Alaska Archives — Protect Our Care

Protect Our Care Announces Plans for Nationwide Events to Highlight Agenda for Lower Costs and Better Care

To Mark 9th Anniversary of the ACA’s passage, Protect Our Care Will Hold Events in Key Battleground States this Week to Promote a Democratic Agenda for Lower Costs, Better Care and an End to GOP Sabotage

Washington, DC – Protect Our Care has announced plans for activities nationwide this week, during the Congressional recess, to promote an agenda for lower costs, better care and end to Republican health care sabotage in advance of the 9th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law nine years ago this Saturday, March 23.

Activities will include press events in Alaska, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Iowa, Georgia, Maine and North Carolina as well as social media efforts nationwide.  At the events, health care professionals, elected officials, health care advocates, and people who have benefited from the ACA will talk about the benefits of the law and discuss the need to move forward with a health care agenda for lower costs and better care for all Americans. Participants will also urge Congress to take action to lower the cost of prescription drugs, rein in insurance companies, crack down on short-term junk plans and other steps necessary to improve our health care system. The events will also serve as an opportunity to call out Republicans in each state for their continued acts of health care sabotage and support for repeal.

“There is no doubt that the Democratic agenda on health care has changed the lives of millions of Americans for the better,” said Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse. “Across the country, Americans from all walks of life have been able to receive quality, affordable health care and coverage for pre-existing conditions thanks to Democrats’ actions to shape and strengthen the nation’s health care laws. On this important anniversary, it’s critical that we move forward with a bold agenda for lower costs and better care while continuing to call out Republican’s repeated attempts to undermine and sabotage our health care system at every turn.”

Events happening this week:

Iowa press event

When:    Tuesday, March 19 at 10:30am CDT

Where:   Iowa State Capitol (Room 116), 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319

Details:  Facebook event link

Alaska press event

When:   Tuesday, March 19 at 11:00am AKDT

Where:  1057 W Fireweed Ln, Anchorage, AK 99503

Details:  Facebook event link

Georgia press event

When:    Tuesday, March 19 at 3:00pm EST

Where:   Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington St. SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Details:  Facebook event link

Arizona press event

When:    Wednesday, March 20 at 11:00am MST

Where:   Arizona State Capitol, 700 W Washington, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Details:  Facebook event link

Ohio – Dayton press event

When:    Wednesday, March 20  

Where:   Dayton City Commission Office, 101 W Third St, Dayton, OH 45401

Maine press event

When:    Thursday, March 21 at 11:00am EST

Where:   State House Welcome Center, 210 State St, Augusta, ME 04333

Details:  Facebook event link

North Carolina press event

When:   Thursday, March 21 at 11:00am EST

Where:  North Carolina General Assembly, 16 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Details: Facebook event link

Colorado rally outside Senator Cory Gardner’s office

When:   Friday, March 22 at 12:00pm MDT

Where:  Corner of 19th Street and Stout Street, Denver, CO 80202

Details: Facebook event link

Ohio – Cleveland press event

When:    Friday, March 22

Where:   Neighborhood Family Practice Pharmacy, 3569 Ridge Rd, Cleveland, OH 44102


On SCOTUS Hearings Eve, New Ads Preview Reality If Collins Refuses To Stand Up for Mainers

New TV Ad in Maine Previews a Scary Future When the ACA is Struck Down by a Court Hostile to Health Care

Radio Ads in Maine and Alaska Highlight ‘Side Effects’ of Justice Kavanaugh for People with Pre-existing Conditions Like Cancer

Washington, D.C. – In the latest phase of its campaign to educate the public about what’s at stake for health care in the Supreme Court, Protect Our Care is launching new television and radio ads in Maine and Alaska urging constituents to ask Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

  • The new TV ad in Maine shows the scary future we could face if Justice Brett Kavanaugh sides with the Trump Administration and casts the deciding vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and its protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
  • Radio ads up in Maine and Alaska highlight the impact Kavanaugh’s vote could have on hundreds of thousands of state residents living with pre-existing conditions.

Watch the new TV ad airing in Maine:  

Listen to the radio ads airing all week in Alaska and Maine.

