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Brett Kavanaugh Archives — Protect Our Care

Protect Our Care Statement on Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

Washington, DC – Upon a majority of the U.S. Senate voting to approve Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“America has seen the real Brett Kavanaugh — an angry, entitled, dishonest, partisan operative — and by historic proportions, they have opposed this nominee and asked their Senators to vote no. When Brett Kavanaugh uses his power as a justice to steamroll health care and abortion rights for the American people,millions will suffer the consequences of this vote. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation puts an indelible stain on our nation’s highest court, and poses a significant risk for the millions of Americans whose pre-existing conditions are protected because of the ACA, or whoever may need a safe and legal abortion. The Republicans who control the Senate”refused to fully investigate the sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, and refused to allow a full and thorough review of his nomination throughout the process.”

Watch The Two Times Brett Kavanaugh Refused to Stand Up for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Twice yesterday, Donald Trump’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court would not commit to protecting people with pre-existing conditions on the very same day that Trump’s Department of Justice argued in court in Texas that these protections should be overturned. In response, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, said: “The fix is in. If anyone still thinks that Trump’s position in the Texas case and the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the court is simply a coincidence – drop me a line – I have some ocean front property for you in Kansas.”

Watch for yourself:

Sen. Klobuchar: “The Texas case on pre-existing conditions, the Administration is taking the position that it’s unconstitutional – that part of the Affordable Care Act, down in the Texas case – taking the position that you could actually throw people off of their insurance if they have a pre-existing condition. So, let’s say that that law is found to be constitutional. Could the President choose not to implement the part of the law providing protections for pre-existing conditions?

Kavanaugh: Senator, that’s a pending case, so I cannot talk about it.

Sen. Whitehouse: In my office you told me that you could provide no assurance to me that you’d uphold a statute requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. Is that still true here in public?

Kavanaugh: Well, I think, Senator, it’s important to understand the principle in play here.

Sen. Whitehouse: We’ve talked a lot about that, but is the statement you made – have I recited it accurately, and is it still true today that you can give no assurance that you would uphold the statue?

Kavanaugh: Well, Senator, judges like to explain their decisions.

Sen. Whitehouse: Yep, but I get to ask the questions. Usually you get to ask the questions because you’re an appellate judge, but today for half an hour I get to. So, is it still true that you can give no assurance that you would uphold a statute requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing medical conditions?

Kavanaugh: So, to prepare for this moment, I went back and read –

Sen. Whitehouse: I really would like you to be as careful with your time as you can because I have a limited amount of time with you, so the quicker you can get to the answer – it could be as simple as yes or no.

Kavanaugh: But I can enhance your understanding of my answer if I explain it, I think.

Sen. Whitehouse: I really just want your answer on the record, I think I’m pretty capable of understanding on my own.

Kavanaugh: But, well, I want everyone to understand my answer. So there’s nominee precedent of how justices and nominees in my position have answered in the past, I’ll be succinct if I can. And all eight sitting justices –

Sen. Whitehouse: I know, you’ve actually already said this in the hearing, so people who are listening and are interested have actually already heard you say this.

Kavanaugh: Well, I think it’s really important so I want to –

Sen. Whitehouse: Say it again then.

Kavanaugh: I want to underscore it. All eight sitting justices in the Supreme Court have made it clear that it would be inconsistent with judicial independence, rooted in Article III, to provide answers on cases or issues that could come before us. Justice Ginsburg hints forecast, Justice Kagan talking about precedent, no thumbs up or down and I went back, Justice Thurgood Marshall was asked repeatedly in his hearing, what do you think about Miranda, what do you think about Miranda, what do you think about Miranda –

Sen. Whitehouse: Got it, everybody else does it and the answer is still no.

Kavanaugh: So the reason everyone else does it is rooted in judicial independence and my respect for precedent. So it’s a combination of my respect for precedent, nominee precedent, and my respect for judicial independence. So I can’t give assurances on a specific hypothetical.

Health Care Advocates Travel to D.C. to Urge Rejection of Brett Kavanaugh

Advocates from Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee Discuss Looming Threats to Health Care

Washington, D.C. – Today, health care advocates from Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee arrived in Washington, D.C., urging the Senate to reject the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Cancer survivors Jeff Jeans of Arizona and Joseph Merlino of Nevada, and Air Force Veteran Kelly Gregory of Tennessee, currently battling terminal breast cancer, visited Capitol Hill, met with senators, and attended the nomination hearing, to discuss the threat Judge Kavanaugh represents to their health health care and that of millions of Americans.

“This judge literally has the power to take us backward in time to the days when people like me were priced out of insurance because of our medical history,” said Gregory, an Air Force veteran from Tennessee currently battling stage four breast cancer, who was mentioned by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) during today’s confirmation hearing. “Let me be be the last person to die because of a lack of access to health care.”

Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated a vocal hostility to health care. Just last year he criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. He has been consistently hostile towards women’s health, previously arguing that employers should be able to deny women coverage for birth control and attempting to force a young woman to continue a pregnancy against her will. And he was approved by the Federalist Society, which has been advocating against the ACA since before it was signed into law.

“As I fought a rare throat cancer, I relied on coverage that I got through the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid. If it weren’t for that, I surely wouldn’t be here right now,” said Joseph Merlino, a survivor of cancer in his larynx, who met with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) this afternoon and urged her to reject the nomination. “Brett Kavanaugh’s hostility towards the ACA and Medicaid is a direct threat to millions of Americans like me who rely on it.”

Tomorrow, oral arguments begin in Texas v. United States, a lawsuit attempting to overturn the benefits provided by the ACA, including those for Americans with pre-existing conditions, brought by 20 Republican state Attorneys General and governors and backed by the Trump Administration in an unprecedented move. While these Republicans spend the afternoon arguing to strip the protections relied on by 130 million Americans, these health care advocates will be meeting with lawmakers, speaking at rallies, and conducting interviews, all to urge Senators to protect Americans’ care and reject Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“I was a Republican who was against the ACA. It took cancer and my having to face my own death to bring compassion for others into my heart, and to understand why the ACA was needed,” said Jeff Jeans of Arizona. “I implore all Senators to find in them the compassion and courage that my former Senator John McCain had and use the power we’ve entrusted to them to fight back against any attempt to take away our health care.”

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.

Senate Republicans Go Home After Ignoring Responsibility to Stand Up for Health Care

GOP Senators Will Face Constituents Fired Up about Health Care Protections and Kavanaugh When They Head Home

Washington, D.C. – Following Senate Republicans’ decision to head home for August recess after refusing to examine Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s records and refusing to sign onto a resolution introduced by the Democratic Senators to protect health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“Shame on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and each and every Republican Senator for doing nothing to join their Democratic colleagues in standing up for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions from the Trump-GOP lawsuit working its way through the courts right now that could end protections they rely on and all of the other consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act.

“What’s more, Republican Senators — including Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski — are trying to hide critical information about Brett Kavanaugh’s views on health care from the American people. Like President Trump, former President George W. Bush proposed radically reshaping Medicaid by turning it into a block grant program, putting the coverage that millions of Americans rely on in jeopardy. We already know Judge Kavanaugh has criticized previous Supreme Court decisions to protect the Affordable Care Act, but we also deserve to know whether he supported President Bush’s plan to go after Medicaid.

“Senate Republicans may try to sweep their repeal-and-sabotage record under the rug when they go home, but Americans see the giant bullseye the Senate GOP has placed on our health care, and we will be raising our concerns at home.”

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NEW POLL: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Protections for People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, D.C – This morning, a new poll was released which found that 94 percent of Americans want the Supreme Court to uphold protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“More than nine in 10 Americans want the Supreme Court to stay away from Republican efforts to dismantle protections for people with pre-existing conditions, a finding that comes on the heels of last week’s Kaiser poll showing that upholding these protections is the top health care issue for voters. So when the Trump Administration teams up with Republican state attorneys general and governors to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and then nominates someone to the Supreme Court to side with them in that case, not only are they actively working against the interests of the 130 million Americans who live with pre-existing conditions, they are ignoring the clear and resounding wishes of the American people.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

July 2018 –  Kaiser Family Foundation’s July Tracking Poll Confirms That Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions Are The Most Important Health Care Issue To Voters.

  • A Candidate’s Position On Continuing Protections For People With Pre-Existing Health Conditions Is The Top Health Care Campaign Issue For Voters, Among A List Of Issues Provided. “This issue cuts across voter demographics with most Democratic voters (74 percent), independent voters (64 percent), and voters living in battleground areas (61 percent), as well as half of Republican voters (49 percent) saying a candidate’s position on continued protections for pre-existing health conditions is either the single most important factor or a very important factor in their 2018 vote.”
  • Nearly Two Thirds Of Those Polled Do Not Want Supreme Court To Overturn Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions. “Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) do not want to see the Supreme Court overturn these protections compared to half (52 percent) who do not want to see the Supreme Court overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more generally.”
  • Almost Six In Ten Americans Say They Think President Trump And His Administration Are Trying To Make The ACA Fail. “Almost six in ten (56 percent) Americans say they think President Trump and his administration are trying to make the ACA fail while one-third (32 percent) say they are trying to make the law work. Most of those who say they think the Trump administration is trying to make the law fail think this is a “bad thing” (47 percent of the public). In addition, most (58 percent) say since President Trump and Republicans in Congress have made changes to the ACA, they are responsible for any problems with it moving forward.”

