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Health Care Archives — Protect Our Care

SOTU PREVIEW: Five Ways The Trump Administration Has Continued To Sabotage Americans’ Health Care Since The Midterms

In November, voters took to the polls and sent a clear message to GOP leaders: end the Republican war on health care. National exit polls showed health care was the top issue to voters, and exit polls of competitive districts found Democrats had an eight point advantage on health care, 52 to 44 percent. Thirty-three members of Congress who voted to repeal the ACA lost their seats.

Despite voters’ clear rejection of the GOP sabotage agenda, President Trump has continued to ruthlessly target Americans’ health care. Here’s a look at five ways he has ignored the will of the American people and taken aim at health care since this fall’s midterm elections:

  1. Just Last Week, President Trump Admitted That He Supports The Goal Of The Lawsuit Led By Republican Attorneys General And Governors To Completely “Terminate” The Affordable Care Act. Trump predicted the Affordable Care Act would be “terminated” through the Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the law. In December, cherry-picked Federal Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in favor of twenty conservative states to overturn the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing coverage for 17 million people and ripping away the ACA’s vital consumer protections such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  2. In January, Experts Blamed Trump Administration Sabotage for Driving The Uninsured Rate To Its Highest Level Since The Implementation Of The Affordable Care Act In 2014. Thanks to GOP sabotage, the uninsured rate surged to its highest level since 2014. Roughly seven million fewer people are estimated to have health care now than did two years ago.
  3. In Its Notice Of Benefit And Payment Parameters, The Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services Actually Proposed Changes That Would Make Consumers Pay More. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed changes to the ACA’s benefit and payment parameters would reduce premium tax credits by $1 billion per year, cause 100,000 people to lose marketplace coverage starting in 2020, increase annual premiums, and increase the out-of-pocket maximum for people with employer-sponsored health care.
  4. The Trump Administration Just Gave PhRMA a Big Win After The Pharmaceutical Industry Spent $280 Million On Lobbying In 2018. In a win for big Pharma, the Trump administration proposed changes to the rebate system that would raise premiums, benefit pharmaceutical companies, and contain no mandate to lower list prices of prescription drugs.
  5. After The Midterm Elections, The Trump Administration Urged States To Allow Federal Subsidies To Be Used To Purchase Junk Plans That Discriminate Against People With Pre-existing Conditions. The Trump administration issued new guidance urging states to “tear down basic pillars of the Affordable Care Act, demolishing a basic rule” that federal subsidies can only be used to purchase ACA-compliant plans. Experts warn against this move, saying it will push affordable, comprehensive care further out of reach for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

State Leaders Praise Protect Our Care’s Agenda For “The Health Care Congress”

Health care activists and elected officials from across the country are praising Protect Our Care’s agenda for the 116th Congress that will lower costs and improve care for all Americans. Leaders in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio are among those who have weighed in on the opportunity Congress has to build on the current health care law by making access to health care more affordable and accessible to all Americans.

 

Arizona Republic: Gallego, Kirkpatrick Call For ‘Health Care Congress’ To Fight For ACA. “The partisan battle over health care continued Tuesday as the liberal group ‘Protect Our Care Arizona’ demanded that Congress keep fighting for the Affordable Care Act amid ongoing attacks by President Donald Trump’s administration. Joined by Reps. Ruben Gallego and Ann Kirkpatrick, the Democratic coalition known for defending former President Barack Obama’s signature health-care-reform law — which critics on the right dubbed ‘Obamacare’ — called for the new 116th Congress to right the wrongs they say Republicans have done in the health-care realm. [AZCentral,1/30/19]

Tucson Weekly: Reps. Gallego And Kirkpatrick Talk Health Care.Ruben Gallego (CD-7) and Ann Kirkpatrick (CD-2), two Democratic representatives in U.S. Congress joined Alicia Held, an Arizona healthcare advocate, to talk about the state of health coverage in Arizona. They discussed what citizens can expect in the future during a press call hosted by Protect Our Care Arizona. Rep. Gallego said more than 20 million Americans have healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act, while Republicans have ‘waged a war’ against it. He said Democrats need to fight back in order to keep coverage for those who need it most. ‘Americans shouldn’t have to choose between paying for healthcare and buying groceries,’ he said.” [Tucson Weekly, 1/29/19]

