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Kevin Cramer Archives — Protect Our Care

Court Ruling Helps Kevin Cramer 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 North Dakotans Will Lose Health Care

And Kevin Cramer 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 Kevin Cramer  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 Kevin Cramer has done nothing but support the GOP’s efforts to strip coverage from hundreds of thousands of North Dakotans. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Like two sides of the same coin, Kevin Cramer 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 North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, or asthma. If this ruling isn’t overturned, Kevin Cramer will roll back the clock and take North Dakotans 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 North Dakotans.”

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 North Dakota:

  • The coverage that 15,000 North Dakotans gained through the ACA by 2015.
  • Protections for 316,000 North Dakotans who have a pre-existing health condition.
  • Coverage for 21,400 North Dakotans enrolled through the state’s Medicaid expansion.
  • The health care of roughly 7,000 young adults in North Dakota who have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.
  • The nearly 359,052 North Dakotans most of whom have employer coverage, who can access free preventive care at no cost.
  • The 253,000 North Dakotans with employer coverage who no longer have to worry about lifetime or annual limits.
  • Seniors’ drug savings — 11,110 North Dakota seniors saved $11.5 million on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,037 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.
  • 316,000 North Dakotans 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 $3,709 in North Dakota. 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 $3,709 in North Dakota, according to the AARP.
  • Nine Million People in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage, Including 18,139 North Dakotans. 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 18,139 in North Dakota.
  • 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 North Dakota, 11,110 seniors each saved an average of $1,037.

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 21,400 in North Dakota.

North Dakotans: Get Ready for More Health Care Lies From Kevin Cramer Tonight

Washington DC — Ahead of tonight’s Senate debate between Kevin Cramer and health care champion Heidi Heitkamp, Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

 

“Facing mounting pressure from North Dakota voters demanding protections for pre-existing conditions, Kevin Cramer has done a 180 on health care issues in recent weeks. Kevin Cramer joins a long list of Republicans who are collecting pinocchios for flat-out lying about protecting people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by insurance companies. Today, the very same day Mitch McConnell has admitted that the Senate’s goal will be repeal if folks like Kevin Cramer win in November, will Kevin Cramer finally tell the people of North Dakota the truth? I wouldn’t bet on it.”

 

The Truth About Kevin Cramer’s Record:


Rep. Kevin Cramer Voted Multiple Time to Eliminate Protections for People with Pre-existing conditions.

 

  • 2013:  Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13]

 

  • 2015:  Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Cramer voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”  The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15]

  • In fact, Cramer’s own campaign website acknowledged his vote would “repeal the affordable care act in its entirety.” “Today Congressman Kevin Cramer voted with the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.” [Cramer Website, 2/3/15]

Why The Truth Matters:

  • Roughly 275,000 North Dakotans Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • Women no longer charged more than men. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer charge women more than men for the same care.
  • Ended annual and lifetime limits. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer put annual or lifetime limits on the care you receive.
  • Young adults can stay on their parent’s plan until age 26. Because of the ACA, roughly 7,000 young adults in North Dakota have coverage because they can stay on their parent’s coverage until age 26.
  • Allowed states to expand Medicaid. Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid. 18,000 North Dakotans have gained coverage because of this program.

 

FACT CHECK: HERE ARE ALL THE WAYS KEVIN CRAMER DOESN’T STAND UP FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response to a bogus new ad from the Kevin Cramer campaign:

“Kevin Cramer’s new ad is another unbelievably desperate attempt to sweep his own record under the rug. Make no mistake, Cramer has voted numerous times to eliminate pre-existing conditions protections hundreds of thousands of North Dakotans rely upon, he’s refused to take action to oppose the Trump-GOP lawsuit that would eliminate pre-existing conditions protections and he’s done nothing to fight the junk insurance plans promoted by the Trump Administration that don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions and can drop coverage for people when they get sick. If Kevin Cramer thinks he can fool the people of North Dakota about his record against pre-existing conditions protections, he’s got another thing coming.”

