to be paying off.Driving the news: Almost 1 million Americans have signed up for ACA coverage since February, roughly half of them in April alone, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said yesterday. Why it matters: The strong enrollment numbers could help Democrats make the case that some of their changes to the ACA should become permanent.” [Axios, 5/7/21

  • Larry Levitt, Executive Vice President At The Kaiser Family Foundation, Said “The Success Of The ACA Enrollment Period…Has Political Significance For The Biden Administration, Looking To Build Support For A Permanent Increase In Premium Subsidies.” “‘The success of the ACA enrollment period has significance for the people who get newly covered or see their premiums or deductibles go down. It also has political significance for the Biden Administration, looking to build support for a permanent increase in premium subsidies,’ KFF executive vice president Larry Levitt tweeted.” [Axios, 5/7/21
  • On Average, New Enrollees Are Paying 25 Percent Less In Premiums Than Those Who Enrolled Before The American Rescue Plan’s Subsidies Took Effect. “People who enrolled after April 1 are paying, on average, 25% less in premiums than people who signed up in February or March. Deductibles were about 90% lower for people who signed up after the bigger subsidies took effect.” [Axios, 5/7/21
  • Two Million People Have Seen Their Premiums Fall By 40 Percent On Average After Going Back To The Marketplace And Recalculating Their Subsidies. “About 2 million people have seen their premiums fall after going back through the system to recalculate their costs after April 1, CMS said. The average savings for that group was 40%.” [Axios, 5/7/21

CNN: Almost A Million People Signed Up For Obamacare Coverage Through April After Biden Reopened Exchanges. “Almost a million people signed up for 2021 health insurance coverage on the federal Affordable Care Act exchange during the first 10 weeks of President Joe Biden’s special enrollment period, according to data released Thursday from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s well over double the number who turned to the exchange in the same period over the past two years, when enrollment was limited to those losing job-based policies and experiencing other major life events, such as divorce.” [CNN, 5/6/21

  • More Than 250,00 People Seeking Coverage During The SEP Have Found They Are Eligible For Medicaid. “Another 257,000 people seeking coverage during the special enrollment period were found to be eligible for Medicaid.” [CNN, 5/6/21
  • Two Million People Returned To The Marketplace And Saw Their Monthly Premiums Drop From $100 To $57 On Average. “About 1.9 million Obamacare enrollees returned to the federal exchange last month to take advantage of the heftier premium subsidies contained in the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. The assistance, which became available on April 1, has reduced monthly premiums by more than 40% — from $100 to $57, on average.” [CNN, 5/6/21
  • New Enrollees Saw Average Deductibles Fall By Nearly 90 Percent, From $450 To $50. “Also, the larger subsidies are enabling customers to sign up for plans with more generous benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs. The typical deductible for new consumers fell by nearly 90% to $50, from $450 for those selecting policies prior to April 1. Many of them likely have lower incomes and are eligible for additional cost-sharing subsidies.” [CNN, 5/6/21

The Hill: Nearly 940,000 Sign Up For ObamaCare Coverage In Special Enrollment. “The total number of new enrollees represents a jump from the more than 500,000 people who signed up for coverage by the end of March. The Biden administration implemented the special enrollment period to allow people who needed health insurance due to the disruption of the pandemic to have extra time to sign up. The period is slated to last until Aug. 15, meaning the number of enrollees could balloon even more” [The Hill, 5/6/21

Modern Healthcare: HealthCare.gov Sign-Ups Spike During Special Enrollment. “Nearly one million people have signed up for insurance through HealthCare.gov and premiums have fallen for many enrollees during the current special enrollment period, according to HHS on Thursday…The Biden plan also included expanding tax credits that would lower enrollees’ premiums. HHS said those tax credits lowered new enrollees’ average monthly premiums by 25%, and approximately 2 million people who returned to the exchanges saw 40% premium reductions. The median deductible for those selecting plans during the special enrollment period fell by 90%.” [Modern Healthcare, 5/6/21

MSNBC: Biden’s ACA Special Enrollment Period Continues To Pay Off. “Note, of the nearly 940,000 American consumers who’ve taken advantage of the special enrollment period, roughly half signed up for ACA coverage in the month of April…What’s more, this good news coincides with the expansive new ACA benefits included in the Democrats’ COVID relief package: Some will see their premiums cut in half, while millions will see their premiums fall to literally zero, thanks entirely to the investments in the American Rescue Plan.” [MSNBC, 5/6/21

Axios: Biden Administration Announces 940,000 ACA Sign-Ups So Far This Year. “There was a surge in sign-ups of about 470,000 people in the month of April alone. New subsidies and stimulus began April 1. By the numbers: Since April 1, premiums have decreased by an average of more than 40%, from $100 to $57, for almost 2 million enrollees, according to the Health and Human Services Department.” [Axios, 5/6/21]

ACA At 11: Health Care For Rural Americans

Protect Our Care Is Marking the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act With 11 Days Celebrating the Success of the Health Care Law

Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, and millions of people gained coverage and critical protections as a result. The ACA opened the door for states to expand Medicaid, which has helped an estimated 1.7 million rural Americans gain coverage. Health care for rural Americans is especially important due to higher prevalence of pre-existing conditions and barriers to accessing health care. 