Denver Westword: Attacking Outrageous Health-Care Costs In Colorado And Beyond.A new report released today suggests ways for the U.S. Congress to fight rising health-care costs. Meanwhile, Colorado Governor Jared Polis just signed an executive order creating what’s been dubbed the Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. Anne Shoup, communications director for Protect Our Care, a coalition in Washington, D.C. (with staff assigned to Colorado), that put out the report, ‘The Health Care Congress: Cost, Coverage, Consumer Protections,’ sees these efforts as both timely and complementary. As Shoup notes, ‘We’re calling on Congress to enact cost-saving measures for people, but it’s hard to say what we can actually get done…it’s encouraging to see a state like Colorado step forward to find ways to lower costs for its constituents.’” [Westword, 1/24/19]

Daily Iowan, Iowa Starting Line, Iowa State Daily: This Must Be The Health Care Congress. “Iowans and Americans have demanded access to quality, affordable coverage at the ballot box and millions in our state and across the country deserve to have this year’s Congress be the ‘Health Care Congress. What would that mean, for this to be the Health Care Congress? First,Congress should do everything possible to overturn last year’s federal court decision that struck down the ACA, which President Trump has repeatedly celebrated and which has faced virtually no opposition from Senator Ernst and other Republican members of Congress…the Health Care Congress also has to end the Republican war on people with pre-existing conditions…the Health Care Congress can and should strengthen Medicaid and Medicare. Aside from extending and increasing federal funding for Medicaid expansion, they can improve Medicare’s affordability by adding an out-of-pocket maximum for older Americans.” [The Daily Iowan, 1/24/19]

BlueNC: Protect Our Care Announces Health Care Agenda for New Congress. “This week, Protect Our Care unveiled their health care agenda for the new Congress. The agenda is detailed in a new report, which calls for bold Congressional action to defend the Affordable Care Act against Republican attacks, strengthen Medicaid and Medicare, lower costs, and enact further protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Congressman David Price and State Sen. Jay Chaudhuri joined Protect Our Care North Carolina on a press call yesterday discussing the report – The Health Care Congress: Cost, Coverage, Consumer Protections – and what it means for North Carolina. ‘The voters want us to protect their health care,’ Representative David Price said. ‘They want us to protect the Affordable Care Act…and they want us to do whatever it takes to bring affordable, good health care to all of our people.’ ‘In November…affordable health care was the top issue for North Carolinians,’ State Sen. Jay Chaudhuri said. ‘Republicans…have two options for how they will govern – they can work with Democrats to find common ground, or they can continue to carry out a highly partisan agenda.’” [BlueNC, 1/25/19]

Gongwer News Service: Advocates Urge Congress To Expand Health Care Access. “During a Columbus press conference, representatives from Protect Our Care Ohio and several allied groups touted the organization’s January report laying out the group’s health care priorities for Congress. Titled ‘The Health Care Congress: Cost, Coverage, Consumer Protections,’ the paper outlines several steps advocates argue would shore up health care options and lower treatment costs for residents of the Buckeye State. The group’s report comes a day after Gallup found that the percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance increased 1.3 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to a year before, representing the largest single-year increase measured by the polling firm and Sharecare since they began tracking the rate in 2008. ‘There are many things this Congress could be doing to improve care and lower costs,’ Protect Our Care spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said. ‘Republicans in the Congress need to end their continued attack on the Affordable Care Act and join their Democratic colleagues in protecting our care.’” [Gongwer, 1/28/19]

