Tag

Nancy Pelosi Archives — Protect Our Care

Court Affirms Speaker Pelosi and Democratic Health Care Champions in Congress’s Fight to Protect Health Care From the Trump Texas Lawsuit

Washington, DC–Yesterday evening, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling that allows the United States House of Representatives to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. case which would overturn the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued a statement in response:

“The Fifth Circuit correctly ruled that House Democrats can defend the American people against the Trump administration’s all out attack on America’s health care. Despite the GOP lies about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, President Trump himself bragged that the Trump Texas lawsuit would ‘terminate’ the ACA. This ruling is just another reminder that Speaker Pelosi and Democratic health care champions in Congress are not going to rest until every attack on our health care is stopped dead in its tracks. The Republican assault on health care needs to end.”

BACKGROUND:

Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling on December 14th, 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. If this ruling is allowed to stand:

  • 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.

Welcome To Washington’s 116th Congress

“The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Since regaining control of the House, Democrats who ran and won the midterm election on protecting health care have wasted no time doing just that. On day one, under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, Democrats voted to defend the Affordable Care Act and protect people with pre-existing conditions, and they are just getting started.

 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “The New Democratic House Of Representatives Will Be Relentless In Defending Protections For People With Pre-existing Conditions And Affordable Health Care For Every American.” “The new Democratic House of Representatives will be relentless in defending protections for people with pre-existing conditions and affordable health care for every American…Republicans should end their assault on health care and join us to do the right thing for the American people.” [The Hill, 1/3/19]

U.S. News & World Report: “The Chamber That Once Led The Fight To Undo Obamacare Will Now Be Fighting For Its Survival In The Courts.” “Democrats are making it brazenly clear they are back in power in the House of Representatives, providing a critical roadblock to the GOP agenda in an already-gridlocked government…The chamber that once led the fight to undo Obamacare will now be fighting for its survival in the courts. The old committee to examine global warming will be reconstituted – and renamed, more ominously, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.” [U.S. News & World Report, 1/4/19]

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY): In 116th Congress, “Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions.” “But Nancy Pelosi is just getting started. In the 116th Congress, she will continue to fight hard For The People. Nancy Pelosi will fight to lower healthcare costs, strengthen the affordable care act, protect people with pre-existing conditions, increase pay for everyday Americans, enact a real infrastructure plan, clean up corruption, defend the dreamers, fix the voting rights act and end the era of voter suppression once and for all.” [Hakeem Jeffries Website, 1/3/19]

Politico: “House Democrats In Power For The First Time In Nearly A Decade Are Opening A Sustained Campaign To Hammer Republicans On Obamacare.” “House Democrats in power for the first time in nearly a decade are opening a sustained campaign to hammer Republicans on Obamacare, seeking to force the GOP’s hand on popular policies like protecting patients with pre-existing conditions…Those votes are just opening salvos from House Democrats, who also plan to go after the Trump administration policies that they say have purposefully undermined Obamacare by depressing enrollment, cutting subsidies, promoting skimpy alternative health coverage, and even having the Department of Justice take the unusual move of supporting key elements of a lawsuit against the federal health law.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

Washington Post: “House Democrats Used Their New Majority On Thursday To Squeeze Republicans On Health Care.” “House Democrats used their new majority on Thursday to squeeze Republicans on health care, taking the first step to intervene in a court case in which a Texas judge has ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. That move will be followed by a vote next week designed to force GOP lawmakers into a political corner: agree to defend a law many members have spent years reviling or appear to oppose popular ACA protections for millions of Americans with preexisting medical conditions that many have pledged to uphold.” [Washington Post, 1/3/19]

CNN: “In Their First Hours In Control Of The House Of Representatives, Democrats Filed A Motion To Intervene In An Ongoing Lawsuit That Threatens To Bring Down The Affordable Care Act.” “In their first hours in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit that threatens to bring down the Affordable Care Act…As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the Democrats granted themselves authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health care law. It directed the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel. The House late Thursday voted in the rules package, which the majority party — now the Democrats — adopts at the start of a new Congress. The newly empowered Democratic leadership also scheduled a vote for next Wednesday on a standalone resolution affirming the House’s authorization to intervene in the lawsuit. This would put Republicans on the record voting specifically for or against defending Obamacare and its protections for those with pre-existing conditions.” [CNN, 1/4/19]

