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Indiana Archives — Protect Our Care

Court Ruling Helps Mike Braun Rip Away Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Decision From Federal Judge Means:

Medicaid Expansion is Gone

Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions are Gone

Hundreds of Thousands of Hoosiers Will Lose Health Care

And Mike Braun OWNS IT

Washington, D.C. –  On Friday night, conservative U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued his ruling in Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al., siding with Republican attorneys general, governors, the Trump Administration, and Senator Mike Braun  to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether it’s repealing the individual mandate to pay for tax cuts or ramming through partisan repeal legislation, repeal cheerleader Mike Braun has done nothing but support the GOP’s efforts to strip coverage from hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Like two sides of the same coin, Mike Braun and the Trump Administration have worked relentlessly to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Today, they are one step closer to ripping health care away from millions of Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, or asthma. If this ruling isn’t overturned, Mike Braun will roll back the clock and take Hoosiers back to the days where insurance companies had the power to once again deny, drop, or charge more for coverage. They will once again have the power to impose annual or lifetime limits and charge women and seniors more based on their age and gender. Make no mistake, these actions will hurt hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.”

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling yesterday, 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. Under this ruling:

  • 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.

What’s at stake for Indiana:

  • The coverage that 339,000 Hoosiers gained through the ACA by 2015.
  • Protections for 2,745,700 Hoosiers who have a pre-existing health condition.
  • Coverage for 412,700 Hoosiers enrolled through Indiana’s Medicaid expansion.
  • The health care of roughly 50,000 young adults in Indiana who have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.
  • The nearly 2,915,827 Hoosiers most of whom have employer coverage, who can access free preventive care at no cost.
  • The 2,259,000 Hoosiers with employer coverage who no longer have to worry about lifetime or annual limits.
  • Seniors’ drug savings — 121,432 Indiana seniors saved $135.2 million on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,114 per beneficiary because the ACA closed the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, 17.1 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

 

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  • 17 million children. One in four children, or roughly 17 million, have a pre-existing condition.
  • 68 million women. More than half of women and girls nationally have a pre-existing condition.
  • 30 million people aged 55-64. 84 percent of older adults, 30.5 million Americans between age 55 and 64, have a pre-existing condition.
  • 2,745,700 Hoosiers have a pre-existing condition.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have The Power To Deny Or Drop Coverage Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period.
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the of the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period
Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medications used to treat autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have The Power To Charge You More

  • More than 100 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition Could Be Forced to Pay More. An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” thanks to the Republican lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $2,916 in Indiana. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies could be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $2,916 in Indiana, according to the AARP.
  • Nine Million People in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage, Including 102,375 Hoosiers. If Judge O’Connor’s ruling is upheld, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 102,375 in Indiana.
  • Seniors Would Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In Indiana, 221,432 seniors each saved an average of $1,114.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

Because Judge O’Connor Sides With Republicans, Medicaid Expansion Could Be Repealed

Fifteen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 412,700 in Indiana.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Bend 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 Hoosiers’ Health Care

Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks in front of Care Force One.

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA- This afternoon, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in South Bend to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Headlined by Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Mel Hall, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm Hoosiers’ care and called on Attorney General Curtis Hill to work instead to protect our care.

“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.”

Mayor Buttigieg’s comments were echoed by cancer survivor Laura Packard and Mel Hall.

“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.”

“This is not a regional issue, this is not a South Bend issue, this is a people issue,” said Hall. “We stand firmly with the folks who have a pre-existing condition. We stand firmly for health care. We can make a difference. This is the issue of our time.”

Mayor Buttigieg, Packard, and Hall, who praised Sen. Joe Donnelly for his consistent championing of Hoosiers’ health care, were joined by Jane Phillips, a former oncology nurse who saw firsthand what it was like for patients before the Affordable Care Act; Nicole MacLaughlin and Jennica Liberatore, who discussed their work with Northern Indiana Community Coalition for Health Care; and  Sheena Shah of Doctors for America, who spoke about her work in medicine and the importance of protecting those with pre-existing conditions.

At today’s event, South Bend 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 Hoosiers. Because of the Republican

  • Hoosiers will see their premiums rise by an average of 5.7 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old Hoosiers would face paying an extra $700 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of sabotage of the ACA.
  • Indiana expanded Medicaid under the ACA and the roughly 400,000 Hoosiers who have gained coverage because of this program would find their care at risk if the law were repealed.
  • 147,000 Hoosiers 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 2.7 million Hoosiers 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 exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Mike Braun supports a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Braun also supports the Trump Administration’s lawsuit that could cause as many as 2.7 million Hoosiers with a pre-existing condition to lose their care.