June 2018 – Kaiser Tracking Poll Also Found That That ACA Protections For Sick Patients Still Overwhelmingly Popular Despite GOP’s Efforts To End Them. Key findings:

  • Health Care Is Top Issue For Voters. 25 percent of voters cited health care as the most important issue to them, compared to the next highest earner, the economy and jobs, which 23 percent of voters said was the most important issue. In total, 79 percent of voters considered health care to be the most important or a very important issue.
  • Candidates’ Continued Support For Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions Is The Single Most Important Health Position For Voters. 14 percent of voters said cited protections for people with pre-existing conditions as the most important factor. 66 percent of voters said it was very important, if not the most important, health care issue to them.
  • Nearly Three Quarters Of Those Polled Said It Was “Very Important” That ACA Provisions Protecting Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Remain Law. 76 percent of voters said it was very important to keep the provision of the ACA that prevents insurance companies from denying coverage because of a person’s medical history. 72 percent of voters said it was very important to preserve the ACA’s protection against charging sick people more. Majorities of all parties support these protections.
  • Nearly Six In Ten Say Someone In Their Household Has A Pre-Existing Condition. “Nearly six in ten (57 percent) say they or someone in their household suffers from pre-existing medical conditions such asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure.”
  • Half Of The Public Continues To Have A Favorable View Of The Affordable Care Act. “Half of the public continue to hold favorable views of the 2010 health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act. This continues the more than a year-long trend of a larger share of the public viewing the law favorably (50 percent) than unfavorably (41 percent).

June 2018 – Hart Research Poll Finds That 66 Percent Of Voters Disapprove Of Trump Justice Department’s Actions To Overturn Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions. When asked about the Trump Justice Department’s decision to take to court to argue against protections for people with pre-existing conditions, voters polled by Hart Research disapproved by 66 to 34 percent.

PPP Poll: One Year After Senate Defeated Trump’s Healthcare Repeal, Majority of Voters Oppose Republican Repealers

From: Anniken Williams, Public Policy Polling

To: Interested Parties

Subject: One Year After Senate Defeated Trump’s Healthcare Repeal, Majority of Voters Oppose Republican Repealers

Date: July 23, 2018

On the one-year anniversary of bipartisan Senate defeat of Trump’s health care repeal, a new Public Policy Polling survey finds that a majority of voters want to support candidates for Congress who oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act.

A majority of voters (56/40) support a generic Democrat for Congress who supports the ACA and wants to improve it, over a generic Republican candidate for Congress who wants to repeal it. This lead expands to 19 points (56/37) with voters over the age of 65.

  • Voters trust Democrats over Republicans and President Trump on health care by 13 points (55/42). This lead grows to 26 points (60/34) with women and 22 points (57/35) with independents.

By an overwhelming 25 points (59/34), people want Congress to “keep what works and fix what doesn’t” in the ACA, not repeal it. That margin grows to 32 points (62/30) with independents.

64% of voters oppose the Trump administration joining the lawsuit (Texas V. U.S.) which would strike down ACA’s protections of health care for people with pre-existing conditions. Only 19% of voters support joining the lawsuit.

  • When voters learn that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would likely support that Trump administration lawsuit, 56% are less likely to support his confirmation.

PPP surveyed 514 registered voters from July 18-19, 2018.  The margin of error is +/- 4.3%. This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews.

View the full poll here.

Protect Our Care Launches “What’s At Stake” Week to Highlight How Kavanaugh Could Harm Health Care if Confirmed

Washington, D.C. – As the Trump Administration continues its unrelenting assault on Americans’ health care,  the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh threatens to raise the stakes even higher. With “What’s At Stake” week, running from Monday, June 16 through Sunday, June 22, Protect Our Care will continue to shine a light on the dire repercussions Americans face if the pro-health care majority in the Senate does not act to stop Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

“Here’s what’s at stake: protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, women’s health and rights, Medicaid coverage for low-income families, and so much more,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Rather than be a check on the President, Brett Kavanaugh would be a rubber stamp on President Trump’s extreme agenda of of ripping health care away from millions of people and returning to an era when women and doctors are criminals. The pro-health care majority in the Senate must recognize what’s at stake and reject Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Since Kavanaugh’s  nomination to the Supreme Court was announced, Protect Our Care and its allies have held events in fourteen states: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Throughout What’s At Stake Week, advocates in these states will build upon the week of activism following Kavanaugh’s nomination last week, continuing to shine a light on the issues at risk, including:

  • Protections for the 130 million Americans with a pre-existing condition, who could be charged much higher rates or denied coverage entirely;
  • Protections for women and Americans over 50, who could see premium increases of up to 50 percent;
  • Women’s health care, including access to safe and legal abortion, contraception, access to Planned Parenthood,  and coverage for nursing moms, and,
  • Medicaid eligibility and Medicaid expansion, which cover 70 million Americans.

For more information about What’s at Stake with Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, read here.

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