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Care Force One Archives — Protect Our Care

That’s a Wrap! Care Force One Concludes Nationwide Bus Tour Today in West Palm Beach

Traveling Nearly 12,000 Miles, Care Force One Made 49 Stops in 24 States to Hold Republicans Accountable for Voting to Take Away Our Care

Care Force One in St. Louis, Missouri.

This afternoon, Protect Our Care is wrapping up its nationwide bus tour at a joint rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, with Nuns on the Bus. Over the past six weeks, Protect Our Care took the health care fight to communities as its bus, Care Force One, traveled 12,000 miles, making 49 stops in 24 states.

“No matter where we went, we heard the same thing,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Americans all over are sick and tired of the Republican-led war on health care. And you know what else? They’re fired up about their chance to fight back next week at the polls.”

Like a touring country band,” Care Force One visited Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Joining Protect Our Care’s leaders Leslie Dach and Brad Woodhouse and cancer survivor Laura Packard on the bus tour were former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius; U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Angus King (I-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Tom Udall (D-NM); U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Jacky Rosen (NV-03), Dina Titus (NV-01), and Jim Cooper (TN-05); former Georgia House Minority leader Stacey Abrams; Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards; American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten; Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden; television personality Montel Williams, and many more.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said health care advocate Laura Packard, who was on the tour for all 49 stops. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I traveled across the country to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

At a time when health care is consistently ranked as a top issue for the public, the tour highlighted that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with GOP leaders doubling down on their calls to repeal health care and cut billions from Medicare and Medicaid, all while using regulations and the courts to continue their attacks on protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, for women, older Americans, and Medicaid and Medicare enrollees.

Here’s a snapshot of what happened on the tour:

At Care Force One’s kickoff event, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and businessman Ned Lamont were joined by nearly 100 community members outside a Bridgeport Community Health Center to call attention to Republicans’ ongoing war on health care care.

“Connecticut made the decision to try to make the Affordable Care Act work, not undermine it like many other states did,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “Think about the 20 million Americans who have been given access to health care, whose lives have been changed. Just imagine what that number would be if every other state approached the Affordable Care Act the way Connecticut did.”

Traveling north from Connecticut, Care Force One made its way up to Maine, where U.S. Senator Angus King and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree joined state representatives and Mainers with pre-existing conditions at Portland City Hall to speak out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal.

“We’ve got to continue to fight against repeal,” said Senator Angus King. “I call it a zombie proposal because it keeps coming back, and it’s a terrible idea and we have to keep trying to push that back to try and protect Medicare as well as the Affordable Care Act.”

Care Force One then headed west for three events in Pennsylvania, where state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, former Congresswoman and current Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, state senators, state representatives, and Pennsylvanians of all backgrounds hosted rallies in Harrisburg, Erie, and Pittsburgh to defend the ACA and Medicaid.

“The Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage for millions of Pennsylvanians, especially those living with pre-existing conditions, and I will do everything in my power to protect that coverage,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Now more than ever, we need our elected officials to stand up and defend the protections created by the ACA.”

In its second week, Care Force One was welcomed to South Bend, Indiana by Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “This isn’t about politics, this is about our lives, our livelihoods, and our well being,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “This is our opportunity to raise our voices and say enough is enough when it comes to baseless attempts to take away the protection of our health care.”

(Photo by C.S. Hagen, High Plains Reader)

(Photo by C.S. Hagen, High Plains Reader)

After stops in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, week three brought Care Force One to Fargo, North Dakota, where the bus was joined by State Sen. Jim Dotzenrod, former State Sen. Mac Schneider, former State Rep. Ben Hanson, and North Dakotan Jennifer Restemeyer, who shared the story of her daughter, Allison, who suffers from a genetic disorder. As the High Plains Reader reported, Allison “wouldn’t be alive today if the Affordable Care Act hadn’t been passed.”

From there, Care Force One headed west to Montana, for a series of health care roundtables at health centers in Billings, Butte, and Missoula with local elected officials, health care professionals, representatives from the office of Sen. Jon Tester, and Montanans who have gained coverage under the ACA. After enactment of the law, the states has  seen its uninsured rate cut in half.