After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are now working to build on the strong foundation of the law to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, historic legislation that includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade. This will help rural Americans in particular, who still experience lower coverage rates. In addition to providing affordable coverage options for millions of uninsured Americans through the ACA, the American Rescue Plan provides robust financial incentives for the 14 states* that have not yet implemented Medicaid expansion. 

As the nation continues to face this unprecedented health care crisis, Medicaid expansion is especially important for reducing uncompensated care costs and protecting rural hospitals from financial peril. Medicaid expansion is a critical part of our response to coronavirus, but Republicans in 12 states have rejected expansion, blocking millions from coverage. All of these states are in the southern and midwest regions with significant rural populations. 

Thanks To The ACA:

  • Nearly 1.7 Million Rural Americans Gained Coverage Through Medicaid Expansion. Thanks to the ACA, nearly 1.7 million rural Americans gained Medicaid coverage. 
  • In 2017, Nearly 1 In 5 Marketplace Enrollees Lived In Rural Areas. 1.6 million enrolled in ACA coverage lived in rural areas in 2017. 
  • The Uninsured Rate For Low-Income Adults Fell By More Than Half In Rural Areas With Medicaid Expansion. The uninsured rate for low-income adults dropped from 35 percent to 16 percent in rural areas and small towns in states that expanded Medicaid. 

Medicaid Expansion Is A Lifeline For Rural Hospitals:

  • Medicaid Covers Nearly One In Four Rural Americans. Medicaid covers nearly 24 percent of rural Americans, 45 percent of rural children, 15 percent of rural seniors, and pays for 51 percent of rural births. 
  • Rural Hospitals In Medicaid Expansion States Are 62 Percent Less Likely To Close. 75 percent of vulnerable rural hospitals are in non-expansion states. 
  • The ACA Reduces Uncompensated Care Costs. Medicaid expansion has saved hospitals an average of $6.4 million in uncompensated care costs, with safety-net hospitals seeing even greater savings. In 2017, uncompensated care costs comprised 6 percent of total expenses for hospitals in states that rejected Medicaid expansiondouble the amount for hospitals located in expansion states. 
  • 430 Rural Hospitals Were Already At A High Financial Risk Of Closing Before The Pandemic. Roughly 430 rural hospitals are at a high financial risk of closing. This represents roughly 21 percent of the country’s rural hospitals. 
  • More Than 130 Rural Hospitals Have Closed Since 2010. Nineteen closures were reported in 2020, topping the previous record of 18 rural hospitals closing in 2019 . The vast majority closed in states that had not expanded Medicaid at the time of the hospital closure.

The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Plays A Central Role In Fighting The Opioid Crisis:

The ACA includes critical provisions, including protections for pre-existing conditions and guaranteed coverage of essential health benefits, for individuals suffering from substance use disorder, and Medicaid expansion in particular has dramatically improved access to treatment. 

  • An Estimated Four In 10 People With An Opioid Use Disorder Are Covered By Medicaid. It is estimated that Medicaid expansion covers four in ten people with an opioid use disorder. In 2014, Medicaid paid for 25 percent of all addiction treatment nationwide.
  • Among Those With Opioid Addiction, People Covered Through Medicaid Are Nearly Twice As Likely As Those With Private Insurance To Receive Treatment. In 2017, 44 percent of people who had substance use disorders received treatment when they were covered through Medicaid, significantly higher than the 24 percent of those privately insured who received treatment and 32 percent of those who were uninsured and received treatment.
  • Medicaid Expansion Has Reduced Unmet Need For Substance Use Treatment By More Than 18 Percent. Recent research finds that Medicaid expansion reduced the unmet need for substance use treatment by 18.3 percent.
  • Medicaid Expansion May Have Saved More Than 8,000 People From Fatal Opioid Overdoses. A recent study found that Medicaid expansion prevented as many as 8,132 deaths in the 32 states that expanded Medicaid between 2014 and 2016.
  • The Uninsured Rate For Opioid-Related Hospitalizations In Medicaid Expansion States Dropped By 79 Percent. In expansion states, the uninsured rate for opioid-related hospitalizations dropped from 13.4 percent in 2013 to 2.9 percent in 2015. Non-expansion states only saw a 5 percent decline over the same period.

