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Medicaid Archives — Protect Our Care

New TV Ad Blasts Trump for Breaking His Promise on Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid

Ad also Targets Ten Congressional Republicans Calling on Them to Oppose Trump’s War on Health Care

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care will air a new television and digital ad this week calling out President Trump for his many lies about wanting to save Medicare and Medicaid while proposing to gut their funding and sabotaging our health care system at every turn.

The ad, called “Broken Promises,” slams Trump’s blatant hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts by highlighting his false promise to “save Medicare and Medicaid… without cuts” if elected, only to turn around once in office and repeatedly try to gut them. The ad, which was featured in the Washington Post this morning, urges people to call their representatives and demand they reject Trump’s budget and its trillions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Watch the ad here.

“Time and again, Trump claimed he wouldn’t cut Medicare and Medicaid if elected – but of course that was a blatant lie,” said Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse. “As president, he has repeatedly broken his promise to Americans not to cut Medicare and Medicaid, and his latest budget slashes them by trillions of dollars. It’s clear that Trump will stop at nothing to sabotage our health care system, and will do so while showering insurance and drug companies with billions of dollars in tax breaks as they raise premiums and jack up the costs of prescription drugs.”

The ad will run on cable in DC as well as digitally targeting President Trump’s Senate allies Martha McSally (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Susan Collins (R-ME) who are all considered vulnerable in 2020. The ad will also run digitally in selected House districts to target vulnerable Republicans in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York – specifically, representatives Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Davis (IL-13), Upton (MI-06), Hagedorn (MN-01), Bacon (NE-02), and Katko (NY-24).

View the national ad:

SCRIPT

Donald Trump. When he ran for President he promised to:

“Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts.”

But now, Trump is turning his back on seniors and families — proposing over two trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Breaking his promise.

Slashing our health care to the bone.

And for what? Tax breaks for the wealthiest corporations.

Call Congress — tell them to oppose Trump’s cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

###

NEW POLL: Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in President Trump’s Budget Proposal

New Poll From PPP Found That Voters are Less Likely to Support President Trump’s Reelection After He Broke His Campaign Promise by Proposing Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid After Giving Tax Breaks to Big Corporations

Washington DC — Today, a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care shows overwhelming voter rejection of President Trump’s newly released budget proposal because of its cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Despite Trump’s campaign promise to oppose cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, he proposed a budget that makes these cuts after he already gave new tax breaks to big corporations. 60% of voters say they oppose Trump’s proposed Medicaid cuts, 72% say they oppose the Medicare cuts and 50% of voters say they’re less likely to vote for him because of these proposed cuts.

“This poll shows the Trump administration is acting against the will of the American people by proposing a budget that guts critical health care programs relied on by millions of Americans, especially impacting seniors and children,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “These massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid are even more egregious when considering the billions of dollars in tax breaks that the administration has showered on health insurance and drug companies. It’s way past time for the president and his Republican allies to wake up and stop their war on health care.”

Key findings from the survey include:

Voters overwhelmingly oppose the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in Trump’s budget:

  • 72% oppose the Medicare Cuts in Trump’s Budget. By a 59-point margin (72% to 13%) voters oppose the proposed budget because it includes an $845-billion in cuts to Medicare. 81% of voters over the age of 65 say they oppose these cuts, and 70% of Independents also oppose the cuts to Medicare.
  • 60% oppose the Medicaid Cuts in Trump’s Budget. By a 36-point margin (60% to 24%) voters oppose the proposed budget because it includes a more than $1-trillion cut to Medicaid. 59% of Independents say they oppose the cuts to Medicaid.

Voters say the budget makes them less likely to support Trump for reelection:

  • 50% of voters say they’re less likely to support Trump because he broke his promise not to cut Medicare and Medicaid – including 54% with independents – while only 14% say they’re more likely to support him.
  • 54% of voters say they’re less likely to support Trump because he cut Medicare & Medicaid after giving away hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax breaks for big corporations, including 57% of voters people over age 65 and 51% of Independents. Just 15% say they’re more likely to support Trump due to the cuts.
  • 52% of voters say they’d vote for Trump’s Democratic opponent for President if the election were held today, compared to just 41% who say they’d vote for Trump.

Public Policy Polling surveyed 661 national voters by telephone on March 13th and 14th, on behalf of Protect Our Care. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.8%.