REP. KEVIN CRAMER VOTED TO REPEAL THE ENTIRE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT WHICH WOULD HAVE ELIMINATED PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

2013:  Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13]

2015:  Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”  The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15]

 

  • Cramer Said The Bill Would “Repeal The Affordable Care Act In Its Entirety.” “Today Congressman Kevin Cramer voted with the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.” [Cramer Website, 2/3/15]

 

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

    • Protections for 316,000 North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
    • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
    • Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
    • Ban on annual and lifetime limits
    • Ban on insurance discrimination against women
    • Limit on out-of-pocket costs
    • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people
    • Rules to hold insurance companies accountable
    • Small business tax credits
    • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 20,000 North Dakotans.

REP. KEVIN CRAMER VOTED FOR THE HOUSE HEALTH REPEAL BILL WHICH WOULD GUT PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

2017: Cramer Voted For AHCA.  Cramer voted for passage of the American Health Care Act.  [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #256, 5/4/17]

American Medical Association: “The Bill Passed By The House Today Will Result In Millions Of Americans Losing Access To Quality, Affordable Health Insurance And Those With Pre-Existing Conditions Face The Possibility Of Going Back To The Time When Insurers Could Charge Them Premiums That Made Access To Coverage Out Of The Question.” “The bill passed by the House today will result in millions of Americans losing access to quality, affordable health insurance and those with pre-existing health conditions face the possibility of going back to the time when insurers could charge them premiums that made access to coverage out of the question. Action is needed, however, to improve the current health care insurance system. The AMA urges the Senate and the Administration to work with physician, patient, hospital and other provider groups to craft bipartisan solutions so all American families can access affordable and meaningful coverage, while preserving the safety net for vulnerable populations.” [AMA, 5/4/17]

American College Of Physicians: “This Vote Makes Coverage Unaffordable For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.” “The American College of Physicians (ACP) is extremely disappointed that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) today. This vote makes coverage unaffordable for people with pre-existing conditions,  allows insurers to opt-out of covering essential benefits like cancer screening, mental health, and maternity care, and cuts and caps the federal contribution to Medicaid while sunsetting Medicaid expansion…The House action is by no means the end of the story, however.  ACP will continue to do all that it can to ensure continued coverage and access for the millions of patients who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. In a strongly worded letter to the United States Senate also sent today, ACP urged Senators to reject this harmful legislation and begin anew to craft bipartisan solutions to improve coverage and access for all Americans.” [ACP, 5/4/17]

American Association Of Family Physicians: AHCA “Allow[s] For Discrimination Against Patients Based On Their Gender, Age, And Health Status.” “The American Academy of Family Physicians is deeply disappointed with the U.S. House of Representatives passage of the American Health Care Act. This legislation will harm millions of their constituents. It will destabilize our health care system, cause 24 million Americans to lose their coverage, and allow for discrimination against patients based on their gender, age, and health status. Its inadequate and temporary high-risk pool funds are simply a band aid that does nothing to provide health security to the nearly one in three Americans who have a pre-existing condition. Its provision allowing annual and lifetime caps on benefits diminishes the value of every policy sold in the future.” [AAFP, 5/4/17]

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: AHCA “Would Create A Coverage Patchwork Whereby Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions Could Be Charged More For Their Coverage While Simultaneously Weakening The Rules For What Health Services Will Be Covered. “Today the House of Representatives passed a health care bill that could leave cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease unable to access or keep quality health insurance. The bill would create a coverage patchwork whereby patients with pre-existing conditions could be charged more for their coverage while simultaneously weakening the rules for what health services will be covered.” [ACS CAN, 5/4/17]

AARP: AHCA “Now Puts At Risk The 25 Million Older Adults With Pre-Existing Conditions…Who Would Likely Find Health Coverage Unaffordable Or Unavailable To Them.” “AARP is deeply disappointed in today’s vote by the House to pass this deeply flawed health bill. The bill will put an Age Tax on us as we age, harming millions of American families with health insurance, forcing many to lose coverage or pay thousands of dollars more for health care.  In addition, the bill now puts at risk the 25 million older adults with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, who would likely find health care unaffordable or unavailable to them.” [AARP, 5/4/17]