Tomorrow, “Care Force One” will head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Protect Our Care will be joined by Rep. Gwen Moore. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

Hoosiers 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 Hoosiers’ Health Care

Tonya Prifogle, with her son, Colton, speaks at the Indiana State Capitol.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – This afternoon, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Indianapolis to call attention to the Republicans’ ongoing war on health care. Headlined by State Rep. Ed DeLaney and cancer survivor Laura Packard, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are trying to harm Hoosiers’ care and called on Attorney General Curtis Hill to work instead to protect our care.

“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.”

Pakard’s remarks were echoed by Rep. DeLaney.

“About 2.7 million Hoosiers have a pre-existing condition, which means that virtually every family has a pre-existing condition that was not able to be insured before the Affordable Care Act,” said State Rep. DeLaney. “In a funny way, birth is a pre-existing condition. We’re all gonna get sick sooner or later, and the only issue is whether we get a single sickness or a chronic sickness, so we need to protect this.”

Packard and Rep. DeLaney were joined at the State Capitol by Indiana AFL-CIO President Brett Voorhees, who praised Sen. Joe Donnelly for his steadfast support for Hoosiers’ health care, and Tonya Prifogle and her son Colton, who was born with a rare genetic disorder, and cancer survivor Jessica Hoag, who spoke of the importance of maintaining protections for Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions.

At today’s event, Indianapolis 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 Hoosiers. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • Hoosiers will see their premiums rise by an average of 5.7 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old Hoosiers would face paying an extra $700 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of sabotage of the ACA.
  • Indiana expanded Medicaid under the ACA and the roughly 400,000 Hoosiers who have gained coverage because of this program would find their care at risk if the law were repealed.
  • 147,000 Hoosiers 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 2.7 million Hoosiers 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 exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Mike Braun supports a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Braun also supports the Trump administration’s lawsuit that could cause as many as 2.7 million Hoosiers with a pre-existing condition to lose their care.

The full event can be seen here. Tomorrow, “Care Force One” will head to Lansing, Michigan. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.

Protect Our Care Takes the Health Care Fight to Local Communities Across the United States

Coalition that Defeated Health Care Repeal Announces 48-Stop, 23-State Bus Tour

“Care Force One” Will Travel 11,303 Miles Across the Country, Engaging Americans from Coast to Coast in the Fight Against the GOP War on Health Care

Washington, D.C. – Today, Protect Our Care is announcing its first-ever nationwide bus tour. Kicking off in Bangor, Maine on September 24, the bus, “Care Force One,” will head west to Phoenix, Arizona before coming back east, concluding with an event in West Palm Beach, Florida on November 2. The bus will make 48 stops across 23 states, covering a total of 11,303 miles.

“Republicans in Congress, in states and in the White House have spent the past year and a half attacking our health care. Throughout this bus tour, Americans who are sick and tired of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda will make it clear there’s no hiding from what they’ve done, try as they might, and that we want this war on our health care to end. Now,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care.

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. Recently pro-repeal Republicans have claimed to support the protections for people with pre-existing conditions in the Affordable Care Act, even as they work to dismantle them.

The Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda over the past 18 months has included:

  • Supporting legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which threatens protections for women, older adults and people with pre-existing conditions, as well as a whole host of provisions of tens of millions of Americans rely upon for their care and coverage;
  • Pushing regulations that promote junk plans that can discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and refuse coverage of essential health benefits, such as mental health care, emergency care and maternity care, driving up both risks and costs for consumers;
  • Slashing funding for outreach and enrollment assistance, which experts predicted would lead to 1.1 million fewer people enrolled in the health insurance exchanges across the country and raise costs for those who do enroll;
  • Filing a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act; then, the Trump Administration made the shocking decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act and actually agree in part with the plaintiffs, arguing that protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be overturned,
  • Gutting and obstructing the Medicaid expansion, which currently covers 15 million people and serves as a lifeline to rural communities from coast to coast, and
  • Jeopardizing improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs.

At local events across the country, the bus tour will demonstrate that Americans broadly oppose Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda, which has cut health care coverage dramatically and driven up costs for millions. For example, the Center for American Progress estimates that the Republicans’ tax bill and their junk plans regulations will cause health insurance premiums to be $3,110 higher next year for a typical family of four.

Check out when “Care Force One” is slated to come to you, with additional stops being added along the way. Check out protectourcare.org/bus-tour/ for the latest.

