July Recess

Message Guidance

By going to court to overturn our health care laws, President Trump and his Republican allies are trying to do what they couldn’t do in Congress: strike down the Affordable Care Act.

The Texas lawsuit would raise health care costs, gut protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and rip insurance away from millions of Americans. It would give power to the insurance companies to sell policies that don’t cover people when they are sick and fully eliminate Medicaid expansion. The lawsuit is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people, including large numbers of independents and republicans.

Oral arguments for the Texas lawsuit begin on July 9.

Polling done by the Kaiser Family Foundation and by Public Policy Polling show voters reject the Trump administration’s health care lawsuit. The polling is even worse when the individual consequences are discussed.

In April, The Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll found voters oppose this lawsuit overturning the Affordable Care Act by 15 points (39%-54%), with that lead expanding to 26 points (33%-59%) among independents.

In May, Public Policy Polling (PPP) found voters oppose this lawsuit by 17 points (31%-58%).

You can find detailed, state-specific facts about the lawsuit from Protect Our Care HERE.

Trump’s lawsuit means higher costs for worse care

President Trump’s lawsuit to completely eliminate the Affordable Care Act would rip insurance away from millions of Americans, gut protections for pre-existing conditions and raise costs. It would give insurance companies power to charge as much as they want and cover as little as they want, while paying their CEOs more and padding their profits. If Trump overturns health care, it would:

  • Gut protections for every American with a pre-existing condition
  • Hike premiums for millions of Americans
  • No longer allow children to stay on their parents health care plan until 26
  • Allow insurance companies to not cover drug costs and to charge women more than men
  • Increase the number of uninsured by 65%
  • Let insurance companies use premiums for unlimited executive bonuses instead of paying for care

Voters loudly rejected health care repeal in 2018, and now Donald Trump is going to court to overrule them. Health care repeal was the #1 issue in the midterms and is the #1 issue the American people want Congress to address.

Every Republican owns this lawsuit. Republicans have tried for years to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Trump administration has actively tried to sabotage it. 18 states led by Republican state officials are supporting Trump’s lawsuit and Republicans in the House voted for it.

And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans continue their larger war on health care…

In addition to Trump’s lawsuit, the Republican repeal and sabotage agenda raises costs, weakens protections, reduces coverage, and puts drug and insurance company profits first.

  • Trump’s newly proposed budget includes nearly $1 trillion in Medicare cuts and $1.5 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, and repeats his call to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump promised to never cut Medicare and Medicaid when he ran for president.
  • The Trump and Republican tax bill gave hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to insurance and drug companies. Their profits and CEO salaries soar while you pay more.
  • Republicans continue their relentless sabotage efforts. They want insurance companies to sell you junk plans that don’t cover pre-existing conditions and charge you more when you get sick. And they want to require ridiculous paperwork requirements as a way of kicking you off Medicaid.

A Health Care Recess Focused on the TX Lawsuit

Trump’s lawsuit to destroy health care will be front and center during the July congressional recess. The combination of the upcoming oral arguments for the lawsuit starting July 9 and the aggressive “lower costs, better health care” agenda driven by Democrats in the House and Senate has helped to ensure health care is, and will remain, the top issue in the 2020 elections.

The core message for Democrats is a simple and persuasive one — President Trump and Republicans want to take away your health care, raise your costs, and give more power to insurance and drug companies. Democrats want to lower costs, improve care and give power back to you.

This July recess is a critical opportunity to build on the momentum of the last two months, hold the President and Republicans accountable for supporting this disastrous Texas lawsuit to destroy health care, and highlight the positive Democratic agenda of lower costs and better care.

Below are suggested events, key talking points, as well as a fact sheet on the impacts of the Trump lawsuit, along with a GOP war on health care tracker, and a copy of the proactive Democratic agenda. More detailed state-by-state impacts are available on protectourcare.org/july-recess.

Protect Our Care is ready to help you in support of these events and where possible help you find constituents who can lift this message up with their personal stories.

What a press opportunity could look like

Potential earned media events or opportunities to highlight the consequences of repealing the ACA through the Trump lawsuit could include:

Penning an op-ed: Discussing the Trump/GOP relentless war on health care, how they are trying to use the courts to do what they could not do legislatively, and the consequences of repealing the ACA to key constituent groups.

Hosting a health care roundtable with real people impacts: This could be an opportunity to have an intimate discussion with constituents, medical experts, health care advocates, and people who would be hurt by repealing the ACA.

