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Kaiser Family Foundation Archives — Protect Our Care

New KFF Health Tracking Poll: More Trouble for Sabotage & Repeal Republicans

The 2018 midterms were a referendum on health care and voters rejected the sabotage and repeal approach of Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress.

According to the new Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking poll, opposition continues to grow against Republicans for putting the needs of their health insurance contributors ahead of the needs of people who work for a living.

TWO KEY FINDINGS FROM THE KFF HEALTH TRACKING POLL

  • People reject Trump’s lawsuit to overturn ACA. By 10 points (41-51%), voters disapprove of the right-wing TX judge backing the Trump administration’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. When people hear that the Trump administration lawsuit means “people with pre-existing conditions may have to pay more for coverage or could be denied coverage,” they shift to opposing it by 39 points (25-64%)
  • People want action to protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and protect consumers against surprise medical bills. 82% of voters say it’s either extremely (54%) or very important (28%) that this Congress take action to lower prescription drug costs. 73% say it’s either extremely (46%) or very important (27%) that this Congress take action to protect coverage of those with pre-existing conditions. 70% of voters say it’s either extremely (43%) or very important (27%) that Congress work to protect people with health insurance from surprise high out-of-pocket medical bills.

In Case You Missed It: Under Trump, Uninsured Rate Increases For First Time Since Implementation Of Affordable Care Act

Last Friday, analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation illuminated the impact of the Trump Administration’s non-stop sabotage on Americans’ health care: the number of uninsured nonelderly adults increased by nearly 700,000 in 2017.

After repeatedly attempting and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and congressional Republicans pursued a relentless effort to sabotage the law. Kaiser’s analysis of the uninsured rate shows that Republicans’ sabotage agenda has jeopardized Americans’ access to care, particularly in states that refused to expand Medicaid. Take a look at Kaiser’s key findings below:

In 2017, The Uninsured Rate Increased For The First Time Since 2010. “As early provisions of the ACA went into effect in 2010, and as the economy improved, the number of uninsured people and uninsured rate began to drop. When the major ACA coverage provisions went into effect in 2014, the number of uninsured and uninsured rate dropped dramatically and continued to fall through 2016, when just below 27 million people (10% of the nonelderly population) lacked coverage…In 2017, the uninsured rate reversed course and, for the first time since the passage of the ACA, rose significantly to 10.2%.”

More People Became Uninsured In States That Refused To Expand Medicaid. “Changes in the uninsured rate in the set of states that expanded Medicaid were essentially flat overall…In contrast, the uninsured rate in states that did not expand Medicaid increased both overall (rising by 0.6 percentage points) and for most groups.”

NEW: 4 Key Points – Kaiser Post Election Poll Shows Voters Reject GOP War on Health Care and Want Congress and States to Act

The regular Kaiser Family Health Tracking Poll today gives another post-election confirmation that Republicans repeal and sabotage agenda for health care has been rejected by the American people.

See for yourself.

Four Key Points:

  1. The Affordable Care Act is viewed favorably by 53 percent of people – a 13 point margin. It’s the largest level of support for the ACA since after the 2010 election.
  2. 87 percent of people said it’s important (65 percent very important) to protect prohibitions against health insurance companies denying coverage because of people’s medical history.
  3. If Trump’s lawsuit to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions succeeds, 70 percent of people want their state to re-establish the protections.
  4. For people who live in states that haven’t yet expanded Medicaid, 59 percent of people support expansion and only 34 percent oppose it.

New Poll: Trump Administration’s Sabotage Efforts Harm Open Enrollment  

Washington DC — The Kaiser Family Foundation released its November tracking poll and found that the Trump Administration’s ongoing sabotage campaign is preventing the American people from signing up for coverage. This isn’t surprising given the Trump Administration’s repeated sabotage of the open enrollment process by cutting outreach resources and shortening the enrollment time period. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“The fact that people do not know they have until December 15th to sign up for coverage is another proof point in the Trump Administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act. We all know open enrollment is a critical time for Americans to get the coverage they need. But Donald Trump and Republicans continue to do nothing to get the word out. We must redouble our efforts to let Americans know they only have until December 15th to sign up for coverage. In many cases, premiums are lower this year, making plans more affordable for millions of families across the nation. People who need insurance should sign up for coverage on HealthCare.gov before the December 15th deadline.”

The tracking poll showed that:

  • Only one in four Americans know the deadline to sign up for coverage during open enrollment.
  • The poll shows 77 percent of Americans said either they did not know, refused to answer, or gave the wrong date for the open enrollment deadline.
  • Only three in ten people who would buy coverage reported hearing or seeing information about how to do so in the past 30 days

 

BACKGROUND:

Between 2016 And 2018, The Trump Administration Has Cut Funding For Groups That Help People Sign Up For Coverage By 84 Percent. After cutting funding for navigator groups that help people sign up for coverage from $63 million in 2016 to $36 million in 2017, the Trump administration made yet another round of cuts in 2018, leaving just $10 million in funding for health navigator groups. Since 2016, Trump has cut navigator funding by 84 percent.