The new ad campaign comes after two months of activity in the Senators’ states and in DC — including this past weekend’s massive 50-state Unite for Justice Day of Action — where constituents have implored the Senators to stand up for their health care and oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court. The groundswell of opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination is borne out by poll after poll showing weak support for Kavanaugh, making him the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in three decades, less popular than Harriet Miers, whose nomination was withdrawn. In fact, a new Protect Our Care-PPP poll released last week found that just 42 percent of Mainers want Sen. Collins to confirm Judge Kavanaugh and that a vote to confirm him would harm Sen. Collins’ re-election prospects.

“Americans do not want protections for the more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions taken away from them by the Supreme Court, but President Trump does. And as we head into the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings next week, Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski need to decide if they agree,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “Senators Collins and Murkowski have claimed a commitment to health care — this nomination may be the truest test of where they actually stand yet.”

“I’m Honestly Concerned and Very Scared”: Alaskan Visits Washington, D.C. to Tell Sen. Lisa Murkowski Her Fears Over Kavanaugh’s Nomination

Yesterday, a young Alaskan woman traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Sen. Lisa Murkowski  following her meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Leighan Gonazales was born with a heart condition that required open heart surgery at five months old – a pre-existing condition protected by the Affordable Care Act. She traveled 14 hours from Alaska this week to meet with her Senator to express her fears that, if confirmed, Kavanaugh would rubber stamp the Republican war on health care and overturn protections for 326,000 Alaskans with pre-existing conditions.

Alaska Public Media, “Alaskans Press Murkowski on Kavanaugh”: Some 30 Alaskans flew to the nation’s capital mid-week to urge Murkowski to vote no. Among them was Leighan Gonzales, a student at UAA. “I made a very personal appeal and I asked her to vote no on his nomination because I’m honestly concerned and very scared of this person being on the Supreme Court,” Gonzales said. Gonzales was born with a heart condition that required surgery. She said Kavanaugh is hostile to a key promise of the Affordable Care Act: that people with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied insurance coverage.[…] Gonzales said Murkowski seemed receptive to her message on Thursday. “I brought a picture, a baby picture post-surgery, with this giant scar on my tiny baby chest,” Gonzales said. “She was really moved by that, and I felt very optimistic.”

KDXF (Fairbanks), “Alaskans Ask Murkowski to Vote Against Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice”: Leighan Gonzales of Anchorage, who was born with a heart condition, is worried that thousands of Alaskans will lose protections in the current ACA if Murkowski votes in favor of the supreme court nominee.”The biggest concern and the reason I asked her to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is the pre-existing protections that were brought forward in the ACA. There have been a lot of attacks on the Affordable Care Act recently. And these are issues that we know in Alaska are so much closer to home and bigger than in other states where we discuss healthcare accessibility,” said Gonzales.

KTUU (Anchorage), “Murkowski Meets with Kavanaugh as Alaskans Weigh In”: Alaskan activists flew to the Capitol overnight to tell Murkowski what they thought of Kavanaugh’s nomination. Leighan Gonzales, says she wants Murkowski to consider people like her with pre-existing conditions – she was born with a hole in her heart. She’s worried about the impact Kavanaugh could have on health care laws. “I’m concerned about not knowing enough about his record and that the hearings are being pushed forward too quickly,” Gonzales said.

Concerned Alaskans have held 12 press calls, press conferences, and events across the state in the six weeks since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced. In each instance, Alaskans relying on protections for pre-existing conditions or expanded Medicaid services created by the Affordable Care Act have made clear that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination

Alaskan with Pre-Existing Condition Meets with Senator Murkowski in D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Leighan Gonzales, a 23 year old University of Alaska, Anchorage student, met with Senator Lisa Murkowski to discuss how Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court threatens protections for Alaskans with pre-existing conditions.

Leighan was was born with a heart condition that required open heart surgery at five months old – a pre-existing condition protected by the Affordable Care Act. She traveled 14 hours from Alaska this week to meet with her senator to make sure her concerns were heard, especially on behalf of the 320,000 Alaskans with pre-existing conditions who were not able to make the trek.

“Today, I met with Senator Murkowski to ask her to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh,” said Leighan. “As an Alaskan with a pre-existing condition, I am very concerned that protections for people with pre-existing conditions and Medicaid are in jeopardy. Senator Murkowski has stood up for Alaskans before, and I hope that she will do it again.”