Touring a health care facility: You could visit a health care facility such as a nursing home, hospital, community health center, or clinical practice to talk with doctors, nurses and medical professionals about what the consequences of repealing the ACA. This event could shine a light on the work to address the opioid epidemic or strengthening rural hospitals.

Hosting a press conference: centered on the Trump lawsuit, highlighting how repealing the ACA would create chaos in our health system, result in more uninsured, higher costs and no protections for people with pre-existing conditions.:

  • Storyteller/validator: This should be a constituent with a story about how they have personally benefited from the ACA and the harm taking their health insurance away would cause.
  • Doctor or health care expert: A doctor or health policy expert who could talk about the specific impact of the ACA from the perspective of the medical community and the real-life benefits had for patients and how its repeal would cause chaos in the system and quality of care for patients.
  • State Attorneys General: If your home state’s attorney general opposes the lawsuit, they can provide insight and validation from the legal perspective. Alternatively, if your AG is signed onto the lawsuit, you can call on them to remove your state.

Constituencies to highlight

People with pre-existing conditions: Repealing the ACA would allow insurance companies to deny people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, asthma or heart disease coverage or charge them more.

Middle class family receiving tax credits whose costs would increase: Repealing the ACA would eliminate tax credits for people to pay for coverage. Most people on the marketplaces receive tax credits.

People with disabilities: Repealing the ACA would eliminate Medicaid expansion, which many nonelderly adults with disabilities depend on for care, and end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including people with disabilities.

Older people: Repealing the ACA would allow insurance companies to charge older people significantly more than younger people. The ACA set a 3:1 rating band.

Women: Repealing the ACA would allow insurance companies to charge women more than men. It would take away contraception coverage at no-cost. Insurance companies would no longer have to cover maternity care.

Seniors: Repealing the ACA would allow insurance companies to not cover the costs of prescription drugs.

Young adults on their parents coverage: Repealing the ACA would not allow children to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26.

Rural hospitals: Repealing the ACA would get rid of Medicaid expansion, which has been a lifeline to keep rural hospitals from closing.

Helping fight the opioid crisis: Repealing the ACA would get rid of Medicaid expansion, which has been a key part of fighting the opioid crisis.

Sample advisory/release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

**MEDIA ADVISORY**

Senator/Representative [X], Patients, Local Health Care Advocates Highlight Impact of Trump’s Disastrous Lawsuit to Destroy Health Care

Today, Senator/Representative [INSERT], patients, local health care advocates, and medical experts will gather to discuss the consequences of the Trump lawsuit to repeal health care. If President Trump’s lawsuit is successful, millions of Americans will see their health care coverage taken away, costs increase, and their protections for pre-existing conditions eliminated.

Who:   Senator/Representative [INSERT]

            Doctor/medical expert validator

            ACA recipients

What: Press conference highlighting the consequences of the Trump lawsuit to repeal

health care.

Where:

When:

The event is open to the public and members of the press.

###

Fact Sheet On Trump Lawsuit To Overturn ACA

President Trump is trying to rip apart our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. The result will be to — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in Court — unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system.

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down:

  • GONE: Protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The uninsured rate will increase by 65 percent.
  • GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers 17 million people.
  • GONE: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
  • GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
  • GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women 50 percent more than men.
  • GONE: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase health care in the marketplace.
  • GONE: Key support for rural hospitals. As Americans lose coverage, already struggling hospitals will be hit even harder as their costs increase.
  • GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
  • GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.

Thanks To The Republican Lawsuit, 17 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage

  • According to the Urban Institute, 19.9 million people could lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, meaning the number of uninsured Americans would increase from 30.4 million to 50.3 million, representing a leading to a 65 percent increase in the uninsured rate. As the uninsured rate swells, so will the amount of uncompensated care, which Urban predicts will grow by at least 82 percent.

Republicans Want To Put Insurance Companies Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders

Republicans Want To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Deny Or Drop Coverage Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. Now insurance companies have license to do this again.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period.
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the of the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period
  • An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” if the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful.
Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medication for autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

Republicans Want To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 138 Million Americans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 138 million Americans, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Premium Surcharges Can Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Can Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women, for example, were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • People Over The Age of 50 Can Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, according to the AARP.
  • Nine Million People In The Marketplaces Will Pay More For Coverage. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, consumers no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more.
  • Seniors Will Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.

Republicans Want To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Limit The Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 109 Million Privately Insured Americans. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.
  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

Republicans Want To End Medicaid Expansion

  • Seventeen Million People Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving hospitals with $9.6 billion more in uncompensated care.

State-By-State Facts Sheets