Week four of the tour found Care Force One in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado with a number of elected officials, including U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Tom Udall, U.S. Representatives Jacky Rosen and Dina Titus, and former U.S. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick and Steven Horsford.

“The Trump Administration’s repeated efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act threaten to put the cost of health care out of reach for too many families and once again allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in Las Vegas. “I’ll continue fighting to improve the ACA, make premiums more affordable, and ensure that every Nevadan is able to access quality, affordable health care.”

“Right now, our health care system is under attack from the Trump Administration and Republicans in Washington,” said Congresswoman Jacky Rosen. “I’m fighting in Congress to stabilize the markets, bring down the cost of premiums and prescription drugs, and ensure hardworking Nevadans with pre-existing medical conditions are protected. It’s time for Republicans to work with Democrats to protect and improve our health care system instead of sabotaging and dismantling it.”

“Washington should protect our health care – overwhelmingly, New Mexicans want us to protect people with pre-existing conditions from being gauged by insurance companies or thrown off their insurance altogether,” Senator Tom Udall said. “Overwhelmingly, they want to keep the Medicaid expansion. And the American people don’t want the Trump administration or the Republicans in Congress dismantling Medicare.”

Care Force One kicked off week five in Kansas City, Missouri at a lively event with former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sharice Davids.

“Instead of protecting people with pre-existing conditions, politicians like Attorney General Josh Hawley and Congressman Kevin Yoder have joined the assault against them – forcing millions of families across Missouri and Kansas to live in fear of their coverage being taken away,” said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These Republicans have tried every trick in the book to let insurance companies go back to discriminating against people based on their medical histories. I’ve seen first-hand the lifesaving impact these protections have had, and today people across the heartland are standing up, speaking out and calling on Republicans to stop this harmful war on health care once and for all.”

After stops in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, Richmond, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina, Care Force one visited Atlanta, Georgia, for a star-studded event with Stacey Abrams, former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, former U.S. Representative Donna Edwards, and Georgians of all backgrounds concerned over GOP attempts to take away Americans’ health care.

“I know what it’s like to lose everything and to not necessarily have children or family members to step up and help,” said Stacey Abrams. “800,000 people in Georgia live in a household where there’s a full-time worker and yet they do not have coverage. This is a solvable problem in the state of Georgia, and that’s why I’m fighting so hard for Medicaid expansion.”

“The most important work that we did was creating an alliance with folks all across the country to pass the Affordable Care Act,” said former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. “Because of the Affordable Care Act that women no longer have to pay more for the same health care coverage that men recieve. It’s because of the Affordable Care Act women can’t be denied coverage because they’ve been pregnant or had breast cancer… Because of the ACA, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in the United States of America.”

“When I was in Congress, I presided over the debate and passage of the Affordable Care Act. At the time, I thought it was about everybody else’s health care coverage, but when I was set to depart congress I was diagnosed with ms. It was a shock to me,” said former Congresswoman Donna Edwards. “Today, I’m afraid that with the current administration and the moves of Republicans in congress that my pre-existing condition will no longer be protected and I will lose my care altogether.”

And in its final week, Care Force One barnstormed Florida, making stops in Sarasota, Orlando, Miami, Port Saint Lucie, and West Palm Beach, where the bus was joined by an all-star cast of Floridians, including Mary Barzee Flores, Lauren Baer, and David Shapiro, and a special guest who stepped into the fight to protect our care: Montel Williams.

“Less than five months ago, I suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke that would have killed half the people who had it. I’m still standing today because I was blessed enough to have a career that’s given me an opportunity to pay into an insurance policy that covered me. But I’m not just here because of me. In the last three years, I’ve had a daughter who went through two bouts of lymphoma. We’re very blessed that she survived it, but she was only able to survive it because she was covered by the Affordable Care Act,” said Montel Williams. “Had a normal family suffered this kind of catastrophic medical issue, they would be not just poor, but living on the street.”

Although today’s final rally in West Palm Beach marks the end of the bus tour, you can be sure that Protect Our Care and its supporters nationwide will continue to hold Republicans accountable for their attacks on our care.

