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Chris Murphy 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.

At Kickoff of Nationwide Tour, Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal Join Ned Lamont and Local Advocates to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Health Care

Protect Our Care’s “Care Force One” Bus Tour Is Traveling the Country, Calling Out Dangerous GOP Health Repeal-and-Sabotage Agenda


Watch the kick-off video here.


More photos from today’s event in Bridgeport, CT can be found here.

BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT – This afternoon, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kicked off  in Connecticut, where nearly 100 community members gathered to call attention to Republicans’ ongoing war on health care care. Headlined by Senator Chris Murphy, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Ned Lamont, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm health care in Congress, in the courts, and in far too many states.

At this afternoon’s event, Bridgeport 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 example, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $14,606 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law and 114,000 people in Connecticut 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, with protections for 1.5 million Nutmeggers living with a pre-existing condition in jeopardy.

“Affordable healthcare is not a luxury – it is a human right that everyone in America needs and deserves,” said Senator Blumenthal. “Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has been using every tool to sabotage the healthcare system and jeopardize affordable coverage for millions of Americans. We must fight back to not only protect and preserve our care – but to make it better.”

“Connecticut made the decision to try to make the Affordable Care Act work, not undermine it like many other states did,” said Senator 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.”

“I started up a business many years ago and health care was such a key part of what we had to do for all the families working at my company, to provide them security and optimism,” said business owner Ned Lamont. “As I travel the state, more than anything, I hear about health care and that people are afraid it’s not going to be there anymore when they need it.”

The headliners’ concerns were echoed by Nutmeggers with health care stories and concerns over ongoing Republican actions:

“If our government no longer protects coverage for pre-existing conditions, will [my son] have the ability to maintain his certain unalienable rights of life and the pursuit of happiness?” asked Leigh Pechillo, whose son, Robby, was both with hydronephrosis, a rare kidney disease. “We need to protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, we need to protect prohibitions on the discrimination against women and people over age 50, Medicaid, and Medicare so all Americans can have better lives.”

“Without the Affordable Care Act some of my patients would not be alive today,” said Dr. Ross Kristal, Chief Resident of Community Health and Advocacy at Yale. “I could not image practicing medicine without the ACA, and frankly I’m here today because I’m scared that day is coming. I’m worried that the lawsuit brought on by the Republicans will dismantle the ACA, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to provide the care that my patients deserve… We must all act now to protect our care.”

The sentiments of local leaders were echoed by Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, and cancer survivor Laura Packard, who made clear the purpose of the nationwide tour:

“Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate has been cut in half, and people are healthier and no longer an emergency away from bankruptcy,” said Dach. “The American people want the quality, affordable coverage provided under the law and they want the Republican war on health care to end. That’s why we’re here today.”

“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.”

Tomorrow, Care Force One will head to Maine, where Protect Our Care will be joined by Senator Angus King and Representative Chellie Pingree in Portland and State Representatives Steve Stanley and Anne Perry and former mayor Joe Baldacci in Bangor.

For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

Sunday: Protect Our Care Kicks off 48 Stop Nationwide Bus Tour

Headlined by Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and Cancer Survivor Laura Packard and Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care Kicks off 11,505 Mile Bus Tour on Sunday, September 23 in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bus Rolls On to Portland, Maine for Appearance with Sen. Angus King, Rep. Chellie Pingree, State Representatives, and Mainers with Pre-Existing Conditions  

Washington, D.C. – This Sunday, Protect Our Care will kick off its nationwide bus tour, a 48-stop, 23-state bus tour highlighting the Republican war on health care and its impact on Americans from coast to coast. In its first week, “Care Force One” will travel from Connecticut to Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Check out protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ for the latest information on the tour.