For the past 18 months, the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress and states across the country have been waging a relentless war on our health care. The Trump Administration has turned to executive orders and regulations to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) piece by piece, all while joining a lawsuit that threatens to upend protections for people with pre-existing conditions and end the Medicaid expansion, which was signed into law in Alaska by Governor Bill Walker. Judge Kavanaugh has criticized the Supreme Court’s previous decision in favor of the ACA, and has said that a president may refuse to enforce laws he disagrees with.

Concerned Alaskans have held 12 press calls, press conferences, and events across the state in the six weeks since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced. In each instance, Alaskans relying on protections for pre-existing conditions or expanded Medicaid services created by the ACA have made clear that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination would be disastrous for thousands of Alaskans, and have implored their Senators to vote no.

Republicans At All Levels Face Fury from Their Constituents as the Coalition that Defeated Health Care Repeal Takes the Fight Local

As we head into the one-year anniversary of the Senate’s defeat of ACA repeal, Republicans are running scared of their own record, especially as Big Health Care CEO compensation soars on their watch.

Meanwhile, the coalition that defeated health care repeal is rising up to fight GOP sabotage at every level of government.

  • For a full month, Protect Our Care and its partners have continually sounded the alarm about Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, who is now opposed by 41 percent of Americans, the vast majority of whom do not want the Court to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • All week, the Protect Our Care coalition held events marking the anniversary of the Senate defeating repeal and highlighting continued threats to health care, and today Protect Our Care coalitions in Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia are holding actions to ask their Republican attorneys general and governors to drop their lawsuit to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions in the Affordable Care Act.
  • Looking ahead to August, Protect Our Care coalitions across the country are gearing up to confront House Republicans during recess about the numerous votes they have taken to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, jack up premiums, reduce coverage, and give kickbacks to insurance companies, drug companies, and the wealthy – while doing nothing to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

With an energized grassroots representing the will of the public, according to poll after poll after poll after poll, it’s no wonder why Democrats are rising up to fight for health care. Just yesterday:

  1. Senate Democrats redoubled their commitment to fight tooth-and-nail to protect health care for all Americans, while marking the one-year anniversary of their defeat of Republicans’ effort to repeal the ACA.
  2. House Democrats introduced a resolution that would intervene to protect the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions from the GOP-Trump Administration lawsuit working to overturn protections for them.
  3. A coalition of 12 Democratic attorneys general filed a lawsuit to fight back against the Trump Administration’s revival of junk plans that charge money for poor coverage.


Protect Our Care Highlights Maine and Alaska Pre-Existing Condition Stories in Press Conference to Stop Brett Kavanaugh

Washington, D.C. – This morning, Protect Our Care and Little Lobbyists joined Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Chris Murphy and Chris Van Hollen at press conference to lay out the threat against Americans with pre-existing conditions if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is appointed to the Supreme Court.

“A year ago this month, with every Democrat and Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and John McCain, we defeated the number one legislative priority of Republicans and President Trump dating back seven years: repealing protections from people with pre-existing conditions and the whole Affordable Care Act,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “For the health of the American people, we need the pro-health care majority in the Senate to come together again and keep Brett Kavanagh off the Supreme Court.”

Woodhouse highlighted at the press conference stories from Maine and Alaska, home to key Republican Senators in the nomination battle Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME):

  • Diane Decker of Anchorage, Alaska was diagnosed with leukemia in her late twenties, going through a bone marrow transplant and beating cancer. Despite this, years later when she wanted to start her own business, she was unable to find insurance. After the ACA, she was able to find coverage.
  • Alyce Ornella of Bangor, Maine gave birth to a son born with life-threatening birth defects and and in need of surgery to stay alive, as well as a team of specialists to help him as he grew older. The ACA ensured that Sam could get coverage without his family going into bankruptcy, and today he is a happy and healthy child.

Read more about why a vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a vote against these families — and all of the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.


Advocates Mount Defense of Health Care for Millions

Last night, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice. To be clear, Trump had two litmus tests in selecting Brett Kavanaugh for the Court:

1) overturning Roe v. Wade, and

2) overturning Americans’ health care by gutting protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Across the country, health care advocates geared up in opposition, urging their senators to reject Judge Kavanaugh, an activist judge who was hand-picked to rubber-stamp President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ war on health care.