Fort Pierce Leaders Stand Up to Say, “It’s Time to End the Republican War on Health Care”

Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Floridians’ Health Care

Lauren Baer speaks in front of Care Force one in Fort Pierce, Florida.

FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA – This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Fort Pierce to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Headlined by Lauren Baer, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm Floridians’ care and called on Gov. Rick Scott and Rep. Brian Mast to work instead to protect our care.

Local Hobe Sound resident Kyla MacArdle kicked off the event, discussing her own health care experience.

“Two and half years ago, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, the most difficult cancer to treat,” said MacArdle.”Without the ACA, I would now be dead. Without the ACA, I would have no health insurance and be punished for having a pre-existing condition. Rep. Brian Mast has voted to repeal and replace the ACA. It would kick 1.3 million Floridians off of Medicaid . It would also let insurers be able to discriminate against 7.8 million Floridians with pre-existing conditions, including over 270,000 who live in his own district. This is a non-partisan health insurance crisis that we as Americans are going to need to fix. We need to save the ACA, to save me.”

MacArdle’s comments were echoed by Lauren Baer, a former Obama Administration official and attorney.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege for the most fortunate Americans, and no Floridian should have to choose between making ends meet and getting the kind of care they need,” said Baer. “The people of our community have suffered for too long at the hands of Washington politicians like Brian Mast who vote in ways that increase costs and decrease coverage. It’s time for a change.”

The significance of Baer’s and McArdle’s remarks was made clear by national health care advocate Laura Packard.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Baer, MacArdle, and Packard were joined by Delores Hogan Johnson, a two-time cancer survivor and Fort Pierce resident; Tobi Schelin, a local nurse practitioner; and Elena Hung, the co-founder of Little Lobbyists, a group which advocates for children with complex medical needs.

At today’s event, Fort Pierce residents, health care advocates, elected officials, and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for Floridians. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • Floridians will see their premiums increase by an average of more than five percent this year.  It’s expected that 40 year old Floridians will face paying an extra $900 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of Republican sabotage of the health care market.
  •  In Florida, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $10,372 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • More than 650,000 Floridians have been denied access to affordable health coverage through Republican state officials’ refusal to expand Medicaid.
  • Junk insurance plans that charge money for skimpy coverage could return to Florida and 609,000 Floridians could lack comprehensive coverage in 2019 because they will either become uninsured or will be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits.
  • More than 1.4 million Floridians who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi,  President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections nearly 7.8 million Floridians living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas, including Campbellton-Graceville Hospital in Florida (2017), have closed, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Governor Rick Scott has been an opponent of the Affordable Care Act since day one. Scott has blocked Medicaid expansion that could provide care for more than 650,000 Floridians, helped the Trump administration draft bills that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and he refuses to ask Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to remove herself from a lawsuit that threatens access to care for 7.8 million Floridians living with pre-existing conditions.
  • Rep. Brian Mast voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition; voted for a budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone; voted for a tax scam that doubled as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

Montel Williams, Mary Barzee Flores, Miami Leaders Stand Up to Say, “It’s Time to End the Republican War on Health Care”

Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Floridians’ Health Care

Montel Williams speaks in front of Care Force One in Miami, Florida.

MIAMI, FLORIDA – This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Miami to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Headlined by Montel Williams and Mary Barzee Flores, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm Floridians’ care and called on Republicans  to work instead to protect our care.

“Less than five months ago, I suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke that would have killed half the people who had it. I’m still standing today because I was blessed enough to have a career that’s given me an opportunity to pay into an insurance policy that covered me. But I’m not just here because of me. In the last three years, I’ve had a daughter who went through two bouts of lymphoma. We’re very blessed that she survived it, but she was only able to survive it because she was covered by the Affordable Care Act,” said Williams. “Had a normal family suffered this kind of catastrophic medical issue, they would be not just poor, but living on the street.

“For the previous 22 years, I registered as a Republican every single time, but I no longer register as a Republican. I register as an independent so that my independent voice can be heard on behalf of all those who can’t speak for themselves.”

Williams’ remarks were echoed by Barzee Flores, who spoke of her health issues her father suffered and how it inspired her to become a health care advocate.