Hannah Report: Groups Urge Congress to Protect the Affordable Care Act, Health Care. “Advocates who favor the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, urged Congress Friday to take steps to protect health care for Americans, including for those with pre-existing conditions and people who enrolled in Medicaid thanks to the ACA’s expanded requirements. The groups, which include For Our Future, Protect Our Care Ohio, ProgressOhio, and the Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN) Ohio, said the biggest threat to health care is a federal lawsuit originating in Texas that saw a federal judge rule the ACA was unable to stand on its own after Congress eliminated the tax penalty for not having health insurance. But they said there are other threats to the law as well, including efforts by the Trump administration to weaken it. Amanda Wurst, the Ohio director of Protect Our Care, said at a press conference held Friday in Columbus that Congress can take other steps to help lower the cost of health care in addition to preserving protections for those with preexisting conditions.” [Hannah Report, 1/25/19]

New Web Video: Time To Stand Up To Big Drug Companies

Yesterday, House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings kicked off the new Health Care Congress by taking a stand for Americans and standing up to the drug companies. Cummings explained that when these drug companies (some of the most powerful corporations in the world) raise prices suddenly, everyday Americans are “left holding the bill.” That’s why we proposed in our Health Care Agenda that Congress should end price gouging and lower prescription drug prices for all Americans. We look forward to working with this health care Congress as they fight to push our health care system in the right direction.

Watch Video Here:

 

 

Protect Our Care Statement On Gallup Poll Showing The Uninsured Rate Jumping To The Highest Level In 5 Years

YEARS OF REPUBLICAN SABOTAGE RESULTS IN THE FEWEST PEOPLE COVERED SINCE THE PASSAGE OF THE ACA, HURTING WOMEN, LOWER-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, AND YOUNG PEOPLE THE MOST

Washington DC — Today, according to a new Gallup Health and Wellbeing-Index, about 7 million fewer people had health care in 2018 compared to the previous year. The uninsured rate has steadily increased during the Trump administration from a low of 11 percent in 2016, the lowest since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rate was 14 percent in the last quarter of 2018. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“Years of Trump administration and Republican sabotage of the ACA continues to take its toll. The Trump administration regularly claims it’s making health care better, but the proof is in the pudding — he’s sabotaging the system and ripping coverage away from millions of families.  And Trump’s sabotage hits women, lower income households, and young people especially hard.

“President Trump and his allies in Congress must stop their partisan war on health care before they rip coverage away from millions more. Our focus should be on lowering costs and helping more people get coverage, but Republicans insist on taking us backwards – the exact approach voters rejected in November.  It’s past time for Congress to step in and put the brakes on Trump’s health care sabotage because millions of Americans are paying the price with less coverage and higher costs.”

Protect Our Care Reacts to CMS Proposed Payment Notice For 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced its proposed payment notice for the 2020 coverage year which includes a reduction in tax credits for millions of Americans and is additionally seeking public comments on potential changes to the ACA marketplaces — one which could eliminate the practice of silver loading and one that could eliminate the auto-enrollment of marketplace coverage.  In response, Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“The proposed reduction in tax credits will raise health care premiums for millions of Americans and result in a minimum of 100,000 people losing their health care and are just another form of Trump administration sabotage.  In addition, any effort to eliminate silver loading or auto-enrollment would be a direct attack on our health care and would raise premiums and threaten coverage for millions. Once again, the Trump administration is sabotaging our health care system and asking the American people to foot the bill.”

Elections Have Consequences: State and Local Leaders are Protecting and Expanding Health Care Even as President Trump and Republicans Continue Their Repeal and Sabotage Agenda Nationally

Last year, health care was the number one issue that drove people to the polls and fueled the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  And, even as President Trump and Republicans continue to pursue their repeal and sabotage agenda, elected leaders at the local and state level are fighting back and responding to voters by taking action to protect and expand coverage, and lower costs for their constituents. Elections do indeed have consequences.

