Lisa Murkowski Archives — Protect Our Care

On SCOTUS Hearings Eve, New Ads Preview Reality If Collins Refuses To Stand Up for Mainers

New TV Ad in Maine Previews a Scary Future When the ACA is Struck Down by a Court Hostile to Health Care

Radio Ads in Maine and Alaska Highlight ‘Side Effects’ of Justice Kavanaugh for People with Pre-existing Conditions Like Cancer

Washington, D.C. – In the latest phase of its campaign to educate the public about what’s at stake for health care in the Supreme Court, Protect Our Care is launching new television and radio ads in Maine and Alaska urging constituents to ask Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.

  • The new TV ad in Maine shows the scary future we could face if Justice Brett Kavanaugh sides with the Trump Administration and casts the deciding vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act and its protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
  • Radio ads up in Maine and Alaska highlight the impact Kavanaugh’s vote could have on hundreds of thousands of state residents living with pre-existing conditions.

Watch the new TV ad airing in Maine:  

Listen to the radio ads airing all week in Alaska and Maine.

The new ad campaign comes after two months of activity in the Senators’ states and in DC — including this past weekend’s massive 50-state Unite for Justice Day of Action — where constituents have implored the Senators to stand up for their health care and oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court. The groundswell of opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination is borne out by poll after poll showing weak support for Kavanaugh, making him the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in three decades, less popular than Harriet Miers, whose nomination was withdrawn. In fact, a new Protect Our Care-PPP poll released last week found that just 42 percent of Mainers want Sen. Collins to confirm Judge Kavanaugh and that a vote to confirm him would harm Sen. Collins’ re-election prospects.

“Americans do not want protections for the more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions taken away from them by the Supreme Court, but President Trump does. And as we head into the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings next week, Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski need to decide if they agree,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “Senators Collins and Murkowski have claimed a commitment to health care — this nomination may be the truest test of where they actually stand yet.”

Alaskan with Pre-Existing Condition Meets with Senator Murkowski in D.C.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Leighan Gonzales, a 23 year old University of Alaska, Anchorage student, met with Senator Lisa Murkowski to discuss how Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court threatens protections for Alaskans with pre-existing conditions.

Leighan was was born with a heart condition that required open heart surgery at five months old – a pre-existing condition protected by the Affordable Care Act. She traveled 14 hours from Alaska this week to meet with her senator to make sure her concerns were heard, especially on behalf of the 320,000 Alaskans with pre-existing conditions who were not able to make the trek.

“Today, I met with Senator Murkowski to ask her to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh,” said Leighan. “As an Alaskan with a pre-existing condition, I am very concerned that protections for people with pre-existing conditions and Medicaid are in jeopardy. Senator Murkowski has stood up for Alaskans before, and I hope that she will do it again.”

For the past 18 months, the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress and states across the country have been waging a relentless war on our health care. The Trump Administration has turned to executive orders and regulations to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) piece by piece, all while joining a lawsuit that threatens to upend protections for people with pre-existing conditions and end the Medicaid expansion, which was signed into law in Alaska by Governor Bill Walker. Judge Kavanaugh has criticized the Supreme Court’s previous decision in favor of the ACA, and has said that a president may refuse to enforce laws he disagrees with.

Concerned Alaskans have held 12 press calls, press conferences, and events across the state in the six weeks since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced. In each instance, Alaskans relying on protections for pre-existing conditions or expanded Medicaid services created by the ACA have made clear that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination would be disastrous for thousands of Alaskans, and have implored their Senators to vote no.

Protect Our Care Highlights Maine and Alaska Pre-Existing Condition Stories in Press Conference to Stop Brett Kavanaugh

Washington, D.C. – This morning, Protect Our Care and Little Lobbyists joined Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Chris Murphy and Chris Van Hollen at press conference to lay out the threat against Americans with pre-existing conditions if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is appointed to the Supreme Court.

“A year ago this month, with every Democrat and Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and John McCain, we defeated the number one legislative priority of Republicans and President Trump dating back seven years: repealing protections from people with pre-existing conditions and the whole Affordable Care Act,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “For the health of the American people, we need the pro-health care majority in the Senate to come together again and keep Brett Kavanagh off the Supreme Court.”

Woodhouse highlighted at the press conference stories from Maine and Alaska, home to key Republican Senators in the nomination battle Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME):

  • Diane Decker of Anchorage, Alaska was diagnosed with leukemia in her late twenties, going through a bone marrow transplant and beating cancer. Despite this, years later when she wanted to start her own business, she was unable to find insurance. After the ACA, she was able to find coverage.
  • Alyce Ornella of Bangor, Maine gave birth to a son born with life-threatening birth defects and and in need of surgery to stay alive, as well as a team of specialists to help him as he grew older. The ACA ensured that Sam could get coverage without his family going into bankruptcy, and today he is a happy and healthy child.

Read more about why a vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a vote against these families — and all of the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.