Here are some highlights, with more activity on the ground happening today.

In Alaska, Protect Our Care was joined by health care advocates, Alaska Native leaders, and former Alaska Superior Court Judge John Reese to urge Sen. Lisa Murkowski to do what is best for Alaska and reject a justice who won’t protect Alaskans’ care.

In Maine, Protect Our Care was joined by the Maine Women’s Lobby and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in calling on Sen. Susan Collins to protect pre-existing condition protections and women’s access to health care.

In Arizona, Jeff Jeans, a cancer survivor joined  state Rep. Athena Salman, and representatives from Planned Parenthood and ACLU Arizona urged Senator Flake to stand up for Arizonans’ care.

In Nevada, Protect Our Care and Laura Packard, a health care advocate living with cancer, Cyndy Hernandez of NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada, and Sam Shaw of SEIU Nevada Local 1107 urged Sen. Dean Heller to stand up and protect Nevadans’ health care.

In Ohio, Protect Our Care Ohio joined with Innovation Ohio, the Physicians Action Network, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio highlighted the current and long-term threats to health care under a conservative Supreme Court.

In Tennessee, Protect Our Care was joined by a coalition of concerned citizens including Jen Yamin, the mother of a son with pre-existing conditions, Kristen Grimm, the mother of child with special needs, and Anna Carella, Co-Chair of Healthy and Free Tennessee, outside Sen. Bob Corker’s Nashville office.

In West Virginia, Protect Our Care advocates went on the record to make it clear that they want their senators to stand up health care.

Advocates Gear Up to Defend Health Care for Millions

Protect Our Care Coalition to Host Events Across the Country As Supreme Court Pick Looms

Enough Is Enough Poster

  • As President Trump prepares to make his Supreme Court announcement Monday, Americans from coast to coast are gearing up to make clear to their Senators that they must not vote against health care by voting for an extreme nominee who will use their position to attack our health care.
  • Protect Our Care is active in fourteen states, and our advocates have already scheduled events on Monday in Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. We’ll be holding a rally at Monument Square in Bangor, Maine; a press conference in front of Sen. Bob Corker’s office in Nashville, Tennessee; and a press call with local leaders, health care advocates, and a former judge in Alaska.
  • President Trump and Congressional Republicans have spent the past 18 months waging a relentless war on our health care, with millions losing coverage, premiums increasing by double digits, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions eroding. But all of these pale in comparison to the damage that an extreme Supreme Court justice could do — read more to find out all that’s at stake for health care with this Supreme Court vacancy.

Protect Our Care’s national leaders and local advocates are available for on the record interviews. Please contact [email protected].

Protect Our Care Launches 130 Million Strong Month of Action

Washington, D.C. – The Protect Our Care coalition today launches “130 Million Strong Month of Action,” a campaign to warn Americans about escalating Republican attacks on Affordable Care Act-guaranteed protections for over 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. As the Trump Department of Justice asks the courts to take away these protections, the campaign will leverage earned and paid media as well as grassroots advocacy to highlight the true cost of letting insurance companies bring back discrimination.

“There are over 130 million Americans out there with pre-existing conditions who deserve to know that Republicans are trying to let insurance companies take away their coverage,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “The Trump Department of Justice just declared war on people who have a history of diabetes, asthma, or cancer. This month, our coalition of health care advocates will be conducting an aggressive information campaign to make sure people know what’s at stake.”

The campaign launches this morning with a new digital ad targeted to 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Watch Digital Ad

Protect Our Care is also rolling out 51 fact sheets this morning highlighting the impact residents would face in each state if the Trump Administration wins its case and takes away pre-existing condition protections, and dozens of events are set to take place across the country between now and Independence Day.

Celebrating ACA Anniversary Week Recap: Protect Our Care Coalition Highlights Health Gains Made Under Affordable Care Act and Voters Across the Country Say “We Won’t Go Back”

In honor of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law eight years ago, last week the Protect Our Care coalition celebrated ACA Anniversary Week, highlighting the health care achievements made across America under the ACA and making clear that we won’t go back and erode this progress.


All across the country, from Alaska to Tennessee to the nation’s Capitol, health care voters held rallies for the ACA Anniversary Week of Action to made their voices heard and tell elected officials we won’t go back on eight years of progress.