(CA) Gov. Gavin Newsom Moves To Expand Access To Health Care In California. “Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a broad overhaul of health care on his first day in office Monday, promising to throw the state’s financial power into an effort to lower prescription drug costs, expand Obamacare so middle-class families can receive subsidies to buy insurance, and offer Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented immigrants up to age 26. Newsom aides said the expansion of Affordable Care Act subsidies would be funded by a California version of the individual mandate, the former federal requirement that people either carry health insurance or pay a penalty on their taxes. Congressional Republicans and President Trump repealed the mandate in 2017, although the penalty does not disappear until the 2019 tax year. Newsom would reinstate it on the state level.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/7/19]

(CO) Colorado Democrats Introduce Public Option Health Care. “Creation of a public option health care plan is one of the most ambitious changes Colorado Democrats proposed Friday as they kicked off a new session of the General Assembly in control of both chambers for the first time in four years. The first five bills introduced in each chamber — indicators of lawmakers’ top priorities for the year — largely relate to health care and education costs. A Senate bill would create a public option health insurance plan that Coloradans who live in the highest-cost areas — mainly the Western Slope — could buy instead of their current insurance starting in the fall of 2019. A House bill would expand that program to the entire state by the fall of 2020.” [The Denver Post, 1/4/19]

(ME) On First Day In Office, Gov. Janet Mills Signs Executive Order Directing State To Implement Medicaid Expansion. “Medicaid expansion is finally advancing in Maine, more than a year after voters approved it at the ballot box. Newly sworn in Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat who campaigned on broadening access to health insurance, used her first executive order to direct the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to begin implementation of Medicaid expansion.” [CNN, 1/3/19]

(NM) In New Mexico, Democrats Plan To Introduce A Bill To Create A Medicaid Buy-in Program. “New Mexico Democrats eye creating the nation’s first Medicaid buy-in program, one of many blue-state efforts expected this year to expand health insurance coverage.” [Politico, 1/9/19]

(WA) Gov. Jay Inslee Proposes Public Option For Washington. “Gov. Jay Inslee and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday announced proposed legislation for a new “public option” health-care plan under Washington’s health-insurance exchange. The proposal, which Inslee said is the first step toward universal health care, is geared in part to help stabilize the exchange, which has wrestled with double-digit premium increases and attempts by Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. ‘We are proposing to the state Legislature that we have a public option that is available throughout the state of Washington so that we can increase the ability to move forward on the road to universal health care in the state of Washington,’ said the governor, who is considering a run for president in 2020.” [The Seattle Times, 1/8/19]

(WI) Gov. Tony Evers Signs Executive Orders To Direct State To Develop Plan For Expanding Medicaid, Find Ways To Protect ACA’s Consumer Protections. “In his second day on the job, Gov. Tony Evers signed executive orders Tuesday to study expanding health coverage and providing insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions…One order directs the state Department of Health Services to develop a plan to expand the state’s BadgerCare Plus health care program for low-income people under the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Republican lawmakers have fiercely opposed the idea. The issue is expected to come to a head this year as Evers and lawmakers work on a state budget that will determine whether the state taps into additional federal aid through Obamacare. The second order tells state agencies to prepare plans to find ways to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, bolster consumer protections, improve the public’s understanding of insurance, and require insurers to make their costs and terms easily understandable. Evers has said the best way to protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions is to keep the Affordable Care Act in place. He campaigned on getting Wisconsin out of a multistate lawsuit challenging the law.” [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/8/19]

(NY) Governor Cuomo and the legislature to pursue reproductive rights protections. “Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Monday for including abortion rights in the New York Constitution, calling it an unprecedented opportunity to protect a woman’s right to choose… Cuomo took his call a step further, vowing to push an amendment that would enshrine a woman’s right to choose in the state Constitution. Such a move would make it more difficult for future governors and lawmakers to reverse: A constitutional amendment has to be approved by successively elected Legislatures and approved by a vote of the public. [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 1/7/19]

(NYC) New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio To Fund Health Care For All, Including Undocumented. “New York Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a $100 million plan that he said would provide affordable ‘healthcare for all,’ reaching about 600,000 people, including undocumented immigrants, low-income residents not enrolled in Medicaid and young workers whose current plans are too expensive. The plan, which de Blasio dubbed ‘NYC Care,’ will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale based on income, the mayor said during an interview Tuesday morning on MSNBC. It will begin later this year in the Bronx and will be available to all New Yorkers in 2021, and would cost at least $100 million once it reaches full enrollment, according to the mayor’s office.” [Bloomberg, 1/8/19]