What: Stand Up to Protect Our Care — Bridgeport, Connecticut

Who: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Ned Lamont

State Rep. Chris Rosario (D-Bridgeport)

State Rep. William Tong (D-Stamford)

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Leslie Dach, founder and chair of Protect Our Care

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care

Where: Southwest Community Health Center

46 Albion Street, Bridgeport, CT, 06605

When: Sunday, September 23

1:00 PM ET

Livestream: Link available upon request

Following the kick-off event in Connecticut, Care Force One will host its second event the next day in Portland, Maine:

What: Stand Up to Protect Our Care — Portland, Maine

Who: Sen. Angus King (I-ME)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)

State Rep. Heather Sanborn (D-Portland)

State Rep. Matt Moonen (D-Portland)

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care

Where: Portland City Hall
389 Congress Street, Portland, ME, 04101

When: Monday, September 24

10:00 AM ET

Livestream: Link available upon request

After Portland, Care Force One will roll into Bangor:

What: Stand Up to Protect Our Care — Bangor, Maine

Who: State Rep. Ryan Tipping (D-Orono)

State Rep. Steve Stanley (D-Medway)

Former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care

Where: Waterfront Park
81 Railroad Street, Bangor, ME, 04401

When: Monday, September 24

2:00 PM ET

Livestream: Link available upon request

The full schedule of “Care Force One” appearances is below:

Bridgeport, CT on Sunday, September 23, 2018

Portland, ME on Monday, September 24, 2018

Bangor, ME on Monday, September 24, 2018

Kingston, NY on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Binghamton, NY on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Burlington County, NJ on September 26, 2018

Harrisburg, PA on Thursday, September 26, 2018

Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Erie, PA on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cleveland, OH on Friday, September 28, 2018

Columbus, OH on Friday, September 28, 2018

Parkersburg, WV on Monday, October 1, 2018

Morgantown, WV on October 1, 2018

Charleston, WV on Monday, October 1, 2018

Cincinnati, OH on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Indianapolis, IN on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Kalamazoo, MI on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

South Bend, IN on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Milwaukee, WI on Thursday, October 4, 2018

Green Bay, WI on Thursday, October 4, 2018

Madison, WI on Friday, October 5, 2018

Cedar Rapids, IA on Friday, October 5, 2018

Des Moines, IA on Monday, October 8, 2018

Minneapolis, MN on Monday, October 8, 2018

Fargo, ND on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Minot, ND on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Billings, MT on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Butte, MT Thursday, October 11, 2018

Missoula, MT on Friday, October 12, 2018

Reno, NV on Monday, October 15, 2018

Las Vegas, NV on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Phoenix, AZ on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tucson, AZ on Wednesday, October 17, 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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Senators, Cabinet Secretaries, Activists to Headline Protect Our Care’s Bus Tour

Kicking off With Sens. Chris Murphy and Angus King, Care Force One Will Travel to 23 States, Engaging Americans in the Fight Against the GOP War on Health Care

Washington, D.C. – Today, Protect Our Care is excited to announce that Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Angus King (I-ME), former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Andy Slavitt and Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden will speak during Protect Our Care’s bus tour, joining health care advocate Laura Packard on the 1,303 mile journey across the United States. Sen. Chris Murphy will kick off the tour on Sunday, September 23 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, before Care Force One heads north to Portland, Maine with Sen. Angus King. Protect Our Care’s Founder and Chair Leslie Dach and its Executive Director Brad Woodhouse will join this all-star lineup at select stops.

“We’re thrilled to have such incredible health care champions joining us,” said Woodhouse. “Each of these leaders have spent years in the trenches working to expand access to quality, affordable health coverage, and resisting Republican repeal-and-sabotage at every turn.”

The tour will highlight for the public that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with Republican 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. Thanks to the Republicans’ tax bill and junk plan regulations, a typical family of four will see their health insurance premiums increase by $3,110 next year.