Advocates Mount Defense of Health Care for Millions

Last night, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice. To be clear, Trump had two litmus tests in selecting Brett Kavanaugh for the Court:

1) overturning Roe v. Wade, and

2) overturning Americans’ health care by gutting protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Across the country, health care advocates geared up in opposition, urging their senators to reject Judge Kavanaugh, an activist judge who was hand-picked to rubber-stamp President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ war on health care.

Here are some highlights, with more activity on the ground happening today.

In Alaska, Protect Our Care was joined by health care advocates, Alaska Native leaders, and former Alaska Superior Court Judge John Reese to urge Sen. Lisa Murkowski to do what is best for Alaska and reject a justice who won’t protect Alaskans’ care.

In Maine, Protect Our Care was joined by the Maine Women’s Lobby and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in calling on Sen. Susan Collins to protect pre-existing condition protections and women’s access to health care.

In Arizona, Jeff Jeans, a cancer survivor joined  state Rep. Athena Salman, and representatives from Planned Parenthood and ACLU Arizona urged Senator Flake to stand up for Arizonans’ care.

In Nevada, Protect Our Care and Laura Packard, a health care advocate living with cancer, Cyndy Hernandez of NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada, and Sam Shaw of SEIU Nevada Local 1107 urged Sen. Dean Heller to stand up and protect Nevadans’ health care.

In Ohio, Protect Our Care Ohio joined with Innovation Ohio, the Physicians Action Network, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio highlighted the current and long-term threats to health care under a conservative Supreme Court.

In Tennessee, Protect Our Care was joined by a coalition of concerned citizens including Jen Yamin, the mother of a son with pre-existing conditions, Kristen Grimm, the mother of child with special needs, and Anna Carella, Co-Chair of Healthy and Free Tennessee, outside Sen. Bob Corker’s Nashville office.

In West Virginia, Protect Our Care advocates went on the record to make it clear that they want their senators to stand up health care.

Protect Our Care to Susan Collins: Do You Stand With Lisa Murkowski or Ted Cruz?

This afternoon, the Washington Examiner reported that Ted Cruz is calling on Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act through reconciliation, a partisan process which will result in millions losing their coverage, increased premiums and weaker protections for pre-existing conditions.

Senator Ted Cruz: “The biggest unfinished task is Obamacare. We need to finish the job.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski publicly objected to this.

Senator Lisa Murkowski: “I don’t think we should be spending time trying to do repeal and replace of ObamaCare.”

Senator Collins, do you stand with Ted Cruz or Lisa Murkowski?

SENATE HEALTH CARE FIREWALL HOLDS: Murkowski to Cruz: Drop Obamacare Repeal

Washington, DC – Following Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s statement that Republicans should not revisit their failed Affordable Care Act repeal quest in 2018, Protect Our Care Campaign Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement:

“Senator Murkowski is right: Congressional Republicans need to move on from their war on health care and stop pushing partisan repeal bills. Enough is enough – it’s time for Republicans like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz to move on from their war on health care and start working on the bipartisan health care solutions that Americans want and deserve.”

Ted Cruz Vows to Continue the GOP War on Health Care. Will Other Republicans Go Along?

Washington, DC – Today, the Washington Examiner reported that Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told the paper in an interview that Republicans need to “finish the job” and repeal the Affordable Care Act through reconciliation, and that he has been meeting with GOP senators previously opposed to repeal. Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement in response: “Ted Cruz’s views on health care today are yet again wildly out-of-touch with the American public. Poll after poll has shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans prefer the Affordable Care Act over the GOP’s repeal agenda. Instead of listening to the American people and moving forward on bipartisan improvements to strengthen markets and lower premiums, however, Senator Cruz continues to push partisan repeal. It’s time to find out if other Republican senators agree with Ted Cruz that the GOP should continue its war on health care, the number one issue on voters’ minds an effort that will result in millions more losing their coverage, and leave everyone else with higher costs and weaker protections or if there is a better path forward. Will Senators like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain succumb to pressure from the likes of Senator Cruz and lobbying from Senator Graham, further worsening the GOP’s standing with another secretive, partisan repeal process, or will they say enough is enough and call for an end to the GOP’s war on our health care?”

Protect Our Care Statement On Potential Inclusion Of Alexander-Murray In Senate Spending Bill

In response to the news that the Senate plans to include the Alexander-Murray legislation in its must-pass spending bill this week, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“This is not nearly enough to offset the damage caused by this tax bill, and for senators to pretend otherwise is wrong and short-sighted” said Woodhouse. “13 million people will lose health insurance due to sneaky repeal and millions more will see their premiums rise double digits, and Alexander-Murray will do virtually nothing for these people even it is able to pass the House, far from a sure thing.

“Perhaps Senators Collins and Murkowski think this legislation will allow them to justify supporting a tax scam benefiting the wealthiest and big corporations at the expense of everyone else, but it provides little comfort to the American people losing sleep over their health care being put in jeopardy by the GOP tax scam.”