Protect Our Care: Today’s Health Care Vote in the House Comes Down to This: Support The Law or Fully Repeal it  

“A No Vote Today is a Vote For Full Repeal,” says Brad Woodhouse

Washington DC — Today, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on a stand-alone resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless repeal and sabotage campaign on health care by Republicans and President Trump. The resolution authorizes the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and all of its protections.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, calls on House Republicans to join their Democratic colleagues and vote to pass this resolution in the following statement:

“A no vote on today’s resolution is a vote for the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans can no longer pretend this lawsuit is a theoretical exercise. Judge Reed O’Connor ruled to strike down the entire law, going further than any ACA repeal bill the House voted on in the last two years. By voting ‘no,’ Republicans are saying they want this ruling to stand and they want every clause, period and participle of the ACA repealed.  

“Let’s be clear: a ‘no’ vote means supporting taking away coverage from millions of people, raising the costs for millions more, and taking away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Republicans and President Trump were hammered at the polls in November for this very lawsuit and for their years-long repeal and sabotage agenda. We’ll find out today if they got the message – and if not – we’ll tag them with repeal and all of its consequences all over again. Win win ”

A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care released yesterday demonstrates the vulnerability of Republicans on this issue. The poll found that well more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, Republicans are one step closer to repealing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating key protections, unleashing — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in his court — “chaos” in our entire health care system. If this ruling is allowed to stand, here’s what would happen:

  • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for 10 million people: GONE.
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people: GONE.
  • Protections for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions when they buy coverage on their own: GONE.
  • Allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26: GONE.
  • Free annual wellness exams: GONE.
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits: GONE.
  • Ban on insurance discrimination against women: GONE.
  • Contraception with no out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs: GONE.
  • Requirement that insurance companies cover essential benefits like prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization: GONE.
  • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs: GONE.
  • Closed Medicare prescription drug donut hole: GONE.
  • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable: GONE.
  • Small business tax credits: GONE.

 

 

Welcome To Washington’s 116th Congress

“The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Since regaining control of the House, Democrats who ran and won the midterm election on protecting health care have wasted no time doing just that. On day one, under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, Democrats voted to defend the Affordable Care Act and protect people with pre-existing conditions, and they are just getting started.

 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” “The new Democratic House of Representatives will be relentless in defending protections for people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care for every American…Republicans should end their assault on health care and join us to do the right thing for the American people.” [The Hill, 1/3/19]

U.S. News & World Report: “The Chamber That Once Led The Fight To Undo Obamacare Will Now Be Fighting For Its Survival In The Courts.” “Democrats are making it brazenly clear they are back in power in the House of Representatives, providing a critical roadblock to the GOP agenda in an already-gridlocked government…The chamber that once led the fight to undo Obamacare will now be fighting for its survival in the courts. The old committee to examine global warming will be reconstituted – and renamed, more ominously, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.” [U.S. News & World Report, 1/4/19]

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): In 116th Congress, “Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions.” “But Nancy Pelosi is just getting started. In the 116th Congress, she will continue to fight hard For The People. Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions, increase pay for everyday Americans, enact a real infrastructure plan, clean up corruption, defend the dreamers, fix the voting rights act and end the era of voter suppression once and for all.” [Hakeem Jeffries Website, 1/3/19]

Politico: “House Democrats In Power For The First Time In Nearly A Decade Are Opening A Sustained Campaign To Hammer Republicans On Obamacare.” “House Democrats in power for the first time in nearly a decade are opening a sustained campaign to hammer Republicans on Obamacare, seeking to force the GOP’s hand on popular policies like protecting patients with pre-existing conditions…Those votes are just opening salvos from House Democrats, who also plan to go after the Trump administration policies that they say have purposefully undermined Obamacare by depressing enrollment, cutting subsidies, promoting skimpy alternative health coverage, and even having the Department of Justice take the unusual move of supporting key elements of a lawsuit against the federal health law.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

