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GOP Tax Bill Will Raise Costs for Middle-Class Families And Could Result In 15 Million Fewer People…

Having repeatedly failed to repeal health care, President Trump and Republicans in Congress want to use their tax cut bill to try again. Republicans proposed paying for their huge tax cut for the rich in part by eliminating a tax deduction for people with high medical costs. In addition, there are talks of repealing the individual responsibility provision in the Affordable Care Act as another way to pay for these tax cuts. Repealing these two provisions would adversely impact people who need health care the most and raise costs on everyone. Here is the impact of the GOP’s latest effort to repeal health care:

  • 15 million more uninsured. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that repealing the individual responsibility provision would result in 15 million more people uninsured.
  • 20 percent higher premiums. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated repealing the individual responsibility provision would raise premiums 20 percent next year.
  • Higher costs for seniors in long-term care. The House GOP bill eliminates a tax deduction for people with costly health care bills, including long-term care.
  • Higher costs for people with pre-existing conditions. Repealing the individual responsibility provision would lead to the so-called “death spiral” in the individual market. In other words, younger and healthier people would not sign up for coverage, making coverage more expensive for older and sicker people.

Protect Our Care Statement on GOP Once Again Targeting Health Care to Pay for Tax Breaks for the…

In response to the House GOP releasing its tax plan today that would eliminate a tax deduction for people with high medical costs, Protect Our Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“This would be a joke if the consequences weren’t so serious,” Woodhouse said. “The GOP just can’t help themselves. No matter the policy proposal under consideration, Republican leaders are determined to raise health care costs for middle-class families who need it most — in this case people with high medical costs or those paying for long-term care — so they can give more tax cuts to the rich. The American people want us to lower their health care costs. This tax plan would raise them for the sole purpose of funding more tax breaks for the well-to-do. If the GOP thinks passing tax breaks for the rich is hard now, try raising people’s health care costs to pay for them — we’ll be sure to make it even harder.”

Trump Administration Failing at Open Enrollment Outreach

Protect Our Care Blasts Trump for Bare Bones Outreach Efforts as Open Enrollment, Which Runs From Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, Begins

Washington, D.C. — As open enrollment for coverage through HealthCare.gov began yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration is continuing its campaign of sabotage, having sent 20 million fewer outreach notices than in previous years. This follows the administration’s slashing of the outreach budget by 90 percent.

“Donald Trump is hell-bent on sabotaging American health care no matter how many people it harms,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “Open enrollment is the best opportunity for people without health insurance to get the coverage they need. It’s critical that consumers know what’s available to them, how low costs can be and that it’s time to sign up. But the Trump administration is too busy trying to undermine the law, and this half-baked attempt at open enrollment is sabotage.”

The administration’s bare-bones emails explain the absolute minimum to consumers: open enrollment start and end dates, a warning that the enrollment period is shorter this year and a statement that people “can confirm, change or update” a plan. The emails do not include information on the affordability of many plans on the marketplace or about the availability of cost-sharing reductions, not the fact that marketplace plans for less than $75 per month are available to 8 in 10 people.

Furthermore, the administration is not sending emails to millions of consumers who were previously insured through the marketplace or had explored the HealthCare.gov website.

“The American people already blame President Trump and congressional Republicans for the uncertainty around health care, and Americans oppose their efforts at repeal and sabotage,” continued Woodhouse. “Open enrollment is a critical component of ensuring the health care law succeeds. If this administration insists on sabotaging open enrollment and undermining the health care of the American people, you can bet President Trump and Republicans in Congress will be held accountable.”

Protect Our Care Statement On Republican Proposal to Repeal Health Care to Pay For Tax Cuts to the…

In response to President Trump and other GOP members calling for a repeal of the individual mandate to pay for tax cuts, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“This is a joke,” said Woodhouse. “Republicans are proposing to pay for hundreds of millions of dollar in high-income tax cuts by increasing the number of insured by 15 million and raising premiums by twenty percent, on top of the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts they aren’t paying for. Some Republicans understand how politically dumb this move would be, which is why they have been throwing cold water on it.”

“The American people have rejected health care repeal time and again,” said Woodhouse. “It’s time to move on.”

TRUTH CHECK: 5 Lies from Trump’s New Health Care Campaign Ad

The Trump re-election campaign just launched a national cable advertising campaign meant to distract from his troubles, distort the truth on health care and potentially damage the open enrollment period that starts tomorrow. The Trump administration’s health care repeal agenda has been rejected by voters and by Congress because it would rip coverage away from tens of millions Americans, increase premiums 20% and gut protections like those for people with pre-existing conditions.