“When I was about eleven, he lost his job, and when he lost his job, he lost his health care. And as he got sicker, we got poorer. And I’ll tell you what – I was only about eleven or twelve years old, and even I could tell how my family went from solidly middle-class to poor almost overnight. And there’s nothing remarkable about that story, because it’s happening day after day across this country, and it was happening even more before the Affordable Care Act became law,” said Barzee Flores. “Folks all over this country fear that they are one health crisis away from bankruptcy. And yet we’ve got Republicans politicians and a president and Rick Scott who have time and time again acted inconsistent with their own constituents to rip tens of millions of Americans of their health care.”

The importance of Williams’ and Barzee Flores’ remarks were made clear by cancer survivor Laura Packard.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Williams, Barzee Flores, and Packard were joined by Paul Velez, CEO of the Borinquen Health Center; Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, chief of internal medicine at the University of Miami; Eva Perez, a cancer survivor and board member at the Borinquen Health Center; and Elena Hung, co-founder of Little Lobbyists.

At today’s event, Miami residents, health care advocates, elected officials and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for Floridians. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • Floridians will see their premiums increase by an average of more than five percent this year.  It’s expected that 40 year old Floridians will face paying an extra $900 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of Republican sabotage of the health care market.
  • In Florida, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $10,372 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • More than 650,000 Floridians have been denied access to affordable health coverage through Republican state officials’ refusal to expand Medicaid.
  • Junk insurance plans that charge money for skimpy coverage could return to Florida and 609,000 Floridians could lack comprehensive coverage in 2019 because they will either become uninsured or will be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits.
  • More than 1.4 million Floridians who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi,  President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections nearly 7.8 million Floridians living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas, including Campbellton-Graceville Hospital in Florida (2017), have closed, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Governor Rick Scott has been an opponent of the Affordable Care Act since day one.  Scott has blocked Medicaid expansion that could provide care for more than 650,000 Floridians, helped the Trump administration draft bills that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and he refuses to ask Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to remove herself from a lawsuit that threatens access to care for 7.8 million Floridians living with pre-existing conditions.
  • Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Brian Mast  voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition; voted for a budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone; and voted for a tax scam that doubled as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

Tomorrow, Care Force One’ will head to Port St. Lucie. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

Montel Williams, Mary Barzee Flores, Lauren Baer, David Shapiro to Headline Final Week of Protect Our Care’s Nationwide Bus Tour In Florida

Protect Our Care Finishes Nearly 12,000 Mile Bus Tour With Stops in Sarasota, Orlando, Miami, St. Lucie, and West Palm

Washington, D.C. – This week, Protect Our Care is finishing its nationwide bus tour, a 49-stop, 24-state bus tour highlighting the Republican war on health care and its impact on Americans from coast to coast. In its final week, Care Force One is criss-crossing Florida, stopping in Sarasota, Orlando, Miami, St. Lucie, and West Palm.

The final leg of tour will continue to show that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with GOP officials using legislation, regulations, and the courts to continue their attacks on protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, for women and older Americans, and on Medicaid and Medicare.

At the five stops, Care Force One will be joined by notable Floridians, including Mary Barzee Flores, Lauren Baer, David Shapiro, State Sen. Audrey Gibson, and Rep. Amy Mercado; cancer survivor and health care advocate Laura Packard; Little Lobbyists co-founder Elena Hung; and Montel Williams. Each of the events will be livestreamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page.

The week kicks off in Sarasota:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Sarasota

Who: David Shapiro

State Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Floridians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Five Points Park

1 Pineapple Ave.

Sarasota, FL 34236

When: Monday, October 28

10:00 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

The Care Force One bus will then travel to Orlando:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Orlando

Who: Rep. Amy Mercado

Dr. Karen Green

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Floridians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Lake Eola Park

100 North Rosalind Ave.

Orlando, FL 32801

When: Monday, October 29

3:00 PM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

And later in the week, Care Force One will visit Miami:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Miami

Who: Montel Williams

Mary Barzee Flores

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Floridians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Exact location forthcoming.