Bangor, ME on Monday, September 24, 2018

Portland, ME on Monday, September 24, 2018

Syracuse, NY on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Binghamton, NY on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Harrisburg, PA on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cleveland, OH on Friday, September 28, 2018

Columbus, OH on Friday, September 28, 2018

Wheeling, 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, 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

Miami, FL on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

West Palm, FL on Thursday, November 1, 2018

West Palm, FL on Friday, November 2, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

###

Why Hoosiers’ Insurance Is Getting Even More Expensive: The Trump Administration and Washington Republicans Keep Sabotaging Health Care

Washington, D.C. – As preliminary Indiana rate filings for 2019 individual-market health insurance indicated another round of premium increases due to Washington Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“For the past year and a half, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have engaged in a deliberate, aggressive campaign to undermine health care and now families in Indiana are being asked to pay the price. Until we stop Washington Republicans’ attacks on health care, experts predict that rates will keep rising by double digits. Washington Republicans should start working on bipartisan solutions to make coverage more affordable, instead of helping their friends in the insurance industry make another buck on the backs of hardworking Hoosiers.”

Why Hoosiers’ Insurance Is Getting Even More Expensive: The Trump Administration and Washington Republicans Keep Sabotaging Health Care

While spending most of last year trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and waging a war on our health care, President Trump and Republicans in Congress have also used their control of Washington to actively undermine the Health Insurance Marketplaces every chance they get – leading insurance companies to raise premiums for 2018 and 2019 and, in some cases, forcing them out of the individual market altogether. Washington Republicans’ goal is simple: sabotage and undermine the Affordable Care Act, then blame everyone but themselves for the consequences of their actions. President Trump keeps rooting for disaster, saying that “The best thing we can do…is let Obamacare explode” and “Let it be a disaster because we can blame that on the Democrats.

Now, initial rate filings in Indiana forecast rate hikes again this fall because of Republican sabotage.

Republicans never ended their war on our health care. After Congress failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration is aggressively sabotaging our health care system and refusing to work to make coverage better and more affordable.

  • Experts from AARP, the Congressional Budget Office, and a wide range of other nonpartisan organizations agree that Republican actions are forcing up health care costs.
  • Republicans in Congress are supporting the Administration’s many actions to undermine health care, despite widespread opposition from patient and disease groups, doctors, nurses, hospitals, plus health care and consumer advocates.
  • The Trump Administration officials keep rewriting the rules to let big insurance companies cover fewer and fewer services while charging people more and more. The sabotage doesn’t stop there: last year the Administration fired many of the community assisters who help people enroll in health care; this year they are planning more enrollment cuts, making it even harder to sign up for coverage.
  • And now, Republicans are encouraging insurance companies to sell more junk plans that don’t have to cover basic care like hospitalization and prescription drugs, and that are allowed to charge people with pre-existing conditions more or even deny them coverage altogether. In Indiana, no short-term plans available have to cover maternity care, and only 37 percent of plans cover prescription drugs.

The Trump Administration’s sabotage will punish Americans by jacking up premiums again, compounding the damage done last year, when Republican sabotage pushed rates up by a national average of 37 percent, and 26 percent in Indiana.

  • The Republican tax bill’s repeal of a key Affordable Care Act provision and the Trump Administration’s junk plan proposal will increase individual market premiums in Indiana by an average 19.6 percent this fall, according to a recent Urban Institute study.
  • This sabotage-driven rate hike will make the damage Republicans inflicted last year through repeal attempts and sabotage even worse.
  • Higher premiums will mean fewer working families can afford coverage: during the first year of the Trump Administration, millions more Americans joined the ranks of the uninsured – the highest increase since Gallup started tracking the uninsured rate.

This could have been avoided: if Republicans had stopped sabotaging health care, American families wouldn’t be facing another huge increase this fall.

  • Even the Trump Administration has admitted that the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces had been stabilizing prior to them coming into office.
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had predicted only modest rate increases if Republicans hadn’t sabotaged the markets.
  • Even Senate Republicans admitted this fall’s upcoming rate hikes were “avoidable,” but then they torched bipartisan stabilization talks at the last minute, prioritizing partisan politics over their last opportunity to help American families afford health care next year.

Despite Republican sabotage, the Affordable Care Act has improved Hoosiers’ care.