Sadly, that doesn’t stop them from using lies and distortions to push it once again.

“The Trump campaign is using the worst of distortion and lies about health care to distract from the president’s problems,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “Sadly, it has led him back to his favorite target — hurting health care for middle class families.”

Learn the truth…

LIE #1: “OBAMACARE IS FAILING”

FACT: The Affordable Care Act Is Not Failing

  • CBO: ACA Market Is Stable. The non-partisan CBO found that under current law, the ACA’s mix of carrots and sticks “are anticipated to cause sufficient demand for insurance by people with low health care expenditures for the market to be stable.”
  • ACA Market Will Remain Stable So Long As The Trump Administration Is Not “Disruptive.” S&P Global repeatedly reports that “2016 results and the market enrollment so far in 2017 show that the ACA individual market is not in a ‘death spiral.’” And, S&P expects the individual health insurance market is set for stability and profitability as long as the Administration is not “disruptive.”
  • The Affordable Care Act Has Brought Financial Security To Millions Of People. The National Bureau of Economic Research looked at the impacts of expanding Medicaid and found that the number of unpaid bills and debt has been reduced for those who gained coverage from the expanded Medicaid program.
  • No Bare Counties. Again, as in years past, residents in each county will have plans to choose from on the individual market.

FACT: Despite The Law’s Success, The Trump Administration Is Attempting to Sabotage The ACA

While President Trump and Republicans in Congress have been unable to repeal the health care law, they have been doing everything they can to sabotage the marketplace, including:

  • President Trump defunding the law’s mandatory cost-sharing-reduction payments, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office said would increase rates by 20% in 2018 and 25% in 2020.
  • Cutting 90% of the funding for advertising to support open enrollment.
  • President Trump signing an Executive Order on his first day in office demanding that agencies dismantle as much of the law as they can.
  • Signing an Executive Order to create garbage insurance plans which will raise premiums, slash coverage and end protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
  • Pursuing partisan repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which has created uncertainty in the market and led to higher premiums.

And these actions have had a significant impact on premiums across the country:

  • Alaska — Alaska Public Media: Premera to bump up premium to cover Trump cut
  • Arizona — Cronkite News: Cancer survivor says Trump plan sabotages health insurance coverage
  • Colorado — The Denver Channel: Colorado premiums will rise by 6% on top of existing hikes after Trump ends CSR subsidy payments
  • North Carolina — WRAL: Trump’s move prompts 14 percent rate increase on Blue Cross ACA plans
  • Pennsylvania — Philly Voice: Trump cuts to drive up Obamacare premiums in Pennsylvania by 30 percent

LIE #2: “INSURANCE PREMIUMS SKYROCKETING”

FACT: Tax Credits Help People Get Affordable Coverage

HHS: 80 Percent Of Marketplace Enrollees Can Obtain 2018 Coverage For $75 Or Less Per Month After Tax Credits. [HHS Marketplace Landscape Report, 10/30/17]

FACT: With Stable Policy By The Trump Administration, Premium Increases Would Have Been Lower

Kaiser Family Foundation: Lack Of CSR Payments Resulted In Surcharge In Premiums Of 7.1 To 38 Percent. “As shown in Table 1, among those insurers that specify the surcharge on silver plans for the discontinuation of CSR payments, the amount of the surcharge ranges from 7.1% to 38%.” [KFF, 10/27/17]

LIE #3: WORKING FAMILIES SUFFER WHILE DEMOCRATS…BLOCK A BETTER PLAN TO REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE ONCE AND FOR ALL

FACT: Every Iteration Of A GOP Health Care Repeal Bill Results In Less Coverage, Higher Costs, And Fewer Protections All To Give Tax Breaks For The Wealthy And Big Corporations

LIE #4: “HE WANTS WHAT’S BEST FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: TOP QUALITY HEALTH CARE YOU CAN AFFORD”

FACT: President Trump’s favored Health Care Repeal Bill, The Graham-Cassidy Bill, Goes Even Further Than Previous Efforts To Gut Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