When: Wednesday, October 31

11:00 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

Check out protectourcarebustour.com for the latest information on the tour. The final schedule of Care Force One appearances is below:

Sarasota, FL on Monday, October 29, 2018

Orlando, FL on Monday, October 28, 2018

Miami, FL on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

St. Lucie, FL on Thursday, November 1, 2018

West Palm, FL on Friday, November 2, 2018

###

 

Stacey Abrams, Atlanta Leaders Stand Up to Say, “It’s Time to End the Republican War on Health Care”

Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Georgians’ Health Care

Stacey Abrams speaks at this morning’s event in Atlanta.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Atlanta to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Headlined by Stacey Abrams and former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm Georgians’ care and called on them to work instead to protect our care.

Abrams spoke of her parents, recalling the time they nearly lost their health care when the church they worked at couldn’t afford to pay their premiums, and she was able to help cover the cost.

“I know what it’s like to lose everything and to not necessarily have children or family members to step up and help,” said Abrams. “800,000 people in Georgia live in a household where there’s a full-time worker and yet they do not have coverage. This is a solvable problem in the state of Georgia, and that’s why I’m fighting so hard for Medicaid expansion.”

Abrams’ remarks were echoed by Richards, who discussed her time working for Planned Parenthood, which provides health care coverage for more than two million Americans each year.

“The most important work that we did was creating an alliance with folks all across the country to pass the Affordable Care Act,” said Richards. “Because of the Affordable Care Act that women no longer have to pay more for the same health care coverage that men recieve. It’s because of the Affordable Care Act women can’t be denied coverage because they’ve been pregnant or had breast cancer… Because of the ACA, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in the United States of America.”

Former U.S. Representative Donna Edwards discussed voting for the ACA, and what its passage meant to her.

“At the time, I thought that it was about everybody else’s coverage [but] when I was set to depart Congress in 2016, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,” said Edwards. “Today, I pay for my own health care coverage… I’m afraid that with the current Administration and the moves of Republicans in Congress, my pre-existing prediction will not longer be protected and I will lose my health care.”

The importance of Abrams’, Richards’, and Edwards’ comments were made clear by cancer survivor Laura Packard.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Abrams, Richards, Edwards, and Packard were also joined by Staci Fox, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, who highlighted the actions Georgia Republicans have taken to defund health care centers and deny women coverage; Janel Greene, co-founder of the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, who discussed her battle with breast cancer and conversations she has had with family members explaining that the ACA is not a handout, but rather provides important protections for millions of Americans; and Janna Blum of Little Lobbyists, who spoke of her four-year-old son, Elijah, who was born with a pre-existing condition, and the need to maintain these crucial protections provided under the ACA.

At today’s event, Atlanta residents, health care advocates, elected officials, and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for Georgians’. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • Georgians will see their premiums rise by as much as 14.7 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old Georgians  will face an extra $1,270 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of Republican sabotage of the health care market.
  • In Georgia  out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $10,553 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • Nearly 475,000 Georgians have been denied access to affordable health coverage through Republican state officials’ refusal to expand Medicaid.
  • Junk insurance plans that charge money for skimpy coverage could return to Georgia and 242,000 Georgians could lack comprehensive coverage in 2019 because they will either become uninsured or will be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits.
  • 404,000 Georgians who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 4.3 million Georgians  living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas have closed, including six in the state of Georgia, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.

Next week, Care Force One will wrap up its nationwide bus tour with five stops across Florida. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

Raleigh Local Leaders Gather to Say, “It’s Time to End the Republican War on Health Care”

Linda Coleman, Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on North Carolinians’ Health Care

Linda Coleman speaks on the Halifax Mall in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – This afternoon, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Raleigh to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Headlined by Linda Coleman, Allison Dahle, Mack Paul, and health care advocate Laura Packard, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm North Carolinians’ care and called on Rep. George Holding to work instead to protect our care.

“It’s a crisis. We’ve got to make sure we protect people with pre-existing conditions,” said Linda Coleman. “As soon as the the 2019 session begins, every Republican is going to vote to repeal whatever protections they have already gutted, and so what’s going to be left is nothing. We’ve got to fight to make sure people have the right to quality, affordable, accessible health care.”

Coleman’s thoughts were echoed by Mack Paul and Allison Dahle.