Health Navigators, Like Jodi Ray At The University Of South Florida, Say Cuts To Navigator Programs Prevent Them From Adequately Letting People Know That Open Enrollment Is Happening. Ray said, “We don’t have the people to provide the enrollment assistance nor to do the outreach and marketing to let people know what’s happening.”

This Year, 800 Counties Served By The Federal Marketplace Are Operating Without Any Federally Funded Navigators. This is more than six times as many counties served by the federal marketplace that operated without federally funded navigators in 2016, when 127 counties lacked such a navigator.  

The Trump Administration Wants Navigator Groups To Push Consumers To Sign Up For Junk Coverage That Is Exempt From Covering Prescription Drugs And Hospitalization Instead Of Comprehensive Plans. The Administration announced in July that it would encourage navigator groups to use their remaining funding to push consumers to sign up for junk health plans, which cover few benefits and notorious for the fraud they attract.

In 2017, The Trump Administration Cut The Open Enrollment Advertising budget By 90 Percent. As ABC News summarized, “In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services spent $100 million on Obamacare advertising and outreach, but for [2017]’s open enrollment period, CMS plans on spending $10 million.” CMS chose not to increase the budget for 2019.

A full timeline of the Trump administration’s crusade to sabotage open enrollment is below:

October 2018

  • The Trump administration issues guidance that allows federal subsidies to be used to purchase junk plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, a move expected to worsen ACA risk pools.
  • Trump administration announces scheduled maintenance on the open enrollment website, preventing people from signing up for coverage on Sundays from 12:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

August 2018

  • Trump administration finalizes rule for bare-bones short-term plans that are exempt from key consumer protections, such as the requirement that insurance covers prescription drugs, maternity care, and hospitalization.

July 2018

  • Trump Administration slashes funding for non-profit health navigator groups that help people shop for coverage, from $36 million to $10 million. CMS encourages groups to use the remaining funds to push people to sign up for junk plans that skirt important consumer protections.

July 2018

  • Trump Administration limits access to assistance for consumers who want to enroll in marketplace coverage. This change removes the requirement that every area has at least two “navigator” groups to provide consumer assistance and that one be local. Now, just one group could cover entire states or groups of states.

December 2017

  • Congressional Republicans pass their tax scam, which doubles as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

October 2017

  • The Trump Administration dramatically cuts in-person assistance to help people sign up for 2018 health coverage.

September 2017

  • The Administration orders the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in Open Enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell says, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”

August 2017

  • The Administration cuts the outreach advertising budget for Open Enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – which resulted in as many as 1.1 million fewer people getting covered.

July 2017

  • The Trump Administration uses funding intended to support health insurance enrollment to launch a multimedia propaganda campaign against the Affordable Care Act.

April 2017

  • The Trump Administration cuts the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days.

January 2017

  • Also on January 20th, the Department of Health and Human Services begins to remove information on how to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Trump Administration pulls funding for outreach and advertising for the final days of 2017 enrollment. This move is estimated to have reduced enrollment by nearly 500,000.

Kaiser Poll Show Yet Again that Americans Want Supreme Court, Congress to Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, D.C. – This morning, the Kaiser Family Foundation released its July tracking poll showing that protecting people with pre-existing conditions is the top health issue for voters, the latest of a series in recent months – and the second released this week – showing health care as a top issue in the upcoming elections.

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“Poll after poll has shown the American people want their leaders to continue to protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination, yet Donald Trump and Republicans’ continue with their repeal and sabotage campaign to weaken these protections, raise premiums, and cut coverage. But the American people see this war on their health care and are experiencing the effects of it every day. We will make sure Americans remember who is siding with them, and who is siding with insurance companies making record profits after Republicans cut their care and gave them a huge tax cut, in November.

AMONG THE POLL’S FINDINGS:

  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions is the top health care issue for voters.
  • From the poll: “This issue cuts across voter demographics with most Democratic voters (74 percent), independent voters (64 percent), and voters living in battleground areas (61 percent), as well as half of Republican voters (49 percent) saying a candidate’s position on continued protections for pre-existing health conditions is either the single most important factor or a very important factor in their 2018 vote.”
  • Sixty-four-percent of voters do not want the Supreme Court to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including 71 percent of Independents.
  • A majority of Americans — 56 percent of those polled — say President Trump and his Administration are working to make the ACA fail.
  • A majority — 51 percent — of people living in states that have not yet expanded Medicaid support expansion want their state to expand Medicaid.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

Since Assuming Office, President Trump And Congressional Republicans Have Repeatedly Attempted To Repeal The Affordable Care Act And With It, Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.

  • The Trump administration just asked courts to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In early June, the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice decided to argue that courts should throw out the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • The Senate Republican repeal bill would have allowed states to waive ACA protections, allowing insurance companies to charge sick patients more.
  • The House Republican repeal bill would have allowed insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions “prohibitively high premiums.”

