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Making the Case: Protect Our Care Rallies Momentum for Lower Drug Costs Now Act With Months-Long Campaign

By December 17, 2019No Comments

Protect Our Care Campaign Around H.R.3 Included $2 Million in Digital Ads, Op-eds, and Events Across the Country In the Months Surrounding Passage of the Bill

Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R.3) — the most comprehensive drug pricing reform in American history. The landmark legislation lowers prescription drug costs for Americans by giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prices and includes the largest expansion of Medicare benefits in decades. For months, Protect Our Care has been building momentum for H.R.3 with $2 million in ads supporting the bill as well as events across the country with members of Congress to make the case for its passage. Since October, Protect Our Care has held 26 roundtable discussions, town halls and press events in 13 states with elected officials and health care advocates in addition to penning and placing op-eds urging support for the bill. Participants at Protect Our Care’s events made crystal clear the necessity of passing the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, imploring Senate Republicans to bring this bill to the floor for an up and down vote.

Here’s a comprehensive overview of Protect Our Care’s events as well as news coverage generated in support of H.R. 3: 


Tuesday, October 8th – Health Care Town Hall with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s (AZ-02) Office

Protect Our Care Arizona joined Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s office at a community town hall in Tucson, to discuss the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), historic legislation, introduced by House Democrats, that will drastically lower prescription drug costs and hold insurance companies accountable. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick discussed her support for health policy proposals that lower prescription drug costs and protect people with preexisting conditions, as she works to ensure that every Arizonan has access to quality, affordable care. View the post-event release here.

KGUN: Community members share their health care concerns at health care town hall 

Friday, December 13th — Press Call with Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Patient Advocates

Protect Our Care Arizona was joined by Congressman Tom O’Halleran and health care advocates from across Arizona to discuss the recently passed Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), historic legislation designed to help Americans struggling with high prescription drug costs. Congressman O’Halleran discussed precisely how the bill would offer relief to the millions of Americans who rely on costly prescription drugs, while patient advocates and health care professionals shared their own experiences accessing high-cost prescription drugs. You can listen to the call audio here, and view the post-event release here


Friday, December 6th:

Press Call with Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06)  and State Rep. Janet Buckner

Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06) and State Rep. Janet Buckner (HD 40) joined Coloradans to talk about the Democrats’ newly-introduced bill, the Lower Drug Prices Now Act (H.R. 3), and its benefits for Coloradans struggling under the weight of increasingly high prescription drug costs. Laura Packard, a stage-4 cancer survivor also joined the call, and called on the U.S. Senate to take action on the bill as soon as the Senate version is introduced. You can view the post-event release here, and listen to the call here

Roundtable with Rocky Mountain Values at Cafecito

Rocky Mountain Values health advocates and Reps. Yadira Caraveo and Jacques Lewis join together at Cafecito, a Latino leaders roundtable, to discuss the House’s efforts to lower prescription drug costs. You can watch segments from the roundtable discussion here, here, and here.

Colorado Sentinel: Rep. Crow Op-Ed: The fight for cheaper prescription drugs 


Wednesday, October 9th – Roundtable with Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06)

Rep. Lucy McBath held a healthcare round table with Protect Our Care to talk with constituents about the current challenges facing the healthcare system, her fight to protect pre-existing conditions, and Speaker Pelosi’s latest push to lower drug costs with the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3). View the post-event release here

Yahoo Finance: Rep. McBath Meets with AARP Georgia to Discuss Lowering Prescription Drug Prices

Friday, December 13th — Press Call with Physician and Advocates

State Representative Kim Schofield and Dr. Jamie Weisman joined Protect Our Care Georgia for a press call to talk about the Lower Drug Prices Now Act (H.R. 3), which House Democrats passed yesterday, and its benefits for Georgians struggling under the weight of increasingly high prescription drug costs. Listen to the full press call here.


Thursday, December 12th:

Press Call with Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer joined Iowa Voices and concerned Iowans for a press call on the day that she cast her vote in favor of H.R. 3. Participants on the call thanked Rep. Finkenauer for her support of the bill and also called on Sens. Ernst and Grassley to support the bill in the Senate. You can view the post-event release here and hear a recording of the call here

Iowa Starting Line: Finkenauer, Axne Share Iowa Families’ Stories On House Floor

Caroling Outside Sen. Ernst’s Waterloo Offices

Carolers gathered outside Sen. Joni Ernst’s offices in Waterloo and sang songs about her terrible record on health care. In addition, attendees demanded that Sen. Ernst take a serious look at and support H.R. 3 after it passed the house that same day. Watch video of the carolers here.