Consumers Union: “In A Field Where ‘Do No Harm’ Is The Standard, This Bill Does Nothing But Harm American Families.” “Elizabeth Imholz, Special Projects Director for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, said, ‘The House of Representatives today failed their constituents and the American health system by passing the American Health Care Act. In a field where ‘do no harm’ is the standard, this bill does nothing but harm American families. Taking insurance away from 24 million people, devastating Medicaid, rolling back protections for preexisting conditions and older consumers, increasing out-of-pocket costs, encouraging junk insurance plans without any meaningful coverage, ​and even allowing the elimination of out-of-pocket cost caps and reinstating lifetime limits for the nearly half of all Americans who get their coverage through their employers — these are the real consequences of the AHCA. Each iteration has only made this bad bill worse.’” [Consumers Union, 5/4/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans: “AHIP Believes That Every American Deserves Coverage And Care That Is Affordable And Accessible, Including Those With Pre-Existing Conditions.” “AHIP believes that every American deserves coverage and care that is affordable and accessible, including those with pre-existing conditions. The American Health Care Act needs important improvements to better protect low- and moderate-income families who rely on Medicaid or buy their own coverage. We stand ready to work with members of the Senate and all policymakers, offering our recommendations for how this bill can be improved to ensure the private market delivers affordable coverage for all Americans.” [AHIP, 5/4/17]

REP. KEVIN CRAMER SUPPORTS A CONSERVATIVE LAWSUIT TO REPEAL THE ACA ALONG WITH ITS PROTECTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Cramer refuses to oppose a lawsuit designed to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration refused to defend against a lawsuit brought by twenty conservative states aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Cramer has come out in support of the lawsuit. [Politico, 8/17/18]

REP. KEVIN CRAMER WON’T WORK TO OVERTURN JUNK PLANS THAT ALLOW INSURERS TO DENY COVERAGE BECAUSE OF A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION

Cramer refuses to join the House effort to overturn Trump administration’s junk plan rule that lets insurance companies discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration finalized a rule that allows insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Experts warn that this move will only increase the cost of comprehensive care, ultimately making it even harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get the care they need. House Democrats introduced legislation that would block Trump’s rule, but Cramer has not signed on.

The Truth Behind Kevin Cramer’s Health Care Record

“For years, Kevin Cramer has waged a war on our health care,” says Brad Woodhouse

Today in Fargo, President Trump will campaign for Kevin Cramer, a long-time supporter of the GOP repeal-and-sabotage agenda and a proponent of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He is also a supporter of the Trump-Stenehjem-GOP lawsuit to eliminate the ACA’s protections for 275,000 North Dakotans living with pre-existing conditions. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement ahead of the joint appearance of these long-time enemies of health care:

“He’s made several desperate attempts to conceal his record, but make no mistake: for years, Kevin Cramer has waged a war on our health care, voting numerous times to eliminate the protections hundreds of thousands of North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions rely upon. That Cramer is taking the stage tonight with someone who on his first day in office vowed to do everything in his power to implode health care for North Dakotans is proof positive that Cramer would only supersize his dangerous repeal-and-sabotage agenda if elected to the Senate.”  

The Truth:

Although Cramer Has Falsely Claimed To Support Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions, the Truth Is Rep. Kevin Cramer Voted Multiple Times to Eliminate Protections for People with Pre-existing Conditions.

  • 2013: Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA. Cramer voted for HR 25, which created a reserve fund for the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. [HR 25, House Vote #88, 3/21/13]
  • 2013: Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 45, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.” [HR 45, Roll Call Vote #154, 5/16/13]
  • 2015: Cramer Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  Cramer voted for HR 596, an act “to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.”  The bill also ordered House committees to develop a replacement that would “provide people with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health coverage,” but provided no specifics. [HR 596, Roll Call Vote #58, 2/3/15]
  • In fact, Cramer’s own campaign website acknowledged his vote would “repeal the affordable care act in its entirety.” “Today Congressman Kevin Cramer voted with the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.” [Cramer Website, 2/3/15]

Why The Truth Matters:

  • Roughly 275,000 North Dakotans Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • Women no longer charged more than men. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer charge women more than men for the same care.
  • Ended annual and lifetime limits. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer put annual or lifetime limits on the care you receive.
  • Young adults can stay on their parents plan until age 26. Because of the ACA, roughly 7,000 young adults in North Dakota have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.
  • Allowed states to expand Medicaid. Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid. 18,000 North Dakotans have gained coverage because of this program.