“400,000 adults, 150,000 children could be covered if we expanded Medicaid,” said Paul. “These are people who are not going to the doctor when they need to, end up in the emergency room, folks who would become bankrupt if they have a severe medical situation. We need to support that. It’s time we put people ahead of politics.”

“If we were to expand Medicaid, people could actually get their health care,” said Dahle, echoing Paul’s comments on the hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who have been denied coverage due to Republicans’ actions. “I am ready to expand Medicaid so that we have more alternatives for more people to provide a better health and a better future for North Carolina.”

The importance of Coleman, Paul, and Dahle’s comments were made clear by cancer survivor Laura Packard.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

Coleman, Paul, Dahle, and Packard were joined by Dr. Eleanor Greene, former president of the North Carolina Medical Board, who spoke of the difficulty her patients faced before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law and the consequences repeal would bring, and Stacy Staggs, whose daughters were born prematurely and are covered by Medicaid, who spoke of the importance of maintaining this crucial program.

At today’s event, Raleigh residents, health care advocates, elected officials, and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for North Carolinians’. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • North Carolinians have seen years of premium increases.  It’s expected that 40 year old North Carolinians will face paying an extra $1,440 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of Republican sabotage of the health care market.
  • In North Carolina, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $21,018 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • As many as 400,000 North Carolinians have been denied access to affordable health coverage through Republican state officials’ refusal to expand Medicaid.
  • Junk insurance plans that charge money for skimpy coverage could return to North Carolina and 402,000 North Carolinians could lack comprehensive coverage in 2019 because they will either become uninsured or will be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits.
  • More than 450,000 North Carolinians who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 3.9 million North Carolinians  living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas have closed, including five in North Carolina, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Rep. George Holding voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition; voted for a budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone; voted for a tax scam that doubled as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

Tomorrow, “Care Force One” will head to Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Rep. Jim Cooper, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse Headline Week Five of Protect Our Care’s Nationwide Bus Tour

Protect Our Care Continues 11,505 Mile Bus Tour With Stops in Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia

Washington, D.C. – This week, Protect Our Care continues its nationwide bus tour, a 49-stop, 24-state bus tour highlighting the Republican war on health care and its impact on Americans from coast to coast. In its fifth week, Care Force One is traveling to Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.

The tour will continue to show that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with GOP officials using legislation, regulations, and the courts to continue their attacks on protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, for women and older Americans, and on Medicaid and Medicare.

The week kicks off in Kansas City:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Kansas City:

Who: Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Sharice Davids

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Missourians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Mill Creek Park

West 47th St. & Broadway St.

Kansas City, MO 64111

When: Monday, October 22

9:30 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

The Care Force One bus will then travel to St. Louis:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – St. Louis

Who: Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden

Dr. Pamela Gronemeyer

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Missourians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Kiener Plaza
601 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

When: Tuesday, October 23

9:00 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

Later in the week, Care Force One will travel to Nashville, Tennessee:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Nashville

Who: Rep. Jim Cooper

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro

Kelly Gregory, Air Force veteran and terminal cancer patient

Rev. John Hill

Dr. Tom Phelps

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Where: Centennial Park
2500 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203

When: Wednesday, October 24

10:00 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

And as the week comes to a close, Care Force One will be in Atlanta, Georgia

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Atlanta

Who: Former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Georgians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Exact location forthcoming.

When: Friday, October 26

9:30 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

Check out protectourcarebustour.com for the latest information on the tour. The remaining schedule of Care Force One appearances is below:

Kansas City, MO on Monday, October 22, 2018

Springfield, MO on Monday, October 22, 2018

St. Louis, MO on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Memphis, TN on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Nashville, TN on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Richmond, VA on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Raleigh, NC on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Atlanta, GA on Friday, October 26, 2018

Sarasota, FL on Monday, October 29, 2018

Orlando, FL on Monday, October 28, 2018

Miami, FL on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

St. Lucie, FL on Thursday, November 1, 2018

West Palm, FL on Friday, November 2, 2018

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Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, Former Mayor Greg Stanton, State Rep. Kelli Butler, and Mayor Anna Tovar Join Arizonans with Pre-Existing Conditions to Demand that Republicans #ProtectOurCare

“Care Force One” Makes Stop in Phoenix on National Bus Tour

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(Phoenix, Arizona) – Today, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni, Former Mayor Greg Stanton, State Rep. Kelli Butler, and Mayor Anna Tovar joined Jeff Jeans, Steven Gomez, and Arizonans with pre-existing conditions at the Arizona State Capitol to speak out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal. You can watch the press conference here.