Caroling Outside Sen. Ernst’s Cedar Rapids Offices

Concerned Iowans also sang carols outside of Sen. Ernst’s Cedar Rapids office on Thursday—bringing with them the terrible holiday news that the Senator has failed to stand up for Iowans’ health care in the Senate and that she must support legislation like H.R. 3 to ensure that Iowans have access to care at affordable prices. 

Caroling Outside Sen. Ernst’s Des Moines Offices

Finally, Iowans struggling under the cost of sky-high prescription drug costs gathered outside Sen. Ernst’s Des Moines office to demand that she support H.R. 3 and lower medication costs for all Iowans—including diabetics and cancer patients. 


Wednesday, December 11th — Press Call with State Legislators

Protect Our Care Maine was joined by four state legislators to discuss the crippling burden of rising prescription drug costs for Mainers, and how important passing H.R. 3 is to lower costs for all Americans. Speakers included State Rep. Donna Doore, who is also a three-time cancer survivor; State Rep. Victoria Foley, who sits on the Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee; State Rep. Drew Gattine; and State Rep. Ned Claxton, who is also a physician. Listen to the call here and view the press release here.


Monday, October 7th – Costs of Care Conversation with Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)

Protect Our Care Michigan joined Rep. Elissa Slotkin for a “Costs of Care Conversation” at the Old Persons’ Commission in Rochester, Michigan. At the roundtable discussion, Rep. Slotkin discussed Democrats’ bill to lower prescription drug costs, which would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. She urged both Democrats and Republicans to put pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate. View ICYMI here.

WXYZ-TV Detroit: Rep. Elissa Slotkin outlines her prescription drug cost reform bill 

MLive: Slotkin commits to legislative priorities while GOP impeachment criticism surges

Monday, December 2nd:

Press Conference in Troy with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11)

Rep. Haley Stevens was joined by Governor Gretchen Whitmer at a clinic in Troy to discuss health care issues, including protections for pre-existing conditions, high drug costs, and ACA open enrollment. Michiganders also shared their stories, and Rep. Stevens highlighted Democrats’ H.R. 3 bill to lower prescription drug costs. See press release here and here.

WWJ: Governor, Congresswoman Urge ACA Signups

Fox 2: ACA Enrollment Open Through December 15th

Roundtable in Lansing with Gov. Whitmer and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)

Rep. Elissa Slotkin was joined by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Lansing to discuss the high costs of prescription drugs and Democrats’ efforts to lower prices, including Democrats’ Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) and Rep. Slotkin’s Real Time Benefits Act, which was included in the Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act (H.R. 2115). After the roundtable discussion, Rep. Slotkin demonstrated a tool from her Real Time Benefits Act at a local pharmacy. See advisory here and press release here.

MIRS: Gov Wants Healthy MI Work Requirements To Take A Break

Gongwer: Whitmer, Slotkin Urge ACA Sign-Ups; Doubt Work Requirements 

WLNS: People encouraged to enroll in Affordable Care Act

MLive: Whitmer says Michigan Legislature should pause Medicaid work requirements

AP: Whitmer: Legislature should help pause Medicaid work rules


Wednesday, October 9th – Press Call Before Trump Rally in Minneapolis

Ahead of President Trump’s visit to Minnesota on Wednesday, Protect Our Care Minnesota hosted a press call calling on Donald Trump and Republicans to stop sabotaging Minnesotans’ health care, including the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal current health care protections through the courts and eliminate coverage for millions of Minnesotans with preexisting conditions. This is in stark contrast to how Democrats like Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips are leading the charge to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, and are passing legislation to lower costs and improve care. View the post-call release here and listen to the full audio of the call here.

Sunday, December 15th — Prescription Drugs Roundtable with Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-0 

Congressman Dean Phillips hosted a roundtable to discuss the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), which House Democrats passed last week, and its benefits for Minnesotans struggling under the weight of increasingly high prescription drug costs. Phillips was joined by State Reps. Mike Howard and Kelly Morrison, and Minnesota who depend on costly prescription drugs to manage various health conditions. View the post-event release here.