Protect Our Care and the Alaska Grassroots Alliance held a rally in Anchorage.



Protect Our Care and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona held a rally in Phoenix. They were joined by Dr. Wylie Carhartt of the Mountain Park Health Center Family Practice, Phil Pangrazio, CEO of Ability 360, Steve Gomez, whose child received a heart transplant under the ACA, and cancer survivors.


Protect Our Care held rallies in Denver and Grand Junction, visiting Sen. Cory Gardner’s Denver office and Rep. Scott Tipton’s Grand Junction office.



Protect Our Care joined State Senator Dr. Geoff Gratwick and Nurse Practitioner State Rep. Anne Perry to hold a rally in Bangor. Rep Perry expressed her disappointment in Senator Susan Collins’ recent sponsorship of legislation which would weaken women’s care and her support for the ACA, saying, “Even though there may be complaints of more spent because of Medicaid, we will have a healthier population. And I don’t know of one business who doesn’t want a healthier workforce.”

Central Maine Editorial Board: Our View: Obamacare at 8 years: Much done, much left to do

Fox Bangor: Legislature still needs to write check for Medicaid expansion


Protect Our Care, OFA, Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates, the Alliance for Healthcare Security, and Battle Born Progress held rallies in Las Vegas and Reno. They were joined by representatives from Positively Kids, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance, SmartBuy Insurance, and the Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans, as well as cancer survivors and health care advocates.

Las Vegas Sun: Analysis: Advocates look to 2018 midterms to restore, protect ACA

CBS News 4: News 4 examines Obamacare’s impact on Nevada on the bill’s 8th anniversary


Protect Our Care and For Our Future joined with DeWayne Lee of Healing Heart, local pastors, and city councilmembers to hold rallies in Cincinnati, Mansfield, and Toledo, outside of Sen. Portman’s Toledo office.

WNWO: Sen. Portman Constituents Rally in Support of Affordable Care Act

Richland Source: Mansfield leaders advocate for access to quality healthcare


Protect Our Care and the Southern Christian Coalition joined with physicians, registered nurses, local faith leaders, and Sara Scott, whose son has asthma and progressive heart disease and whose daughter has developmental disabilities, neither of whom would be insurable without the ACA, to hold rallies in Nashville and Chattanooga, outside Sen. Lamar Alexander’s office.

Chattanooga Times Free Press: An imperfect journey: 8 years of Obamacare


Protect Our Care, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, the West Virginia Citizen Action Group, Our Children, Our Future, and West Virginians Together for Medicaid joined with staff from the office of Senator Joe Manchin to hold a rally in Charleston.


Last Thursday, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Whip Steny Hoyer, Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn, Rep. David Cicilline, and Rep. Brenda Lawrence joined Protect Our Care, Little Lobbyists, Health Care Voter, Doctors for America, and other health care advocates at a press conference celebrating the millions of lives which have benefited since the ACA was signed into law.

Washington Examiner: Pelosi celebrates eight-year anniversary of Obamacare


Last week, Public Policy Polling released a series of polls which found that not only is health care a top issue for voters across the country, but in battleground states pro-repeal candidates are being rejected. The polls found the following results:

  • In Arizona, health care is a top issue for 68% of voters, with 21% saying it is the most important issue. In a hypothetical Senate election, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema leads pro-repeal candidate Martha McSally 46-41
  • In Nevada, health care is a top issue for 65% of voters, with 27% saying it is the most important issue. In a hypothetical Senate election, Democrat Jacky Rosen leads pro-repeal Dean Heller 44-39.
  • In Pennsylvania, health care is a top issue for 71% of voters, with 25% saying it is the most important issue. In a hypothetical Senate election, Democrat Bob Casey leads pro-repeal candidate Lou Barletta 54-36.
  • In Tennessee, health care is a top issue for 71% of voters, with 31% saying it is the most important issue. In a hypothetical Senate election, Democrat Phil Bredesen leads pro-repeal candidate Marsha Blackburn 46-41.
  • In Wisconsin, health care is a top issue for 72% of voters, with 25% saying it is the most important issue. In a hypothetical Senate election, Democrat Tammy Baldwin leads pro-repeal candidates Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson 51-39 and 51-38, respectively.