Washington Post: “House Democrats Used Their New Majority On Thursday To Squeeze Republicans On Health Care.” “House Democrats used their new majority on Thursday to squeeze Republicans on health care, taking the first step to intervene in a court case in which a Texas judge has ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. That move will be followed by a vote next week designed to force GOP lawmakers into a political corner: agree to defend a law many members have spent years reviling or appear to oppose popular ACA protections for millions of Americans with preexisting medical conditions that many have pledged to uphold.” [Washington Post, 1/3/19]

CNN: “In Their First Hours In Control Of The House Of Representatives, Democrats Filed A Motion To Intervene In An Ongoing Lawsuit That Threatens To Bring Down The Affordable Care Act.” “In their first hours in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit that threatens to bring down the Affordable Care Act…As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the Democrats granted themselves authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health care law. It directed the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel. The House late Thursday voted in the rules package, which the majority party — now the Democrats — adopts at the start of a new Congress. The newly empowered Democratic leadership also scheduled a vote for next Wednesday on a standalone resolution affirming the House’s authorization to intervene in the lawsuit. This would put Republicans on the record voting specifically for or against defending Obamacare and its protections for those with pre-existing conditions.” [CNN, 1/4/19]

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Chairman On The Rules Committee: “We’re On Offense” On Health Care. “We’re on offense…The American people made it very clear in the last election that health care is important, and they don’t want Republicans screwing around with it. And we’re going to have their backs.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

CNN: “House Democrats Are Moving Quickly To Defend The Affordable Care Act Once They Retake Control Of The Chamber Thursday.” “House Democrats are moving quickly to defend the Affordable Care Act once they retake control of the chamber Thursday. As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the party is granting itself authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health reform law. It directs the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel…Supporting the Affordable Care Act, including its popular provisions that protect those with pre-existing conditions, helped Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections in November. Since then, the party’s leaders have repeatedly said they will swiftly work to uphold the law.” [CNN, 1/2/19]

CNBC: House Democrats Set Up Framework To Intervene In Federal Court Case Striking Down Obamacare. “Democrats about to take over control of the House of Representatives have moved to defend Obamacare from a court challenge that threatens to kill the landmark health-care reform law. In an action Tuesday night, Democratic leaders said they will authorize their next speaker, likely Nancy Pelosi, to intervene in a pending federal case, Texas v. United States, in which a judge has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. Democrats regain control of the House when Congress returns for the 116th congressional session Thursday.” [CNBC, 1/2/19]

Washington Post: Democratic Wishlist Includes “Health Care (With A Focus On Prescription Drug Prices And Protecting People With Preexisting Conditions).” “At the top of the list is a sweeping political reform package linked to a new Voting Rights Act. Taking on the ‘special interests,’ she said, will ‘give people confidence’ in the rest of the Democratic wish list that includes health care (with a focus on prescription drug prices and protecting people with preexisting conditions), workforce training and ‘building the infrastructure of America in a green way.’ For the longer term, Democrats would be looking for ways to expand health coverage by strengthening the Affordable Care Act.” [Washington Post, Dionne Jr., 1/2/19]

The Hill: House To Vote Next Week On Intervening To Defend ObamaCare In Court. “A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the vote on having the House formally intervene in court to defend ObamaCare will come next week, in addition to a vote on Thursday on intervening in the lawsuit as part of the larger package of rules for the new session of Congress. Holding the separate additional vote next week will put Republican lawmakers on record, highlighting the political pressure that Democrats hope to put on vulnerable GOP lawmakers who campaigned last year pledging to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Democrats say if GOP lawmakers vote against defending ObamaCare, they will be showing that they don’t actually support protections for people with pre-existing conditions contained in the health law.” [The Hill, 1/2/19]

Daily Mail: Nancy Pelosi’s First Move As Speaker Will Be A Public Stand On Saving Obamacare By Intervening In Court Case Where Judge Struck It Down As Unconstitutional. “Incoming likely speaker Nancy Pelosi is laying down a marker that newly-empowered Democrats will go to court to protect Obamacare, in one of the first acts of the Democratic-run House. Pelosi, who stands for election on Thursday, has assembled a new rules package that specifically commits the House to a legal case that has once again thrown President Obama’s signature health plan into jeopardy. Pelosi helped marshall through Obamacare during her first term as speaker. Now, the new rules package that the Democratic House will codify in their traditional first legislative action, will specifically authorize the House to intervene in the case.” [Daily Mail, 1/2/19]