  • 166,711 Hoosiers signed up for Marketplace coverage this year.
  • Thanks to the Marketplace and Medicaid expansion, Indiana’s uninsured rate fell by 7 percent between 2013 and 2016 as Hoosiers have gained access to affordable coverage.
  • Before today’s announcement, the Urban Institute predicted that Indiana premiums for 2019 could rise 19.6 percent more because of the Trump Administration’s junk plan proposal and the Republican tax bill’s repeal of a key Affordable Care Act coverage incentive.
  • Even despite sabotage, Affordable Care Act subsidies help keep coverage affordable for 68 percent of Indiana Marketplace consumers, whose average 2018 premium is $155 per month.
  • But because of the Republican sabotage agenda, many middle-income Hoosiers could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more than they would have otherwise.

Hoosiers won’t forget that Republicans and the Trump Administration keep forcing up health care costs to score political points.

 

  • Health care costs are a top issue in nearly every major issue-ranked poll in 2018.
  • Voters overwhelmingly trust Democrats over Republicans on health care costs.
  • In poll after poll, voters resoundingly reject President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage campaign against the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

KEY QUOTES

America’s Health Insurance Plans: Administration’s DOJ Decision Would “Cause Rates To Go Even Higher For Older Americans And Sicker Patients.” “Zeroing out the individual mandate penalty should not result in striking important consumer protections, such as guaranteed issue and community rating rules that help those with pre-existing conditions. Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019. Instead, we should focus on advancing proven solutions that ensure affordability for all consumers. [AHIP, 6/8/18]

Associated Press: Administration’s Decision Could “Nudge Premiums Even Higher.” “The Trump administration’s decision to stop defending in court the Obama health law’s popular protections for consumers with pre-existing conditions could prove risky for Republicans in the midterm elections — and nudge premiums even higher.” [CNBC, 6/8/18]

Timothy Jost, Washington & Lee University Law Professor: Administration’s Decision Could Leave Millions Of Americans Facing “Denial Of Coverage Or Higher Premiums.” “Yesterday, the Trump administration’s Department of Justice dropped a bombshell in a rural Texas federal courthouse. The administration stated in a court filing (and also in letters to Congressional leaders) that it would not defend three key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the judge in the case agrees, millions of Americans with preexisting conditions could face denial of coverage or higher premiums.” [Commonwealth Fund, 6/8/18]

Ceci Connolly, Alliance Of Community Health Plans: Administration’s Decision Decision Could Spark Fresh Market Instability. “Ceci Connolly, president of the Alliance of Community Health Plans, called the legal position ‘troubling’ and warned it could spark fresh market instability. ‘At the very least it adds uncertainty at exactly the moment when plans are trying to set rates for next year,’ Connolly said in a statement. ‘At the worst, it could strip away guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. We don’t want to return to the days when people who needed the care the most could be turned away because of their health status.’” [Modern Healthcare, 6/8/18]

Fortune: If Administration’s Decision Is Implemented, “There’s A Strong Change Insurers Would Begin Charging Sicker People Significantly More.” “To date, many low-income people have been shielded from those increases since federal subsidies to help pay premiums rise in tandem with the spikes. Middle-class families who don’t qualify for the subsidies are left either swallowing the higher premiums or forgoing coverage. If the protections for people with pre-existing conditions are ultimately shot down, there’s a strong chance insurers would begin charging sicker people significantly more for their coverage while younger and healthier Americans would see lower prices.” [Fortune, 6/11/18]

Former HHS Secretary Tom Price: GOP Actions Responsible For Premium Increases. “President Trump’s former top health official on Tuesday said the Republican tax law would raise the cost of health insurance for some Americans because it repealed a core provision of the Affordable Care Act. Tom Price, Trump’s first secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said people buying insurance on government-run marketplaces will face higher prices because the tax law repealed the ACA’s individual mandate. The mandate had forced most Americans to have health coverage or face a financial penalty. ‘There are many, and I’m one of them, who believes that that actually will harm the pool in the exchange market, because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market, and consequently that drives up the cost for other folks within that market,’ Price said at the World Health Care Conference in Washington.” [Washington Post, 5/1/18]

America’s Health Insurance Plans: Republican Sabotage Will “Drive Up The Rate Of Premium Increases.” “Policies that disproportionately draw healthy consumers away from the individual market, like expanding access to short-term plans, will likely have an even more devastating effect on affordability, choice and competition. This will further result in adverse selection, drive up the rate of premium increases, and exacerbate affordability issues for many other people.” [America’s Health Insurance Plans Letter to HHS, 4/20/18]

Cynthia Cox, Kaiser Family Foundation: “In The Absence Of Efforts To Undermine The Market, We Would Be Seeing A Period Of Relatively Small Premium Increases.” “‘In the absence of efforts to undermine the market, we would be seeing a period of relatively small premium increases, driven mostly by the underlying growth in health care costs,’ said Cynthia Cox, the lead author of the Kaiser Family Foundation report. ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re in for another year of double-digit premium increases. And if that does happen, it would be in large part due to policy changes that are happening.’” [Huffington Post, 5/18/18]