Check out when “Care Force One” is slated to come to you, and visit protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ for the latest information:

Bridgeport, CT on Sunday, September 23, 2018

Portland, ME on Monday, September 24, 2018

Bangor, ME on Monday, September 24, 2018

Albany, NY on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Binghamton, NY on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Harrisburg, PA on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Erie, PA on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cleveland, OH on Friday, September 28, 2018

Columbus, OH on Friday, September 28, 2018

Parkersburg, WV on Monday, October 1, 2018

Morgantown, WV on Monday, October 1, 2018

Charleston,WV on Monday, October 1, 2018

Cincinnati, OH on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Indianapolis, IN on Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Grand Rapids, MI on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

South Bend, IN on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Milwaukee, WI on Thursday, October 4, 2018

Green Bay, WI on Thursday, October 4, 2018

Madison, WI on Friday, October 5, 2018

Cedar Rapids, IA on Friday, October 5, 2018

Des Moines, IA on Monday, October 8, 2018

Minneapolis, MN on Monday, October 8, 2018

Fargo, ND on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Minot, ND on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Billings, MT on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Butte, MT Thursday, October 11, 2018

Missoula, MT on Friday, October 12, 2018

Reno, NV on Monday, October 15, 2018

Las Vegas, NV on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Phoenix, AZ on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tucson, AZ on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Denver, CO on Friday, October 19, 201

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, 201

Miami, FL on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

West Palm, FL on Thursday, November 1, 2018

West Palm, FL on Friday, November 2, 2018

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One Year Later, We Remember

Washington, D.C. – One year ago, a bipartisan majority defeated the repeal of the Affordable Care Act in the Senate. It was one of the first wins of the resistance and most defining moments of the Trump presidency. But the GOP has not stopped its attempts to sabotage our care – and we are all taking note.

Reporters remember:

Jeffrey Young, Huffington Post:

Jonathan Cohn, Huffington Post:

Steven Dennis, Bloomberg:

Dylan Scott, Vox:

Health Care experts remember:

Topher Spiro with the Center for American Progress:

Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

Charles Gaba, independent health care analyst:

Senators remember:

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR):

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI):

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ):

Health care activists remember:

Little Lobbyists:

Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

Health Care Voter:

And the public definitely remembers:

Health Care Champions Take to Senate Floor to Call Out Ongoing Sabotage

Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Senators Murphy, Murray, Coons, Menendez, Baldwin and Durbin took to the Senate floor to lay out the comprehensive repeal and sabotage campaign the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have undertaken in the year since the GOP’s repeal legislation failed. Among the highlights:

Sen. Chris Murphy:

“First, the President set an executive order saying that all of his agencies should take their own actions to unwind the protections of the Affordable Care Act. Then he stopped the marketing for the affordable care act so that less people would know about the options that were available to them. Then the President came to Congress and worked with Republicans to take away one of the most important pillars of the Affordable Care Act, a requirement that healthy people buy insurance — that action alone will result in 13 million people losing insurance and rates going up for 10 million Americans. Most recently the President authorized the junk insurance plans across the country, plans that don’t have to cover mental health, prescription drugs, or maternity care. He then cut funding even deeper for the personnel who help you find what insurance is right for you and instructed the people that remained to push Americans onto the junk plans. Then the President sent his lawyers to court to argue that congress can’t actually protect people with pre-existing conditions because it’s unconstitutional, which would wipe out all of the protections that people enjoy today. And so it’s really no mystery as to why, as the 2019 premium increases are coming out, they are catastrophic… The reason they are passing along enormous premium increases is because of the sabotage run by the President and this Congress.”

Sen. Patty Murray:


“During [the health care debate] I heard personal stories from patients and families all over my state of Washington who were concerned. I heard stories like Julie’s. Julie has a genetic condition, and as a result of that, she has had four different types of cancer. She has had four different organs removed during treatment and she has had her diet severely restricted and her life dramatically changed. But she is a fighter and she had excellent care and she ultimately won each of those four battles with cancer. However, without protections for people with pre-existing conditions, her health care costs could skyrocket. If President Trump had his way, Julie could not get the care she needed, and by the way, she’s not the only one.”