Despite Democrats making monumental gains to become a pro-health care Congress, Republicans are touting a bill that would have ripped coverage from millions of Americans and decimated important consumer protections, continuing their tone-deaf message despite voters’ strong rejection of the GOP’s repeal and sabotage agenda:

In Her Speech Nominating Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) For Speaker Of The House, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Boasted About Republican Effort To Repeal The Affordable Care Act. “Leader McCarthy has led us through the 115th Congress in unmatched historic productivity, including passage of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, because we know, Madam Clerk, that the American people know better than the government how to spend their money…Leader McCarthy also led to ensure that we passed the American Health Care Act to expand access and options and put patients and families in the driver’s seat, not government bureaucrats.” [Cheney Floor Speech, 1/3/19]

Protect Our Care Congratulates Nancy Pelosi on Speakership

Washington DC – As Democrats begin the 116th Congress by taking control of the House of Representatives, Protect Our Care issued the following statement congratulating Nancy Pelosi on today’s historic vote making her the Speaker of the House for a second time. Speaker Pelosi will continue making health care a top priority, first by passing the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless health care repeal and sabotage campaign waged by Republicans in Congress and President Trump:

“Nancy Pelosi is a true health care champion and Protect Our Care is proud to congratulate her on being selected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “The American people voted for a pro-health care Congress and now they have a health care champion at the helm. Speaker Pelosi worked tirelessly to ensure that millions of Americans gained access to affordable health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continuously defeated Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda. The House once again has a pro-health care leader whose unrelenting discipline and long track record will make health care and protecting people with pre-existing conditions a top priority.”

“With today’s vote, the American people gained a steadfast and experienced leader who not only delivered quality health care to millions of Americans but who continues to fight every day to check Republicans and the Trump administration,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “I have no doubt that Speaker Pelosi will fight to lower health care costs, protect Medicaid and Medicare, and stop Republican sabotage efforts. By scheduling a vote on the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, Nancy Pelosi is once again, putting health care first. This resolution puts a bullseye on the dangerous Texas court decision that threatens to strip health care from millions of Americans. The choice couldn’t be more clear. There is no one better prepared for this role than Nancy Pelosi and we congratulate her on this monumental win.”

Protect Our Care Urges Congress to Back Democratic Nominee For Speaker

Washington DC — Following today’s overwhelming vote in the House Democratic caucus, Protect Our Care issued the following statement congratulating Nancy Pelosi on being the Democratic nominee for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2018, Democrats won more seats and by a larger vote margin than at any point since Watergate and it was fueled by a health care focused campaign. The Republican nominee for Speaker is Kevin McCarthy, who has voted multiple times to repeal health care and roll back protections for millions of Americans.  

“Protect Our Care is proud to stand with and congratulate Nancy Pelosi on being selected by her colleagues to be the Democratic nominee for the next Speaker of the House,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “Leader Pelosi led the Democratic wave that ended Republican control of the House and today she was resoundingly picked to be the Democratic Nominee for Speaker. With today’s vote, the House of Representative is on track to have an experienced, pro-health care leader at the helm. Pelosi’s hard-work has made way for millions of Americans to gain quality health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defeat Republicans repeal-and-sabotage agenda. Members of Congress who want to stand up for health care, ought to back the Democratic nominee for Speaker as Republicans offer a warmed-over version of the same repeal agenda that voters just rejected.”

“With impeccable discipline, Leader Pelosi made health care the number one issue in the midterms and voters responded – flipping as many as 40 seats held by pro-repeal Republicans,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Make no mistake, the American people took to the polls this election to make their voices heard and overwhelmingly voted for pro-health care Democrats. The Democratic nominee for Speaker of the House is a pro-health care leader with a proven track record of getting results. The Republican nominee for Speaker will do nothing but continue the Trump Administration’s repeal-and-sabotage agenda that fails hard-working Americans every day. The choice could not be more clear.”