ACA At 11: Marketplace Signups & Financial Assistance

Protect Our Care Is Marking the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act With 11 Days Celebrating the Success of the Health Care Law

Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, and millions of people gained coverage and critical protections as a result. Among the many benefits of the health care law, the ACA introduced financial assistance to help people purchase comprehensive coverage on the individual marketplaces. The ACA marketplaces, along with the expansion of Medicaid, helped more than 20 million Americans gain coverage.

After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are now working to build on the strong foundation of the law to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, historic legislation that includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade. The American Rescue Plan lowers premiums for people purchasing coverage through the marketplaces and expands access to financial assistance for more middle-class families. 

Thanks To The ACA:

More than 11 million people have coverage through the individual market — and this number is growing. In 2020, 11.4 million people were covered by marketplace plans. This number is growing after President Biden opened a special enrollment period (SEP) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; in just the first two weeks of the SEP, more than 206,000 Americans signed up for coverage. 

Tax credits are available to help people afford coverage. Because of the ACA, most people getting coverage on the marketplace qualify for tax credits to help pay for coverage. 9.6 million of the ACA’s 11.4 million marketplace enrollees receive premium tax credits. 

Enrollees are guaranteed comprehensive coverage. Because of the ACA, insurers have to cover what are known as “essential health benefits,” such as maternity care, prescription drugs, and substance and mental health. Additionally, these plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. People who purchase ACA plans are also protected from annual and lifetime limits, and they cannot be charged more for having a pre-existing condition. 

How The American Rescue Plan Will Further Expand Coverage, Lower Costs On The ACA Marketplaces: 

Increasing financial assistance on the ACA marketplaces means more people will be able to get the affordable coverage they need during the pandemic. In addition to lowering costs for the nine million people currently receiving financial assistance on the marketplace, the American Rescue plan makes generous subsidies available to 14.9 million uninsured people, according to estimates from the Biden administration. Per the New York Times: “For someone earning over $51,000, new subsidies could lower premiums by as much as $1,000 a month in the country’s most expensive markets.” Experts have confirmed that as many as 25 million Americans stand to benefit from these changes.  

  • Guarantee coverage that costs less than 8.5 percent of income. This legislation lowers the cost of premiums for Americans purchasing coverage through the ACA marketplaces, ensuring enrollees have the option to purchase health care for less than 8.5 percent of their income for the next two years. Under current law, families earning just above 400 percent of the federal poverty level spend an average of 15 percent of their incomes on health insurance. 
  • Make coverage more affordable by temporarily expanding 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. An estimated 3.4 million people earn too much to qualify for subsidies and remain uninsured. According to estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, under the American Rescue Plan: 
    • The average 45-year-old earning $60,000 will save $86 in monthly premiums. 
    • A 60-year-old couple with a household income of $75,000 will save $1,389 in monthly premiums. 
    • A family of four with a household income of $120,000 will save $595 in monthly premiums. 
  • Improve affordability for low- and middle-income Americans by increasing the size of the tax credits for all income brackets for the next two years. This means a typical family of four with a household income of $75,000 will save $248 on monthly premiums, while a single adult earning $30,000 will save $110 per month. The Biden administration estimates that four out of five enrollees will be able find a plan for $10 or less per month after tax credits.
  • Eliminate premiums in the exchanges for people 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) and for those receiving unemployment insurance in 2021. Families USA estimates that more than four million uninsured workers relying on unemployment insurance stand to benefit from this extension of premium subsidies. 

NEW VIDEO: President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and HHS Secretary Becerra Marking 11th Anniversary of the ACA with Protect Our Care

Video Features Democratic Leaders Celebrating the ACA and the Historic Improvements in the American Rescue Plan

Watch the Video Here

Washington, DC — As the celebration of the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act wraps up, Protect Our Care released a new video featuring President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra talking about the achievements of the ACA and the latest expansions of the ACA included in American Rescue Plan. Because of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans gained health coverage. After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the law, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are delivering on their health care promises by passing the American Rescue Plan, which builds on the strong foundation of the ACA to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. 

ACA At 11: Health Care For LGBTQ Americans

Protect Our Care Is Marking the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act With 11 Days Celebrating the Success of the Health Care Law

Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, and millions of people gained coverage and critical protections as a result. The LGBTQ community has unique health care needs and has historically experienced high rates of uninsurance and barriers to coverage and care, such as discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The ACA’s consumer protections, along with the expansion of Medicaid and creation of financial assistance to help people purchase marketplace coverage, made affordable health care a reality for many LGBTQ Americans. 