GOP Sabotage Has Persisted for 18 Months, and Has Caused Massive Premium Increases

  • Last year, Republican sabotage pushed 2018 insurance premiums up by a national average of 37 percent and this year GOP sabotage has resulted in 2019 premium increases in all but two states where the data is available.
  • A new report released this week found that, in 2019:
    • A typical family of four will see a marketplace premium that is $3,110 higher.
    • A 55-year-old couple will see a premium $3,330 higher on average.
    • An unsubsidized 40-year-old will pay an extra $970 on average.
  • Meanwhile, other acts of sabotage would eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions and raise costs. View a comprehensive list of acts of health care sabotage here.

A Year After Repeal Defeated in the Senate, Health Care is the Top Issue to Voters, and May be the Issue that Most Influences the Midterm Elections

  • The Kaiser tracking poll finds that continuing protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is the top health care campaign issue for voters across all demographics.
  • A new Protect Our Care-PPP poll found voters will support candidates who want to improve the ACA rather than repeal it, and strongly oppose the Trump Administration going to court to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Last month’s June Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found health care to be the top issue for voters, ranked higher than all issues, including the economy and jobs.
  • A June NBC News poll found health care to be top midterm issue.
  • In a May CBS News poll, voters said health care is the most important issue in deciding who to vote for Congress in November.
  • A year ago, ACA repeal bills were among the least popular pieces of major legislation in history. When the House was considering the “American Health Care Act,” (AHCA) polls at the time showed it to be the most unpopular piece of major legislation Congress had considered in decades. Then, the so-called Graham-Cassidy repeal bill had a 24 percent approval, even more unpopular than the AHCA.

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New KFF Poll Confirms Hidden Cost of Sabotage

Anxiety About Health Care Mounts Due to Destructive Republican Rhetoric

Washington, DC – After new polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation confirmed Americans’ mounting anxiety about Republican health care sabotage, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Despite everything Republicans have thrown at it, the Affordable Care Act still protects every single American with health insurance and connects millions of previously uninsured people with coverage but you wouldn’t know it listening to Trump and Republicans in Congress. Republicans need to realize that misleading the public, sabotaging the law and spreading fear has real and damaging consequences. Whether you’re a person with a pre-existing condition or the parent of a sick kid, you deserve elected officials who make life easier, not scarier. The constant anxiety Americans now face is yet another hidden cost of Republicans’ relentless repeal-and-sabotage campaign against our health care.”

Key takeaways from the survey:

  • About half the public overall believes the ACA marketplaces are “collapsing,” including six in ten of those with coverage purchased through these marketplaces. This belief reflects the ongoing uncertainty caused by Republican sabotage and Trump’s divisive rhetoric, but contradicts what the President’s own economic advisors have confirmed about the stability and strength of the individual market.
  • Because of Republican sabotage, the number of people who are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that rate hikes will make coverage unaffordable has skyrocketed to 67%, compared with 38% in October 2017.
    • People are more worried about copays and deductibles – up from 42% to 69%.
    • People are more worried that insurance companies will stop selling plans – up from 34% to 49%.
    • People are more worried that there won’t be any plans in their area – up from 33% to 51%.
  • One-third (34 percent) of shoppers in the individual market say the individual mandate that Republicans repealed was a “major reason” why they chose to buy insurance, and one in ten say they will not buy coverage without it. Research indicates that those most likely to drop coverage are “young invincibles,” who balance the risk pool and act as a downward pressure on premiums. Because of Republicans’ individual mandate repeal, CBO forecasts that average premiums in the nongroup market will increase by 10% in most years of the coming decade.

Despite Trump, GOP Agenda of Repeal and Sabotage, Kaiser Poll Finds ACA More Popular Than Ever

This morning, the Kaiser Family Foundation released its February Health Tracking Poll, which found that the Affordable Care Act has a 54% favorability rating, the highest since the poll started tracking the public’s views in 2010.  The increasing support for the Affordable Care Act comes in spite of the efforts of President Trump and Congressional Republicans to repeal and sabotage the law.  Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement in response:

“Today’s Kaiser tracking poll is the clearest evidence yet that the partisan war on health care of President Trump and Congressional Republicans has fallen flat with the American people and is a surefire political loser for the GOP,” said Woodhouse. “Congressional Republicans have spent eight years lying about the Affordable Care Act in attempts to repeal it, and President Trump has spent a year trying to repeal or sabotage it at every turn. Despite this, millions of people overcame the attempts to disrupt open enrollment and signed up for coverage, voters approved ballot measures supporting Medicaid expansion in Oregon and Maine, and when Democrats won big on election day in November health care was the major reason why.

“The reason for the ACA’s increased popularity is simple: it works. People support the ACA because it bars discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions and bans lifetime limits on care; they support the ACA because it covers essential medical care, like maternity care and prescription drug coverage; and they support the ACA because it gives them an opportunity to live their lives without fear that a medical emergency can come along and leave them at the whims of insurers, as was the case for far too long. Americans recognize the GOP’s health care sabotage is already expected to raise their premiums 20% next year. People want reforms that lower costs, not sabotage and repeal which raise them, and President Trump and Congressional Republicans would be well-served to finally listen to the Americans who continue to make their voices heard loud and clear. Enough is enough – it’s time for the GOP to end their war on health care.”