Kris Haltmeyer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Vice President: “With The Repeal Of The Individual Mandate And The Failure Of Congress To Enact Stabilization Legislation, We Are Expecting Premiums To Go Up Substantially.” Kris Haltmeyer, a vice president at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, told reporters that the premium increases were in part due to the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate in the Republican tax reform bill in December. He also cited lawmakers’ failure to pass a bill aimed at shoring up the market, which fell apart earlier this year amid a partisan dispute over abortion restrictions. ‘With the repeal of the individual mandate and the failure of Congress to enact stabilization legislation, we are expecting premiums to go up substantially,’ Haltmeyer said. He estimated that average premium increases nationwide will be in the ‘low teens,’ but that there will be major variation across areas, ranging from the low single digits to up to 70 or 80 percent.” [The Hill, 5/23]

New York Times Editorial Board: “The Administration’s Health Care Sabotage Efforts Have Already Had A Big Impact”: A 30-Percent Premium Increase. “The administration’s health care sabotage efforts have already had a big impact — but not the kind of impact officials promised. Insurance companies raised average premiums for 2018 A.C.A. policies by 30 percent. This has mostly hurt middle-class families who have to pay full freight for health insurance because they make too much money to qualify for subsidies and don’t get coverage through their employer. Few experts were surprised when the Commonwealth Fund found that the percentage of American adults who did not have health insurance jumped to 15.5 percent this year, from 12.7 percent before Mr. Trump took office. Experts say those numbers could climb higher still when the penalty for not having insurance goes away next year.” [NYT, 5/3/18]

Commonwealth Fund: Rollback Of Health Insurance Gains Spurred By “Actions By The Current Administration.” “The marked gains in health insurance coverage made since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 are beginning to reverse, according to new findings from the latest Commonwealth Fund ACA Tracking Survey. The coverage declines are likely the result of two major factors: 1) lack of federal legislative actions to improve specific weaknesses in the ACA and 2) actions by the current administration that have exacerbated those weaknesses. These include the administration’s deep cuts in advertising and outreach during the marketplace open-enrollment periods, a shorter open enrollment period, and other actions that collectively may have left people with a general sense of confusion about the status of the law. Signs point to further erosion of insurance coverage in 2019: the repeal of the individual mandate penalty included in the 2017 tax law, recent actions to increase the availability of insurance policies that don’t comply with ACA minimum benefit standards, and support for Medicaid work requirements.” [Commonwealth Fund, 5/1/18]

Center For American Progress: “Combined, The Recent Tax Law’s Repeal Of The Individual Mandate And The Administration’s Short-Term Plan Rule Will Undermine The Individual Insurance Market And Increase Premiums For ACA-Compliant Coverage.” “Last year, as part of the tax law, Congress eliminated the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty. Given the mandate’s important role in encouraging healthier people to enroll in the marketplaces, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that, in 2019, this will increase average premiums in the individual market by 10 percent. Furthermore, in February 2018, the Trump administration proposed a rule to expand short-term health insurance plans… Along with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty, this expansion of short-term plans will drive up average premiums for ACA-compliant coverage in the individual market. Recent preliminary rate filings in Virginia demonstrate that these actions are contributing to significant premium increases for marketplace coverage in 2019. In fact, some Virginia insurers specifically cited the individual mandate repeal and short-term plan rule as major factors in their rate filings… Combined, the recent tax law’s repeal of the individual mandate and the administration’s short-term plan rule will undermine the individual insurance market and increase premiums for ACA-compliant coverage.” [CAP, 5/18]

New York Times: “Rather Than Trying To Eliminate Obamacare In One Fell Swoop, [Republicans Are] Trying To Undermine It With Multiple Acts Of Sabotage – While Hoping Voters Won’t Realize Who’s Responsible For Rising Premiums And Falling Coverage.” “At the beginning of 2017, Republicans promised to release the kraken on Obamacare — to destroy the program with one devastating blow. But a funny thing happened: Voters realized that repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean taking health insurance away from tens of millions of Americans. They didn’t like that prospect — and enough Republicans balked at the backlash that Obamacare repeal fizzled. But Republicans still hate the idea of helping Americans get health care. So instead of releasing the kraken, they’ve brought on the termites. Rather than trying to eliminate Obamacare in one fell swoop, they’re trying to undermine it with multiple acts of sabotage — while hoping voters won’t realize who’s responsible for rising premiums and falling coverage.” [NYT, 5/8/18]