Secretary Azar Admits That HHS Is Trying To Gut Medicaid Without Congressional Approval

Washington, DC — Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar answered questions from Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Trump’s FY20 budget about HHS having direct conversations with various states about block granting Medicaid, all without the approval of Congress. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“The block grants that Secretary Azar and Trump’s Republicans are pushing are just a thinly veiled attempt to slash Medicaid funding and rip away people’s health care, which Americans vehemently oppose. Congress has repeatedly rejected this disastrous idea and so did voters just months ago in November. It’s time for Secretary Azar to come clean with the American people about his true intention to gut Medicaid and take health care away from millions of Americans.”

President Trump’s FY20 Budget is a Continuation of His Administration’s All-Out Assault on Americans’ Health Care

Washington, DC – After President Trump released his FY20 budget blueprint today that would continue his administration’s systematic gutting of the American health care system, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“The president’s budget is a continuation of the administration’s years-long war on Americans’ health care and a return to the failed policy of repeal – exactly what Americans voted against in 2018. From gutting over $1.1 trillion from Medicaid and $845 billion from Medicare, to slashing HHS’ budget by double-digits, it’s clear that the administration is once again dead-set on cutting critical health care programs relied on by millions of Americans, especially ones impacting seniors and children. These massive cuts are even more egregious considering the administration has showered health insurance and big drug companies with billions of dollars in tax breaks all while continuing an all-out assault on Medicaid, and reviving aspects of the disastrous Graham-Cassidy bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace Medicaid with a block grant program. As Secretary Azar appears before multiple congressional committees this week to defend Trump’s budget, it’s clear he owes the American people an explanation as to why the administration continues to prioritize its war on American health care.”

Back At It Again: Trump Administration Hostile to Medicaid Ignored Rules That Protect Patients


Washington DC — Today, the Los Angeles Times reports that the Trump administration is scrambling to overhaul Medicaid by requiring burdensome work requirements, but are failing to enforce federal rules directing states to analyze the devastating impact such requirements will have on millions of Americans who rely on this life-saving program. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:   

“The actions by this administration are egregious, but unfortunately par for the course considering President Trump has put people in charge of Medicaid who are simply out to destroy it. Failing to enforce rules requiring states to access the impact of Medicaid work requirements shows that the Trump administration doesn’t care who their policies hurt. This is part and parcel to Trump-led Republican sabotage agenda: they oppose Medicaid expansion — which would provide health care coverage to millions more Americans, support so-call ‘block grants” — a euphemism for slashing coverage, and are pushing ‘work requirements’ – which are little more than gotcha paperwork meant to kick eligible people off the rolls. Medicaid is the nation’s largest health insurance program and is more popular today than ever before. These senseless work requirements are already jeopardizing health care for thousands of low-income families — nearly all of whom are already working — and the Trump administration is breaking every rule in the book in their rush to implement it as just another deliberate attack on American health care.”

Background:

IN STATES WHERE SIMILAR RULES HAVE TAKEN EFFECT, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE LOST CARE

  • Results from Arkansas confirm that Medicaid work requirements are fundamentally bureaucratic hurdles, threatening access to health coverage for thousands across the state. “A review of monthly data related to the new requirements released by the Arkansas Department of Human Services shows that from September through December 2018, over 18,000 people were disenrolled for failure to comply with the new requirements for three months.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 1/17/19]
  • This summer, a federal district court blocked Kentucky from imposing similar rules for the negative effects it would have on Kentuckians. Said the court in its ruling, “[Secretary Azar] never adequately considered whether Kentucky HEALTH would in fact help the state furnish medical assistance to its citizens, a central objective of Medicaid. This signal omission renders his determination arbitrary and capricious. The Court, consequently, will vacate the approval of Kentucky’s project and remand the matter to HHS for further review.”
  • In Indiana, 25,000 people with health insurance through Medicaid were dropped from coverage because they were unable to pay their premiums. The Washington Post reported, “About 25,000 adults were disenrolled from the program between its start in 2015 and October 2017 for failure to pay their premiums, according to state reports. Yet, state officials estimate that based on surveys of recipients, about half of those who were disenrolled found another source of coverage, most often through a job…In addition to those who were disenrolled, another 46,000 adults who signed up for Medicaid during 2016 and 2017 were not accepted because they did not pay their initial premium, the state reported.”