After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are now working to build on the strong foundation of the law to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, historic legislation that includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade. Making coverage more affordable and accessible is especially important for LGBTQ people, who are significantly more likely than non-LGBTQ people to live in poverty and to face barriers to accessing care. The health care measures in the American Rescue Plan will have profound impacts on disparities in health care access and outcomes, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit LGTBQ Americans much harder than others. 

Thanks To The ACA:

The ACA Prohibits Discrimination Of LGBTQ Americans, Women, And Individuals With Disabilities In Health Care Settings. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any health program or activity receiving federal assistance. It also prohibits these types of discrimination in health programs and activities administered by HHS as well as the ACA marketplaces. 

LGBTQ Americans Cannot Be Denied Coverage Or Charged More For Pre-Existing Conditions. Because of the ACA, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to individuals or charge them more because of pre-existing conditions. This includes transgender-related medical history as well as substance use disorders, HIV, depression, and other conditions disproportiately affecting LGBTQ Americans. According to the Center for American Progress, 65 percent of LGBTQ adults had a pre-existing condition in 2017, compared to 51 percent of all U.S. adults. 

A Closer Look At How The ACA Is Working For LGBTQ Americans:

The ACA Dramatically Reduced Uninsured Rates For LGBTQ Americans. Before the ACA came into effect, one in three (34 percent) LGBTQ people making less than $45,000 per year were uninsured. Just one year after the health care law was implemented, in 2014, the rate of uninsurance for this group dropped to 26 percent and by June 2020, it was 16 percent. The Center for American Progress estimates that nearly 900,000 LGBTQ adults are covered through the ACA marketplaces. 

Medicaid Expansion Played A Key Role In Expanding Coverage To LGBTQ Americans. The ACA expanded Medicaid to childless adults and increased income eligibility levels nationwide, helping many LGBTQ Americans gain coverage. A June 2020 survey from the Center for American Progress found that in states that adopted Medicaid expansion, just 8 percent of LGBTQ adults were uninsured. By comparison, in states that have rejected expansion, the rate of uninsured LGBTQ adults was 20 percent. CAP estimates that nearly 2 million LGTBQ people are covered by Medicaid nationwide.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Protect Our Care Mark the 11th Anniversary of ACA

ACA Provides Critical Health Care Protections, Is Invaluable Lifeline for Americans During the Pandemic

Watch the Event Here

Washington, DC — On the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Protect Our Care and a health care storyteller from Georgia for an online event about how the health care law has benefitted millions of Americans since its passage, and the work still needed to ensure all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. During the event, speakers covered the historic nature of the ACA, its impact on Americans’ lives, and how the law is stronger than ever after the enhancements passed in the American Rescue Plan, which further expand coverage and lower costs.

“For eleven years, the landmark Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage, lowered costs and secured lifesaving protections for hard-working families,” said House Speaker Pelosi. “Today, the ACA stands as a great pillar of economic and health security for the American people, alongside Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats will continue to work For The People to build on the Affordable Care Act to lower health costs and prescription drug prices for all Americans. On this anniversary, Democrats renew our commitment to strengthen and expand the ACA’s lifesaving protections – because quality, affordable health care must be a right, not a privilege, for all.”

“Today, on the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we can proudly say our health care law is better and stronger than ever!” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The ACA has meant the difference between life and death for millions of people across the country. Because Democrats fought for this law, Americans can’t be denied coverage or dropped by their insurance company if they have a pre-existing condition. Democrats are building on the strong foundation of the ACA with the American Rescue Plan, which includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade, and we will continue working to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care.”

“Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer worked tirelessly to pass and protect the Affordable Care Act — and now the American Rescue Plan. Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan without a single Republican vote even though the law enjoys overwhelmingly bipartisan support among voters,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The American Rescue Plan is the boldest expansion of health care in a decade and has historic provisions to reduce premiums for millions of Americans, including those who lost their jobs during the pandemic, and invest in addressing racial disparities in our health care system. The Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan are changing people’s lives by making sure they can get the health care they need, and Protect Our Care looks forward to working with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer to pass legislation that reduces prescription drug costs and further expands coverage.” 

“For the past 11 years, the ACA has been a tremendous lifeline for me because I’ve lived the last decade and then some with several pre-existing medical conditions that range across the spectrum of autoimmune illnesses, and President Biden signing the American Rescue Plan has given me new hope,” said Himali Patel, a Georgia small business owner negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “With the American Rescue Plan, getting the coverage I need through the Affordable Care Act is going to be even less expensive than it was before. My premiums are going down to almost zero.”