Washington Post Editorial Board: “The Numbers Suggest That [The ACA’s] Critics’ Sabotage Efforts Are To Blame. “The effects of the president’s underinformed instincts, enabled by the ideologues in his administration, are beginning to show up in some of the numbers, representing real pain that Americans are suffering for Mr. Trump’s deficient leadership… Obamacare critics regularly describe all problems as the inevitable result of a poorly designed law. But the numbers suggest that the critics’ sabotage efforts are to blame. After impressive declines during President Barack Obama’s second term, the fund found that the uninsured rate increased in both of the years Mr. Trump has been in office. During the campaign, Mr. Trump regularly complained that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) left too many Americans uncovered. The result of nearly a year and a half of Mr. Trump’s leadership is 4 million people added to that group.” [Washington Post, 5/8/18]

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey: 2018 Premium Increase Was Due To Federal Policy.Three factors connected to federal policy decisions are responsible for 14.7% of the 24.3% total average individual premium increase: Weakened enforcement of the Individual Mandate…Elimination of federal funding for Cost Sharing Reductions (CSR), [and] 2018 reinstatement of Health Insurance Tax…Were it not for the three factors within the control of the Federal Government, Horizon BCBSNJ’s individual premiums would have an average increase of 9.6%.” [Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, 10/17/17]

CEO of CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield: Things Are “Materially Worse” Under Trump. “Continuing actions on the part of the administration to systematically undermine the market and make it almost impossible to carry out the mission…If continued efforts at the federal level undermine the marketplaces, I would think the board would have to examine what they would want — that’s very much on their mind.” [Washington Post, 5/1/18]

Lindsey Graham: Republicans “Own The Outcome” On Health Care. “Sen. Graham told Breitbart News, ‘In October, premiums are going up. Obamacare cannot be fixed. It’s going to continue to collapse, and then, we own the outcome. By repealing the individual mandate, which is a step forward in the eyes of the public, we own the issue. We have a responsibility to do something about the collapsing Obamacare system. I believe that we’re going to get blamed more than Democrats because we stopped trying to repeal Obamacare, and to suggest that we don’t own it is just simply politically naive.’ Graham continued, ‘It can hurt us in 2018. It can hurt by our base feeling like we betrayed them. It can hurt us from people suffering from Obamacare, like we don’t have a solution. It will energize Democrats. It can undercut everything we did on the tax cut side.’” [Breitbart, 2/6/18]

Rep. Charlie Dent: “We, The Republican Party…Own” Health Care Now. “Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) argued Friday that President Trump was ‘ill-advised’ to end key ObamaCare payments, warning that the GOP now ‘owns’ whatever happens to ObamaCare. ‘I think the president is ill-advised to take this course of action because … we, the Republican Party, will own this,’ Dent, a key House moderate who is retiring from Congress at the end of his term, said on CNN. Asked about Trump’s previous comments blaming problems with ObamaCare on former President Barack Obama, Dent pointed out that Republicans currently control the White House and have majorities in both chambers of Congress. ‘Barack Obama is a former president. President Trump is the president and he’s a Republican, and we control the Congress,’ Dent said. ‘So we own the system now. We’re going to have to figure out a way to stabilize this situation … This is on us.’” [The Hill, 10/13/17]

Washington Post: “The Pottery Barn Rule Comes To Mind: You Break It, You Own It.” “This is not ‘letting’ Obamacare fail. Many nonpartisan experts believe that these active measures are likely to undermine the pillars of the 2010 law and hasten the collapse of the marketplaces. The Pottery Barn rule comes to mind: You break it, you own it. Yes, the plate you just shattered had some cracks in it. But if you dropped it on the ground, the store is going to blame you.” [Washington Post, 10/13/17]

Washington Post: “Trump’s Not Going To Be Able To Avoid Blame For Kneecapping Obamacare.” [Washington Post, 10/13/17]

“After Months Of Pinning The Blame For Obamacare’s Shortcomings On Democrats And Watching His Own Party Fail To Act, President Donald Trump Just Took Ownership Of A Struggle That’s Consumed Republicans For Seven Years.” “After months of pinning the blame for Obamacare’s shortcomings on Democrats and watching his own party fail to act, President Donald Trump just took ownership of a struggle that’s consumed Republicans for seven years. Trump’s decision late Thursday to end government subsidies to insurers to help lower-income Americans afford to use their coverage under the Affordable Care Act was the most drastic step he’s taken to undermine his predecessor’s signature achievement. It also lobbed a live bomb into the laps of Republicans lawmakers 13 months before congressional elections after he publicly berated the party’s Senate leadership for being unable to keep a longstanding promise to repeal the law.” [Bloomberg, 10/13/17]

