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Rate Watch Campaign Builds Momentum Against Republican Health Care Sabotage

By May 16, 2018No Comments

Momentum is building against Republicans’ war on health care as families across the country start to count its consequences in dollars and cents. That’s why Protect Our Care’s ‘Rate Watch’ education and accountability campaign drew widespread attention yesterday:

The Hill: Premium Hikes Reignite The Obamacare Wars. “The cost of health insurance plans on the ObamaCare exchanges could jump in the coming weeks, some by double digits, inflaming the issue ahead of the midterm elections. Democrats argue the price increases are the result of what they refer to as ‘Republican sabotage.’ They contend that, since the GOP controls Congress and the White House, the price hikes are their responsibility — and that’s the message they plan to take into the fall campaign… Protect Our Care, a pro-ObamaCare group, launched ‘Rate Watch’ on Tuesday, a media campaign and website aimed at getting out the Democrat’s message that Republicans are to blame for rate hikes. Only a handful of states have released proposed premiums for next year, as insurers are largely still hammering out what their preliminary rates are going to be.” [The Hill, 5/15]

Circa News: Democrats Slam Trump, GOP Over Proposed Obamacare Rate Hikes. Protect Our Care, a coalition dedicated to preserving the ACA and opposing the GOP health care agenda, launched a campaign Tuesday to highlight proposed insurance rate increases and heap responsibility for them onto the Trump administration in advance of the November midterm elections. A ‘Rate Watch’ website, paid media, and coordinated educational efforts will aim to link high preliminary health insurance premiums to Trump’s policies as they are announced in the months ahead. ‘Families in every state in the nation are scared by the fallout of Washington Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage war on health care, and with Rate Watch, we’re holding Republicans responsible for what they’ve done,’ said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse in a statement. ‘Every health care expert is confirming what ex-Secretary Tom Price just admitted: Republicans are responsible for hiking people’s premiums.’” [Circa, 5/15]

Politico: Democrats Run On GOP Health Care ‘Sabotage.’ “Democrats are confidently running on Obamacare for the first time in a decade. They’ve got a unified message blaming Republicans for ‘sabotaging’ the health care law, leading to a cascade of sky-high insurance premiums that will come just before the November midterm elections. They’re rolling out ads featuring people helped by the law. And Tuesday, they’re starting a campaign to amplify each state’s premium increases — and tie those to GOP decisions. That’s a big change from four election cycles of reluctance to talk about Obamacare on the stump… ‘Democrats need to prosecute the case against the Republican approach to health care,’ said Brad Woodhouse, campaign director at Protect Our Care and a longtime Democratic strategist. They will blame the next round of premium spikes on the GOP because Republicans repealed the individual mandate, eliminated a low-income subsidy, and let people enroll in health plans that don’t have the full range of ACA benefits and patient protections.” [Politico, 5/15]

Connecticut Mirror: Dems Predict ‘Eye-Popping’ Health Premium Hikes, Blame GOP. “Sen. Chris Murphy on Tuesday helped launch a Democratic initiative that blames Republicans for ‘sabotaging’ the Affordable Care Act, leading to sky-high health insurance premiums. Those sharp rate hikes — averaging more than 18 percent nationally for individual policies — will be announced just before November’s mid-term elections and will be an issue in many campaigns, the Democrats predict… Brad Woodhouse, campaign director at Protect Our Care and a longtime Democratic strategist, said Republicans had launched a ‘war on health’ that will result in ‘eye-popping rate increases.’” [CT Mirror, 5/15]

Washington Examiner: Obamacare Supporters Now Seizing On Rate Increases To Go After GOP. “A few years ago, Republicans would send out blaring alerts whenever an insurer proposed a double-digit rate increase for its Obamacare plans, putting Democrats on the defensive. Now Democrats and Obamacare supporters are hoping to do the same to the GOP, seizing on proposed rate hikes as evidence of GOP ‘sabotage’ of the law. The Obamacare advocacy group Protect Our Care announced its Rate Watch campaign Tuesday that will highlight proposed premium increases for Obamacare’s exchanges for 2019. The group said the goal of the campaign is to tie Republicans to the rate hikes because of moves such as the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty that everyone have health insurance. ‘This is a purposeful, intentional campaign of sabotage that is making health insurance unaffordable,’ Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said on a call with reporters Tuesday… Protect Our Care is pointing to the proposals as evidence that the Trump administration is sabotaging the law. The Rate Watch campaign website lists a filing from Virginia insurer Cigna that stated a 15 percent increase is caused by the elimination of the individual mandate penalty and regulations to expand access to cheap, low-quality health plans. [Washington Examiner, 5/16]

Inside Health Policy: Protect Our Care Launches Campaign Blaming GOP For ACA Rate Hikes. “A pro-ACA group Wednesday launched a campaign that casts blame on the Trump administration and the GOP-led Congress for premium increases, holding up the GOP’s repeal of the individual mandate penalty, cutback of ACA advertising and outreach, and proposed non-ACA compliant plan options that could undermine the risk pools. Democrats say they want to work with the GOP on ways to reverse the rate hikes but see little hope for a way forward. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined Protect Our Care, the left-leaning Center for American Progress and a Florida resident impacted by the rate hikes in announcing the co-called Rate Watch campaign. The Connecticut senator stressed that Democrats have spent the last 18 months fighting the GOP ‘sabotage’ of the Affordable Care Act.” [Inside Health Policy, 5/15]