WORK REQUIREMENTS ADD ADMINISTRATIVE HURDLES, MAKING IT HARDER FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CARE TO GET IT

  • Requiring People On Medicaid To Prove They Are Working Adds An Administrative Burden That Is Hardest On Low-Income Americans. “[Administrative hurdles] may be especially daunting for the poor, who tend to have less stable work schedules and less access to resources that can simplify compliance: reliable transportation, a bank account, internet access.  There is also a lot of research about the Medicaid program, specifically, that shows that sign-ups fall when states make their program more complicated.” [New York Times, 1/18/18]
  • Documentation Requirements Increase The Chances That People Will Lose Care, Simply Because They Have Trouble Navigating The Process. “There is a real risk of eligible people losing coverage due to their inability to navigate these processes, miscommunication, or other breakdowns in the administrative process. People with disabilities may have challenges navigating the system to obtain an exemption for which they qualify and end up losing coverage.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, 1/16/18]

THE VAST MAJORITY OF  PEOPLE WITH MEDICAID COVERAGE WHO WHO CAN WORK ARE WORKING

  • 60 percent of nondisabled people with health coverage through Medicaid have a job and are working, including 42 percent working full-time.
  • 51 percent of working adult Medicaid enrollees have full-time jobs year-round, but their salaries are still low enough to qualify for Medicaid coverage, or have Medicaid because their employers do not offer insurance.  
  • Nearly 80 percent of nondisabled people with Medicaid coverage live in a family where at least one person is working, including 64 percent working full-time. The other adult family member may not be working because they have caregiving or other responsibilities at home.
  • A state by state breakdown can be found HERE

Calling BS on CMS: Seema Verma’s Medicaid Spin Is a Bald-Face Lie

Washington, DC — Today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma gave a speech at the CMS Quality Conference in Baltimore, Maryland where she tried to affirm the administration’s commitment to Medicaid, despite the multiple efforts orchestrated by Verma to sabotage and undermine the program.

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

Seema Verma’s comment today is, plain and simple, a bald-faced lie. This administration has worked against Medicaid at every turn. Indeed, not since Medicaid was signed into law more than 50 years ago has there been an administration or an Administrator more hostile to Medicaid than the Trump administration and Seema Verma. The Trump administration supports so-called work requirements like those in Arkansas which has already ripped coverage away from 18,000 people, opposed Medicaid expansion in states across the country, and advocated for the block granting of Medicaid which is a euphemism for slashing its budget and kicking people off the rolls.

Fortunately, the American people have a different view: Medicaid has never been more popular. The attacks on Medicaid by this administration and its Republican allies led in large part to the defeat of the ACA repeal effort. And, during the 2019 election, voters across the country rejected the Republicans’ sabotage agenda and either expanded Medicaid at the polls or elected pro-Medicaid politicians who promised to do so in office. The truth is, Medicaid is flourishing despite this administration’s efforts to undermine it and no type of Orwellian spin from Administrator Verma can change that.”

Here We Go Again: Trump Tries To End Medicaid As We Know It

Washington, D.C. — New reporting from Politico indicates that the Trump administration is trying to roll back protections for life-saving health care by ending Medicaid as we know it. Even in the midst of a federal government shutdown, President Trump is still working overtime to sabotage health care for millions by devising a plan that would impose limits on Medicaid spending. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response:

“By now, it should be abundantly clear that Donald Trump and his Republican allies will stop at nothing to rip apart our health care. While hundreds of thousands of Americans are going without their paychecks, the Trump administration is adding insult to injury by working to end Medicaid as we know it. Make no mistake, bypassing Congress to turn Medicaid into a block grant program would put the care of millions of children, families, and seniors who rely on the program at severe risk. Enough is enough. It’s time for Trump to call-off his relentless war on Medicaid.”

Elections Matter: Virginia Medicaid Expansion Already Bringing Affordable Care to 200,000 Virginians

Washington, D.C. – Less than a year after Democrat Ralph Northam was sworn in as Virginia’s Governor, 200,000 people have already gained access to health care as a result of Medicaid expansion which officially took effect yesterday.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement in response:

“Elections matter, and nowhere is this more clear than in Virginia. Virginia Republicans spent years rejecting Medicaid expansion, but Virginia had its highest voter turnout in the past two decades in 2017, electing Democrats up and down the ballot, clearing a path for Medicaid expansion. Over the past two years, five states have voted to expand Medicaid, a clear and direct rebuke to the Trump Administration’s ongoing sabotage agenda on Medicaid and Americans’ health care. Make no mistake, from Virginia and Maine to Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, elections matter and hundreds of thousands of Americans are gaining access to life-saving coverage and rejecting the ongoing Republican war on health care which continues to this very day.”