The American People Agree: President Trump And Congressional Republicans Are Playing Politics With People’s Health Care.  A poll conducted last September found that 61 percent of voters believed President Trump was “trying to make the Affordable Care Act fail,” and 64 percent of voters said Trump is “playing politics with people’s health care.” The poll also found that the American people seriously disapprove of how Republicans in Congress are treating health care: 80 percent of voters disapprove while only 20 percent approve. [Hart Research, 9/5/17]

Protect Our Care Launches 130 Million Strong Month of Action

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

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

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

Watch Digital Ad

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

Republicans in Indiana, Ohio & West Virginia Nominate Three Enemies of Health Care

Washington, D.C. – After candidates who have pledged to continue Republicans’ destructive repeal-and-sabotage agenda won Senate primaries in Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Ohio Republican Senate nominee Jim Renacci has voted to repeal or tear apart the Affordable Care Act 58 times, including last year’s House repeal bill that would have kicked 23 million Americans off of their health care, spiked premiums, undermined health care and reproductive rights for women, and imposed an age tax on older Americans; Indiana Republican Senate nominee Mike Braun has called for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with no plan to replace it; and West Virginia Republican Senate nominee Patrick Morrisey has twice sued the federal government to overturn the Affordable Care Act, most recently joining a February suit to invalidate the law. In the Senate, these nominees would push a destructive agenda that represents a grave threat to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, placing millions of Americans’ coverage and access to care at risk. But they can be stopped: poll after poll, including a new CBS survey, continue to show that health care is the top issue on Americans’ minds, and that people of all political stripes reject the Republican war on health care. Despite what Renacci, Braun, and Morrisey might say, the majority of the American people are saying louder: enough is enough – it’s time for Republicans to end their war on our health care.”

Indiana Waiver Approval Accelerates Trump Administration’s War on Medicaid

Washington, DC – As the Trump Administration accelerates its war on Medicaid today by approving Indiana’s waiver proposal, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“By announcing today’s approval, Secretary Azar is escalating the Republican war on health care and its effort to demolish Medicaid from the inside out. The Trump Administration is choosing to cause real pain in Indiana by letting the state make Mike Pence and Seema Verma’s cruel, failing Medicaid ‘experiment’ even worse. Hoosiers with Medicaid will face a 6-month lockout for a simple paperwork mistake, reversing Obama-era progress to streamline enrollment and reduce administrative hurdles. A person caring for a sick child or parent, someone working to control their opioid addiction, or someone who has chronic health conditions that make it impossible to work will now have the added worry of losing their health insurance. This is just cruel. The truth is that imposing work requirements will do nothing to help Hoosiers find or keep jobs. In fact, it most likely will have the opposite effect.

“With today’s announcement, Secretary Azar is also showing that he is a Trump foot soldier who’s happy to help distract from CMS Administrator Verma’s conflicts of interest in Indiana: the agency she leads has just signed off on an even worse version of a badly failing program she personally made millions of taxpayer money off of thanks to Vice President Pence while he was Governor.

“Today’s announcement is a direct affront to Medicaid’s stated mission of improving people’s health.  This is not about work. It’s about taking away people’s health care. All it does is kick people while they’re down.”

BACKGROUND:

In 2015, in order to expand Medicaid to over 350,000 Hoosiers, the Obama administration approved then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s experimental proposal to impose nominal “show” premiums (often $1) for people with Medicaid, and then take away their coverage with a “lockout” of at least 6 months if they missed a payment. Since then, 25,000 Hoosiers have been kicked off their coverage by lockouts.

CMS Administrator Verma’s Checkered Anti-Medicaid Past in Indiana & Beyond

Verma Created The “Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0” Under Pence, Which Put Restrictions On Medicaid Recipients That “Warranted A Six-Month Lockout From Coverage” If They Missed A Single Monthly Payment. According to the International Business Times, “Verma has an extensive history in the healthcare industry. Her consulting firm, SVC Inc., worked alongside Pence to reform Indiana’s Medicaid program following the induction of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). […]While Pence was governor of Indiana, Verma helped create Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, which required users, including low-income recipients, to make monthly payments for their health insurance services with restrictions that warranted a six-month lockout from coverage if even a single payment was missed.” [International Business Times, 11/30/16]