  • “The New Version Appears To Go Further In Weakening Protections For Sick People, Apparently To Win Over Conservatives Who Continue To Express Reservations.” [Washington Post Plum Line, 9/25/17]
  • “The Bill Continues, However, To Give States Broad New Authority To Allow Insurance Companies To Provide Skimpier Plans With Far Fewer Benefits While Charging Higher Premiums To The Sick And The Old.” [Bloomberg, 9/25/17]
  • “The New Draft Attempts To Win Over Skeptical Conservatives By Further Weakening Consumer Protections For Americans In Bad Health.” [Slate, 9/25/17]
  • “States Would Have Even More Flexibility To Roll Back Some Of The Affordable Care Act’s Insurance Regulations — Including The Guarantees It Provides For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.” [Axios, 9/25/17]
  • Independent Analyses “Have Concluded That Major Funding Cuts And Loosened Insurance Regulations In The Bill Will Likely Erode Coverage For Many Vulnerable Americans.” [LA Times, 9/25/17]
  • “States Could Loosen Coverage Requirements Under The Law’s Mandates, Including Prohibiting Insurers From Charging Seriously Ill People Higher Premiums And Letting Them Sell Policies Covering Fewer Services.” [Associated Press, 9/25/17]

LIE #5: DEMOCRATS “[OBSTRUCT] OUR PRESIDENT JUST TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS”

FACT: President Trump’s White House Pulled The Plug On Good Faith Bipartisan Negotiations

“House Speaker Paul Ryan And The White House Have Informed Senate Republican Leaders That They Oppose A Bipartisan Plan To Stabilize Obamacare Being Written In The Senate.” “House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White House have informed Senate Republican leaders that they oppose a bipartisan plan to stabilize Obamacare being written in the Senate, according to Trump administration and congressional sources, in a clear bid to boost the Senate’s prospects of repealing the health law.” [Politico, 9/19/17] “President Donald Trump Will Oppose Any Congressional Attempts To Reinstate Funding For Obamacare Subsidies.” [Politico, 10/13/17]

FACT: Time And Time Again, The American People Have Rejected Health Care Repeal

Poll: GOP Effort To Repeal Health Care Is The Most Unpopular Piece Of Legislation In Three Decades. [Axios, 7/7/17]

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Majority Want President Trump And Congress To Work On Legislation To Stabilize The Marketplaces Over Repeal Efforts. “The majority of the public think it is more important for President Trump and Congress to work on legislation to stabilize the marketplaces in order to minimize premiums increases and encourage more insurers to participate in the marketplaces than continue efforts to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law (66 percent vs. 29 percent).” [KFF, 10/13/17]

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: 7 In 10 Say It Is ‘Extremely’ Or ‘Very’ Important For Congress To Pass Legislation To Stabilize ACA Marketplaces. “This is followed by seven in ten (69 percent) who say [it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important for Congress to pass] legislation to stabilize the ACA marketplaces in order to minimize premium increases and encourage more insurers to offer health plans.” [KFF, 9/22/17]

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: Most Americans, Including The Majority Of Trump Supporters, Think Trump Should Do What He Can To Make The ACA Work. “A large share of Americans (78 percent) think President Trump and his administration should do what they can to make the current health care law work while few (17 percent) say they should do what they can to make the law fail so they can replace it later. About half of Republicans and supporters of President Trump say the Trump administration should do what they can to make the law work (52 percent and 51 percent, respectively) while about four in ten say they should do what they can to make the law fail (40 percent and 39 percent, respectively).” [KFF, 8/11/17]

Protect Our Care: Don’t Be Afraid — Enroll

On Eve of Open Enrollment, Protect Our Care Urges Americans to Ignore Trump and GOP’s Sabotage Efforts and Enroll in Health Care

Washington, D.C. — On the eve of the 45-day open enrollment period to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Protect Our Care is urging Americans to enroll in health insurance. Protect Our Care’s message is simple: Because of the Affordable Care Act, health coverage remains affordable and available in every county in America for millions of Americans who need it. And if you want to thwart President Trump and the GOP’s efforts to sabotage American health care, you should enroll or help someone get enrolled between November 1st and December 15th.