The event was part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour calling attention to Republicans’ attempts to sabotage health care, including a lawsuit signed onto by Attorney General Mark Brnovich that would gut protections for Arizonans with pre-existing conditions.

The 2,763,200 Arizonans living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy if a judge sides with Attorney General Brnovich, President Trump, and the GOP in their lawsuit.

“Republicans in Congress have waged a war on those in our community who live with pre-existing conditions, undermining their access to health care nearly every opportunity they had,” State Rep. Kelli Butler said. “It’s critical that we all take action and fight for affordable healthcare.”

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni said, “I have seen how a lack of access to quality health care affects Arizonans. It is imperative that our leaders stand up and speak out against any effort to sabotage the health care of hardworking families across our state. I will continue to fight, as should every one of our elected officials.”

“We need responsible leaders that are going to protect access to care and fight for people with pre-existing conditions,” former Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton echoed. “The American people are not going to accept their care being put at risk because of irresponsible tax breaks for the wealthy. People here in Arizona are standing up and saying that it’s not right; we must protect our care.“

“Republicans in Washington and the Arizona Statehouse aren’t sticking up for health care protections or working with Democrats to lower costs. Instead, they are ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions, driving up costs, and cutting coverage,” Tolleson Mayor Anna Tovar said.

Jeff Jeans, a Nevadan with a pre-existing condition, said, “I am alive today because of the ACA. But I need to keep my health care, as do 130 million with pre-existing conditions. That’s why we’re here – to hold Republicans accountable for their votes to take away our care.”

Steve Gomez, who son has a pre-existing condition, said “Republicans are using every trick in the book to take away the health care of millions. Arizonans are sick and tired, and we are not going to take it anymore.”

“The stakes have never been higher for Arizonans’ health care,” said Morgan Tucker of Protect Our Care Arizona. “Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, almost 410,000 Arizonans have gained health insurance. This is all in jeopardy due to Republicans’ repeal and sabotage agenda, including Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s ludicrous lawsuit and Rep. Martha McSally’s vote to repeal health care. Arizonans want this Republican war on health care to end, plain and simple. That’s why we’re here today.”

The bus heads to Tucson later this afternoon before traveling to New Mexico. More details about upcoming stops can be found here.

Senator Cortez Masto, Rep. Rosen, Rep. Titus, Susie Lee, and Steven Horsford Join Nevadans with Pre-Existing Conditions to Demand that Republicans #ProtectOurCare

“Care Force One” Makes Stop in Las Vegas on National Bus Tour

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Sen. Cortez Masto speaks in front of Care Force One in Las Vegas, Nevada.

(Las Vegas, Nevada) – Today, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, Congresswoman Dina Titus, former Congressman Steven Horsford, and Susie Lee joined Joe Merlino, Allison Stephens, and Nevadans with pre-existing conditions at University Medical Center of Southern Nevada to speak out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal. You can watch the full press conference here.

The event was part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour calling attention to Republicans’ attempts to sabotage health care, including a lawsuit that would gut protections for Nevadans with pre-existing conditions.

The 1,215,300 Nevadans living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit.

“The Trump Administration’s repeated efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act threaten to put the cost of health care out of reach for too many families and once again allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. I’ll continue fighting to improve the ACA, make premiums more affordable, and ensure that every Nevadan is able to access quality, affordable health care,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

“Right now, our health care system is under attack from the Trump Administration and Republicans in Washington,” said Rep. Jacky Rosen. “I’m fighting in Congress to stabilize the markets, bring down the cost of premiums and prescription drugs, and ensure hardworking Nevadans with pre-existing medical conditions are protected. It’s time for Republicans to work with Democrats to protect and improve our health care system instead of sabotaging and dismantling it.”