A Mother Of Three In Indianapolis Was Kicked Out Of The Program For A Misplaced $1 Payment. According to NPR, “So how does it work in practice? For Amber Thayer, a mom of three who lives in a Volunteers of America family shelter in Indianapolis, it’s been a bit of a nightmare. Thayer is a recovering addict who has been clean for six months with the help of the medication Suboxone. And she’s training to be a nursing assistant. ‘It’s been quite, quite the struggle, but we’ve gotten there and we’re doing great, and we’re getting ready to get into our own home,’ she says. She pays $1 a month for her Medicaid insurance. In October, she got a bill for that $1 from a different company than the one she had been dealing with. She assumed the state had switched her. ‘It is only a dollar,’ she says. ‘I could pay a dollar a month, or I could pay $12 and that will cover me for the year. Unfortunately, at that time, I only had I believe it was like $2.38 on my card.’ So she called the company and used her bank card to pay the dollar. But the company, or perhaps the state, lost track of her dollar, and her insurance was cut off. She had her bank statement and a receipt from the insurer that proved she had paid. But she still spent six weeks, with multiple phone calls and visits to state health offices, trying to get her coverage restored.” [NPR via Houston Public Chronicle, 1/3/17]

Indiana Medicaid Recipients Could Be “Locked Out Of The Program” For Not Paying Their Premiums, “A Provision Even Commercial Insurance Does Not Impose.” According to The Guardian, “In Indiana, if people on Medicaid earning between $11,000 and $16,000 don’t pay their ‘premiums’, they can be locked out of the program for up to six months, a provision even commercial insurance does not impose. ‘If someone can’t scrape up the money for premiums for two months, they get dis-enrolled, and they get locked out for six months,’ said Kallow. ‘Then say they get cancer, they get hit by a truck, they have an accident. They have absolutely no place to turn for health coverage.’” [The Guardian, 12/4/16]

While Kicking People Off Of Medicaid, Verma’s Firm SVC, Inc. Was Contracted To Receive More Than $4.8 Million From The State Of Indiana Between 2014 And 2017. According to SVC’s contract with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, SVC Inc. was contracted to receive $4,851,400 between May 2014 and June 2017. [SVC Inc. Contract – Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, 6/17/16]

At The Same Time Verma Worked On The Redesign Of Indiana’s Medicaid Program Under A $3.5 Million State Contract She Was Working For “One Of The State’s Largest Medicaid Vendors,” Receiving More Than $1 Million.” According to the Indy Star, “Largely invisible to the public, Verma’s work has included the design of the Healthy Indiana Plan, a consumer-driven insurance program for low-income Hoosiers now being touted nationally as an alternative to Obamacare. In all, Verma and her small consulting firm, SVC Inc., have received more than $3.5 million in state contracts. At the same time, Verma has worked for one of the state’s largest Medicaid vendors — a division of Silicon Valley tech giant Hewlett-Packard. That company agreed to pay Verma more than $1 million and has landed more than $500 million in state contracts during her tenure as Indiana’s go-to health-care consultant, according to documents obtained by The Indianapolis Star. Verma’s dual roles raise an important question: Who is she working for when she advises the state on how to spend billions of dollars in Medicaid funds — Hoosier taxpayers or one of the state’s largest contractors?” [Indy Star, 8/26/14]

  • Indiana Lawmakers Were Unaware That Verma Was Working For The State And For HP Simultaneously. According to the Indy Star, “If Verma was a federal contractor, her dual roles ‘would certainly raise tremendous concern for regulators and purchasing officials,’ he said. ‘This is exactly the kind of thing that would land an agency in a hearing before a legislative oversight committee.’” [Indy Star, 8/26/14]

Verma’s Medicaid Reforms In Iowa Were “A Nightmare.” According to STAT News: “When President Donald Trump tapped policy consultant Seema Verma to run Medicaid and Medicare in his administration, he called her part of a health care ‘dream team.’ But the health policy changes she helped design in Iowa have felt more like a nightmare to providers serving poor and disabled residents across the state. Verma has helped several states revamp Medicaid, including Kentucky and Indiana. Here in Iowa, she worked on an aggressive effort to privatize the program, which provides health care to about 600,000 adults and children.” [STAT News, 1/24/17]

  • Ablekids Pediatric Therapy In Sioux Falls Reported Struggle to Keep Doors Open. According to a Des Moines Register editorial: “The Cedar Rapids Gazette has reported on billing problems experienced by outpatient rehabilitation clinics across the state. ‘We’re not even getting half of what we got with Iowa Medicaid,’ said Jessica McHugh, owner of AbleKids Pediatric Therapy in Sioux City, referring to the many years when the state administered Medicaid.” [Editorial – Des Moines Register, 7/16/16]