MinnPost: Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02) and Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) Op-Ed: Game-changing H.R. 3 would stop prescription-drug price gouging 

KSTP: Rep. Phillips Talks Drug Prices

WCCO: Bill aims to lower cost of prescription drugs


Wednesday, October 9th – Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03) Health Care Town Hall

Nevada health care advocates championed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) at an event on October 9. The bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and is supported by Rep. Susie Lee. The Nevada Hospital Association, AARP Nevada, Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans, Culinary Health Fund, and Protect Our Care joined Rep. Susie Lee for a discussion on the importance of lowering prescription drug costs. View the post-event release here and an ICYMI including clips from the event here

Nevada Today: Rep. Susie Lee Holds Community Discussion on Prescription Drug Costs 

NBC 3 Las Vegas: Lee on backing impeachment inquiry: No regrets 

Sunday, December 15th — Press Conference with Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04) and Rep. Susie Lee

On Sunday, Reps. Steven Horsford and Susie Lee held a press conference with dozens of Nevadans to discuss the recent passage of H.R. 3 and the benefits that the bill would have for Nevadans struggling to pay high prices for their prescription medications. You can view a Facebook live of the event here

Las Vegas Sun: Rep. Horsford Op-Ed: Drug costs must be a priority for Congress 

Nevada Current: Op-Ed: Bill would reduce prescription drug prices, too bad GOP is blocking it 


Tuesday, October 8th – Health Care Costs Roundtable with Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01)

Protect Our Care New Hampshire joined Congressman Chris Pappas at Potters Bakery and Cafe in Rochester, NH for an intimate discussion with constituents on health care. They discussed the skyrocketing costs of health care, and what Rep. Pappas is doing in Congress to lower costs of prescription drugs. View the post-event release here and ICYMI here.

Seacoast Online: Pappas touts effort to lower Rx drug costs

Fosters: Pappas touts effort to lower Rx drug costs

Concord Monitor: Op-Ed: My Turn: A bill that will bring down drug prices for everyone 

Friday, December 13th — Roundtable with Rep. Chris Pappas 

Protect Our Care New Hampshire and local residents were joined by Rep. Chris Pappas in Manchester to discuss the Democrats’ recently passed bill, the Lower Drug Prices Now Act (H.R. 3), and its benefits for Granite Staters. The participants thanked Rep. Pappas for his vote and leadership on H.R. 3, then he explained how the bill would help lower drug prices and described what was next on the road to it becoming law. Read the post-event release here.


Monday, December 9th — Press Conference with Local Officials and Patient Advocates

Protect Our Care North Carolina was joined by Commissioner Pat Cotham and Senator Joyce Waddell, and health care advocacy group Action NC to talk about the Democrats’ newly-introduced bill, the Lower Drug Prices Now Act (H.R. 3), and how North Carolinians like Stacy Staggs, who are struggling to pay for vital treatment for serious medical conditions. Speakers urged Senator Thom Tillis to take action when the bill arrives in the Senate. View the post-event release here


Friday, December 6th — Press Conference Outside Rep. Steve Chabot’s (OH-01) Cincinnati Office

Protect Our Care Ohio was joined by State Rep. Sendrick Denson and advocates from  InsulinOhio to discuss the importance of passing the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3). Antroinette Worsham, a Cincinnati mom who lost her daughter to diabetic ketoacidosis because of insulin rationing, also spoke. They met outside of the Cincinnati office of Congressman Steve Chabot, who has yet to announce support of the bill.


Thursday, December 12th — Press Call with Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08)

Congressman Matt Cartwright joined a call with the Pennsylvania Health Action Network (PHAN) and several Iowans crushed by the weight of expensive, life saving drugs to discuss the importance of H.R. 3. The congressman emphasized the millions of dollars that would be saved for consumers because of this bill and went on to vote for the historic legislation later in the day. You can view the post-call release here and listen to a recording of the call here.

Lehigh Valley Live: Op-Ed: For diabetics, passage of drug-cost bill is intensely personal 


Tuesday, December 10th:

Press Conference in Madison 

Advocates held a press conference on Tuesday with patients and advocates to talk about the importance of passing H.R. 3 and Wisconsin Republicans’ failure to support the measure. Participants included Kriss Marion, a southwest Wisconsin who took Enbrel for her rheumatoid arthritis for several years. The drugs now cost about $675 per shot, and Kriss is no longer able to afford the medication. 

Press Conference in Green Bay

Advocates also held a press conference on Tuesday in Green Bay with concerned Wisconsinites and patients suffering under the weight of outrageous prescription drug prices. Participants called on President Trump and Republicans to support measures like H.R. 3 that will lower the cost of drugs for Wisconsinites struggling to afford life-saving medications.

Wednesday, December 11th — Press Conference in Milwaukee

To close out a swing through the state, patients and advocates gathered in Milwaukee to talk about prescription drug prices and the need for groundbreaking legislation like H.R. 3. Speakers called out Republicans specifically for their lack of action to lower prescription drug costs—particularly the Trump administration’s inaction on prescription drug legislation. You can view the post-event release here.

WKOW: Democrats Call on GOP to Vote On Lower Drug Costs Now Act

WISC: Democrats Voice Support For Low Cost Drug Act

WisEye: News Conference: Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019

Wisconsin Public Radio: “Only Days Left To Enroll In Health Insurance Through Federal Marketplace”