What does Medicaid expansion mean for Virginians?

AP: More Than 200,000 People Have Already Been Enrolled. “Thousands of uninsured, low-income Virginians will have new health care coverage starting in the new year. Virginia is joining more than 30 states that have expanded Medicaid, a key part of former President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul… The state’s Medicaid office has been working with hospitals, advocates for the poor, insurance companies and others to help enroll the newly eligible into Medicaid. Coverage starts Jan. 1 and the state said Friday that more than 200,000 people have been enrolled.” [Bradenton Herald, 12/31/18]

WSLS: “More People In The Commonwealth Have Access To Health Coverage.” “More people in the commonwealth have access to health coverage starting today.  That’s because Virginia joins 32 other states in expanding Medicaid coverage. This will give more adults between the ages of 19 and 64 access to quality low-cost and no-cost health insurance.” [WSLS, 1/1/19]

Delegate Sam Rasoul: “It’s Been A Long Process But Is Fantastic.” “‘It’s been a long process but is fantastic. Over the past couple months, there’s been open enrollment. And 200,000 Virginians have already been signed up into Medicaid and have health care coverage and many others, for the first time ever, starting today. And we still have another couple hundred thousand to go,’ said Delegate Sam Rasoul.” [WSLS, 1/1/19]

Casey Thompson, 21-Year Old Virginian: “It’s Massive.” “Casey Thompson, a 21-year-old who has been uninsured for two years, said she lost all her savings when she had to go to a hospital in May for a ruptured cyst. She said she is thrilled she’ll be covered under Medicaid expansion starting in January and will no longer have to worry about unexpected medical costs. ‘It’s massive,’ she said.” [Bradenton Herald, 12/31/18]

What spurred this change?

AP: Expansion Occurred After 2017 Democratic Wave Election, GOP Repeal Attempts. “Opponents argued that Medicaid expansion was fiscally irresponsible because the long-term costs are unsustainable. Several factors contributed to Republicans switching position on the issue after years of opposition. They include a Democratic wave election in 2017 and the inability of President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal Obama’s signature health care law.” [Bradenton Herald, 12/31/18]

Was this mindset limited to just Virginia?

Lincoln Journal Star: After Republicans Refused, Nebraskans Voted To Expand Medicaid. “After seven years of legislative refusal to expand Medicaid in Nebraska, voters in November extended coverage to an estimated 90,000 adult Nebraskans who are working at low-wage jobs. That decision will bring a projected $1.3 billion in federal funding flowing into the state during the first three years of the new program.” [Lincoln Journal Star, 12/28/28]

Forbes: After Republicans Refused, Idahoans Voted To Expand Medicaid. “Idaho voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act via ballot initiative, overcoming conservative Republican state legislators who refused for years to pass additional coverage for the state’s poor. With nearly 60% support and two-thirds of the votes counted, voters in Idaho were following the lead of voters in Maine who last November voted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in a public referendum at the ballot box. Supporters of Idaho’s Medicaid expansion put it on Tuesday’s midterm general election ballot after their Republican-controlled legislature for years balked at the idea.” [Forbes, 11/7/18]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Medicaid Expansion Makes Sense “Both Fiscally And Socially.” “Experts and the evidence agree, increasing access to MAT is one of the most important policy changes we could implement to combat the opioid epidemic. They also agree that Medicaid expansion is a key move that could be made to improve access; it is the largest source of funding for treatment. Medicaid, which has broad public support, covers the poorest, most marginalized people in our communities who often have some of the most complicated health care needs. In the past, Wisconsin’s Medicaid program had a high-caliber reputation. Like all state Medicaid programs, BadgerCare is jointly financed by the state and federal government, which has a generous matching structure for any state dollars spent. As Wisconsin’s opioid mortality continues to skyrocket above the national average, expanding Medicaid here makes sense both fiscally and socially.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/2/19]

Good Riddance to the Least Successful, Most Anti-Health Care Speaker in American History

Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, Speaker Paul Ryan will give his farewell address at the Library of Congress. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“Paul Ryan sat around a keg in college and dreamed of slashing Medicaid, tried to end Medicare as we know it as a Budget chairman, and tried to rip health care away from 23 million people by repealing the Affordable Care Act as Speaker of the House. As he leaves Washington, voters and legislatures across the country are expanding Medicaid; the public overwhelmingly rejected Ryan’s vouchers to upend Medicare, with the discussion today about how to strengthen and expand the program rather than end it; and despite his best efforts to repeal health care, kick tens of millions of people off of their coverage and end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, the ACA is more popular than ever, repeal went down in flames, and the Ryan-led effort to upend the American health care system swept his party from power in the House. There is no finer karma. Paul Ryan is perhaps the most anti-health care Speaker in American history – fortunately for the American people he was also the least successful and least competent. Good riddance.”

Results are In: Medicaid Wins

Idaho, Nebraska, Utah to Expand Medicaid

Maine, Wisconsin, Kansas Elect Governors Buoyed by Support of Medicaid Expansion

 

Washington, DC – With voters demanding an expansion of Medicaid through referenda in all three states where it was presented, and electing champions of Medicaid Expansion to governor’s seats in others, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:  

“Pro-health care Democrats winning the House of Representatives over health care repealers was a resounding victory for health care, but that Medicaid will now be extended to hundreds of thousands of people who need it is just as important.  Even in conservative Idaho, Utah and Nebraska, voters delivered a sharp rebuke of the Republican war on health care by demanding that Medicaid finally, at long last, be expanded to the hardworking people in their state who need affordable coverage the most.” 

Leslie Dach, founder and chair of Protect Our Care, added: “In state after state Medicaid was on the ballot in 2018 and in state after state Medicaid won. This is a tremendous victory for Americans who will now have the added security of Medicaid expansion. Only one conclusion can be drawn from last night’s results, and that’s that the Republican war on health care has been soundly rejected.”  

IDAHO, NEBRASKA AND UTAH VOTERS EXPAND MEDICAID

By huge margins, Idaho, Utah and Nebraska voters elected to expand Medicaid through ballot initiatives.

  • Idaho voters approved Medicaid expansion with more than 61% of the vote.
  • Nebraska passed it with 53%.
  • Utah approved it with 54%.

MEDICAID EXPANSION PROPELLED DEMOCRATS TO VICTORY IN SEVERAL GOVERNOR’S RACES

In Maine, Democrat Janet Mills Positioned Herself Opposite Her Predecessor By Running On Medicaid Expansion, Saying “Medicaid Expansion Is Good For Business And Good For The People Of Maine.” “Mills accused LePage of ‘obstructing the will of the people…My opponent, Shawn Moody, has said that he will work to repeal the law. I agree with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce that Medicaid expansion is good for business and good for the people of Maine,’ Mills said. ‘It will improve the health of Mainers. It will inject millions of dollars into our economy. It will create jobs, lower health care costs for Maine people and keep our rural hospitals open.’” [Portland Press Herald, 10/30/18]

In Wisconsin, Democratic Challenger Tony Evers Targeted Scott Walker For Not Taking Federal Medicaid Expansion. “Evers made health care the focus of his only television ad to date, faulting Walker for not taking the federal Medicaid expansion and pointing out that the cost of an average health insurance plan sold on the private market this year in Wisconsin was more expensive than in Minnesota. Walker argues the ad is misleading and health insurance costs will decrease in Wisconsin once a recently approved reinsurance program takes effect.” [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 9/7/18]

In Kansas, Democrat Lauren Kelly Pledged To Expand Medicaid. “Medicaid expansion could also come to one other traditionally conservative state, Kansas. The state legislature approved legislation to expand the program last year, only to have Republican Gov. Kris Kobach veto it. On Tuesday, Kobach lost his re-election bid to Democrat Laura Kelly. She has pledged to approve an expansion bill within her first year of office.” [HuffPost, 11/7/18]

In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer Ran As a Champion of Medicaid Expansion. “As attorney general, [her opponent AG Bill] Schuette joined at least nine lawsuits fighting the Affordable Care Act. In a 2017 fundraising mailer, he said he opposed the law, ‘including the ‘free’ federal Medicaid dollars from Obama that leave Michigan taxpayers on the hook for more!’ ‘He has been the chief advocate against Healthy Michigan in our state ever since we started the bipartisan negotiations on it,” Whitmer told The Detroit News. ‘The biggest threat to health care in Michigan is Bill Schuette.’” [Detroit News, 9/18/19]