Sen. Chris Coons:

“[The Texas v. United States] lawsuit impacts every corner of America’s health care system and that [this] Administration is not defending the law of the land is a shocking development. It impacts not just those who get their health care through the ACA exchanges. It would impact 150,000,000 Americans who get their health insurance through their employer because it would eliminate protections against lifetime and annual limits on care. It would impact seniors on Medicare who would see increased prescription drug costs. It would impact Americans who depend on free preventive services, cancer screenings, and flu shots because those policies, components of the ACA, would be eliminated. And it impacts young people who would lose their right to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. These are just a few of the devastating impacts if the Texas v. US lawsuit is successful in ripping out what is left of the protections of the ACA. It would have a real and tangible impact on families in my state of Delaware and across our country.”

Sen. Bob Menendez:

“Republicans’ reckless abandonment of families with pre-existing conditions is even more concerning given President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. This is a judge with a long history of ruling against consumers, siding with corporate interests, and assailing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. […] Without the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to [children like] 4-year-old Ethan, who is more concerned about which dinosaur to play with than the pacemaker that’s keeping him alive. Before the Affordable Care Act, children like Ethan were blacklisted from insurance companies for life. How do you tell a 4-year-old that his president no longer believes in protecting children like him?”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin:

“The people of Wisconsin did not send me to Washington to take people’s health care coverage away. They have consistently sent a clear message that they want us to work across the party aisle to make things better and not worse. […] Last year the American people sent a loud message to Washington. I heard it, and they are sending the same simple message today: protect our care.”

Sen. Dick Durbin:

“My wife and I got married. I was in law school. God sent us a beautiful little girl and she had a serious medical problem. We were living here in Washington, D.C., and didn’t have health insurance. And I want to tell you, you never felt more helpless in your life than to be a new father with a brand-new baby who desperately needs medical care and not have health insurance. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I lived in such fear from that point forward of not having health insurance coverage that I did crazy things like getting health insurance two different places of employment just to make sure I never lost it. It scared me that much. I still remember that fear, and I wonder if the people who are debating this issue about the Affordable Care Act ever lived through it themselves? Because if they did, they wouldn’t be standing here saying we can do away with the Affordable Care Act.”

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Rate Watch Campaign Builds Momentum Against Republican Health Care Sabotage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protect Our Care Launches “Rate Watch” Campaign

Washington, D.C. – Protect Our Care today is launching “Rate Watch,” an educational campaign that will highlight how Republican health care sabotage is forcing up health care costs across the country through a coordinated earned and paid media effort and a flagship website. Recently, President Trump’s former HHS Secretary admitted that the GOP agenda is raising premiums, and a wide range of experts project that health care sabotage will raise 2019 premiums by double digits.

“Families in every state in the nation are scared by the fallout of Washington Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage war on health care, and with Rate Watch, we’re holding Republicans responsible for what they’ve done. Every health care expert is confirming what ex-Secretary Tom Price just admitted: Republicans are responsible for hiking people’s premiums. Republicans gave record-breaking tax breaks to health insurance and drug companies and now they’re sabotaging the health care system, letting those companies raise rates and profit even more,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse.  

“On his first day in office, President Trump signed an Executive Order to undermine the health care system – no matter the consequences – and he’s been rooting for it to fail ever since. Now, people who work for a living are going to pay the price. Their latest sabotage scheme is these junk plans that discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and cover almost nothing. As long as Republicans refuse to stop repeal and sabotage, they bear full responsibility for the costs working people have to pay. ”

This morning, leading health care voices, including Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), held a press conference call with reporters and advocates to outline the new program, which will educate the public, stakeholders, and press in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. about the factors at play as insurance companies file preliminary individual market rates.

Check out the new Rate Watch website here.

Over the past week, Protect Our Care has highlighted insurance companies’ own statements about how Republican sabotage is raising rates in Virginia, Maryland, and Vermont, the first three states to announce proposed premiums for 2019.