Despite President Trump’s partisan repeal efforts, and repeated efforts at sabotage, the law remains strong and continues to provide affordable access to health care to Americans. In fact:

  • 80% of people in HealthCare.gov states can find a plan for less than $75/month, up from 71% last year, more people than ever before
  • 100% of counties have an insurer offering coverage despite President Trump and the GOP’s repeated lies to the contrary
  • 70% of counties have at least two issuers, meaning consumers have multiple plans to choose from
  • In nearly every county in America, some consumers will have access to insurance with zero dollar premiums contingent on age and income

“While many Americans will pay more due to President Trump’s sabotage, millions of Americans can still find affordable health coverage,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “Despite Trump’s partisan repeal efforts and sabotage, the law remains strong and continues to provide affordable access to health care for Americans. Every county has issuers providing coverage, 8 in 10 Americans can find a plan for less than $75 a month and more people than ever can find a plan with no premium at all. And, while we will remain vigilant and will continue to call out all of Trump’s efforts to sabotage the law and open enrollment, the best way for Americans to fight back against the President’s politically-motivated efforts to undermine the law is to enroll in health care or help someone who needs coverage get enrolled. What better way to send a message to President Trump and congressional Republicans to drop sabotage and partisan repeal than to make this open enrollment exceed all expectations?”

Get America Covered has all the open enrollment information necessary, including how to sign up for health insurance, how to spread the word about open enrollment and more.

Protect Our Care Statement On Proposed CMS Rule

In response to the announcement of proposed rulemaking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse:

“This is an outrageous attempt to sabotage the Affordable Care Act through executive action,” said Woodhouse. “President Trump and his administration are unwilling to accept that Congress and the American people have rejected their historically-unpopular partisan repeal. President Trump is so intent on sticking it to President Obama that he is going out of his way to sabotage the Affordable Care Act no matter who it hurts — slashing funding for open enrollment, ending cost-sharing reduction payments and now proposing to gut the heart of the protections that ensure access to comprehensive affordable care critical to preventing discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, which polling shows is the most popular provision of the law.

“President Trump routinely proclaims he is against insurer ‘bailouts,’ but this proposed rule would also allow insurance companies to fill their coffers by raising their rates and lowering consumer rebates at the expense of providing care and without the necessary scrutiny from state insurance regulators.

“The Trump administration should be focused on strengthening our health care system rather than sabotaging it. It’s beyond time for Republicans in Congress to stand up to this unprecedented assault on our nation’s health care system.”

Protect Our Care Statement Regarding President Trump’s Impending Public Health Emergency…

In response to President Trump’s impending declaration that the country’s opioid epidemic is a public health emergency, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“President Trump’s impending declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency is hollow when contrasted with his continued push to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Woodhouse. “The President and Republicans in Congress have repeatedly voted for health care repeal that would gut Medicaid, and take treatment away from people with substance use disorders. In some of the hardest hit states like Ohio and West Virginia, Medicaid pays for nearly half of buprenorphine-based medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. President Trump and the GOP have attempted to end Medicaid expansion through repeal, an act analysis after analysis after analysis after analysis has shown would only worsen the opioid crisis. If President Trump truly wants to help those suffering under this terrible epidemic, he’ll abandon his reckless and partisan efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

Protect Our Care Statement on Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments Decision

In response to today’s decision on cost-sharing reduction payments, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Today’s decision only reinforces the need that Alexander-Murray needs to be passed immediately,” said Woodhouse. “The reality in health care is that President Trump’s sabotage is forcing premiums up 20 percent, growing the deficit by nearly 200 billion and making it more difficult for those who need health care to get it. That’s why a bipartisan majority of Senators agree that alleviating this sabotage through legislation is the best path forward. There is no time to waste — the Alexander-Murray bill should move forward immediately.”

SIREN: A Trump Administration Health Care Official Told the Truth (Partially)

During the Medical Innovation Summit in Cleveland this week, CMS Administrator Seema Verma made a stunning admission — the Affordable Care Act is working.

Despite President Trump repeatedly saying it’s a failure and demanding its repeal, Administrator Verma shared a more accurate view, saying:

“The ACA did cover more people, it did drive up quality across the country, but it did not control the escalating cost of healthcare.”

For months, the Trump administration has argued that the Affordable Care Act meant fewer people would have access to coverage and the coverage wasn’t any good. The truth is:

  • 20 million Americans got health care because of the Affordable Care Act, taking our uninsured rate to the lowest point in history at the start of the Trump administration.
  • The Affordable Care Act strengthened the quality of coverage by requiring insurance companies to cover those with pre-existing conditions, outlawing junk insurance policies and ensuring coverage for preventative care like routine doctor’s visits and certain cancer screenings.

It’s going to be hard for the GOP to argue it was a failure any more. Thanks, Administrator Verma!

Unfortunately, Verma also said that the Affordable Care Act did not control the escalating costs of health care, but she must have missed the fact that at the start of the Trump administration, health care price inflation had risen at the slowest rate in 50 years. Well, can’t get it all right…