Rep. Dina Titus echoed this, saying, “I’m proud to stand with the Protect Our Care campaign and the millions of Americans speaking out against the Republican attacks on our health care. Democrats are standing with our children, with our seniors, with women, with persons with disabilities, with the most vulnerable in our communities to say health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the rich and powerful.”

“Health care is a deeply personal issue to me,” said Susie Lee. “My parents nearly lost their home due to medical bills after being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. I am proud to stand here today to defend the protections and coverage that Nevadans depend on.”

Donald Trump and Cresent Hardy will make it their number one priority to strip health care away from millions of Americans and thousands of Nevadans with pre-existing conditions. Nevadans need someone to fight for them, not a rubber-stamp for the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said former Rep. Steven Horsford.

Joe Merlino, a Nevadan with a pre-existing condition, said, “If it weren’t for the ACA and its Medicaid expansion, I surely wouldn’t be standing here right now, a cancer survivor, to tell you my story.”

Nevada health care advocate Allison Stephens, who brought her son who has a pre-existing condition to the event, said, “Republicans are using every trick in the book to take away the health care of millions. Nevadans are sick and tired, and we are not going to take it anymore. That’s why we’re here – to hold Republicans accountable for their votes to take away our care.”

“The stakes have never been higher for Nevadans’ health care,” said Andres Ramirez of Protect Our Care Nevada. “Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, approximately 294,000 Nevadans have gained health insurance. This is all in jeopardy due to Republicans’ repeal and sabotage agenda, including Sen. Dean Heller’s votes to repeal health care. Nevadans want this Republican war on health care to end, plain and simple. That’s why we’re here today.”

You can watch the full event here. The bus was in Reno yesterday and travels to Arizona tomorrow. More details about upcoming stops can be found here.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Reps. Jacky Rosen and Dina Titus, Former Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Steven Horsford, and Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach Headline Week Four of Protect Our Care’s Nationwide Bus Tour

Protect Our Care Continues 11,505 Mile Bus Tour With Stops in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado

Washington, D.C. – This week, Protect Our Care is continuing its nationwide bus tour, a 49-stop, 24-state bus tour highlighting the Republican war on health care and its impact on Americans from coast to coast. In its fourth week, Care Force One is traveling to Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

The tour will continue highlighting that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with GOP officials using legislation, regulations, and the courts to continue their attacks on protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, for women and older Americans, and on Medicaid and Medicare.

The week kicked off in Nevada with an event in Reno yesterday morning. Another will take place tomorrow in Las Vegas:

What: Protect Our Care Nevada Rally – Las Vegas:

Who: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto

Rep. Jacky Rosen

Rep. Dina Titus

Former Rep. Steven Horsford

Susie Lee

Leslie Dach, founder and chair of Protect Our Care

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Nevadans with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Medical Center of Southern Nevada
1800 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89102

When: Tuesday, October 16

10:00 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

The Care Force One bus will then travel to Arizona:

What: Protect Our Care Arizona Rally – Tucson:

Who: Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick

Leslie Dach, founder and chair of Protect Our Care

State Rep. Charlene Fernandez

Jeff Jeans, cancer survivor

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Arizonans with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger Health Center
2255 N Wyatt Dr
Tucson, AZ 85712

When: Wednesday, October 17

2:00 PM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

And later in the week, Care Force One will visit Albuquerque, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado.

Check out protectourcarebustour.com for the latest information on the tour. The remaining schedule of Care Force One appearances is below:

Las Vegas, NV on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Phoenix, AZ on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tucson, AZ on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Albuquerque, NM on Thursday, October 18, 2018

Denver, CO on Friday, October 19, 2018

Kansas City, MO on Monday, October 22, 2018

Springfield, MO on Monday, October 22, 2018

St. Louis, MO on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Memphis, TN on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Nashville, TN on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Richmond, VA on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Raleigh, NC on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Atlanta, GA on Friday, October 26, 2018

Sarasota, FL on Monday, October 29, 2018

Orlando, FL on Monday, October 28, 2018

Miami, FL on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

St. Lucie, FL on Thursday, November 1, 2018

West Palm, FL on Friday, November 2, 2018

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