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Chairman On The Rules Committee: “We’re On Offense” On Health Care. “We’re on offense…The American people made it very clear in the last election that health care is important, and they don’t want Republicans screwing around with it. And we’re going to have their backs.” [Politico, 1/4/19]

CNN: “House Democrats Are Moving Quickly To Defend The Affordable Care Act Once They Retake Control Of The Chamber Thursday.” “House Democrats are moving quickly to defend the Affordable Care Act once they retake control of the chamber Thursday. As part of its rules package for the 116th Congress, the party is granting itself authorization to intervene in the lawsuit that threatens to bring down the landmark health reform law. It directs the House’s Office of General Counsel to represent lawmakers in any litigation involving the act and authorizes hiring of outside counsel…Supporting the Affordable Care Act, including its popular provisions that protect those with pre-existing conditions, helped Democrats retake the House in the midterm elections in November. Since then, the party’s leaders have repeatedly said they will swiftly work to uphold the law.” [CNN, 1/2/19]

CNBC: House Democrats Set Up Framework To Intervene In Federal Court Case Striking Down Obamacare. “Democrats about to take over control of the House of Representatives have moved to defend Obamacare from a court challenge that threatens to kill the landmark health-care reform law. In an action Tuesday night, Democratic leaders said they will authorize their next speaker, likely Nancy Pelosi, to intervene in a pending federal case, Texas v. United States, in which a judge has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. Democrats regain control of the House when Congress returns for the 116th congressional session Thursday.” [CNBC, 1/2/19]

Washington Post: Democratic Wishlist Includes “Health Care (With A Focus On Prescription Drug Prices And Protecting People With Preexisting Conditions).” “At the top of the list is a sweeping political reform package linked to a new Voting Rights Act. Taking on the ‘special interests,’ she said, will ‘give people confidence’ in the rest of the Democratic wish list that includes health care (with a focus on prescription drug prices and protecting people with preexisting conditions), workforce training and ‘building the infrastructure of America in a green way.’ For the longer term, Democrats would be looking for ways to expand health coverage by strengthening the Affordable Care Act.” [Washington Post, Dionne Jr., 1/2/19]

The Hill: House To Vote Next Week On Intervening To Defend ObamaCare In Court. “A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the vote on having the House formally intervene in court to defend ObamaCare will come next week, in addition to a vote on Thursday on intervening in the lawsuit as part of the larger package of rules for the new session of Congress. Holding the separate additional vote next week will put Republican lawmakers on record, highlighting the political pressure that Democrats hope to put on vulnerable GOP lawmakers who campaigned last year pledging to support protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Democrats say if GOP lawmakers vote against defending ObamaCare, they will be showing that they don’t actually support protections for people with pre-existing conditions contained in the health law.” [The Hill, 1/2/19]

Daily Mail: Nancy Pelosi’s First Move As Speaker Will Be A Public Stand On Saving Obamacare By Intervening In Court Case Where Judge Struck It Down As Unconstitutional. “Incoming likely speaker Nancy Pelosi is laying down a marker that newly-empowered Democrats will go to court to protect Obamacare, in one of the first acts of the Democratic-run House. Pelosi, who stands for election on Thursday, has assembled a new rules package that specifically commits the House to a legal case that has once again thrown President Obama’s signature health plan into jeopardy. Pelosi helped marshall through Obamacare during her first term as speaker. Now, the new rules package that the Democratic House will codify in their traditional first legislative action, will specifically authorize the House to intervene in the case.” [Daily Mail, 1/2/19]

Despite Democrats making monumental gains to become a pro-health care Congress, Republicans are touting a bill that would have ripped coverage from millions of Americans and decimated important consumer protections, continuing their tone-deaf message despite voters’ strong rejection of the GOP’s repeal and sabotage agenda:

In Her Speech Nominating Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) For Speaker Of The House, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) Boasted About Republican Effort To Repeal The Affordable Care Act. “Leader McCarthy has led us through the 115th Congress in unmatched historic productivity, including passage of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, because we know, Madam Clerk, that the American people know better than the government how to spend their money…Leader McCarthy also led to ensure that we passed the American Health Care Act to expand access and options and put patients and families in the driver’s seat, not government bureaucrats.” [Cheney Floor Speech, 1/3/19]

Protect Our Care Congratulates Nancy Pelosi on Speakership

Washington DC – As Democrats begin the 116th Congress by taking control of the House of Representatives, Protect Our Care issued the following statement congratulating Nancy Pelosi on today’s historic vote making her the Speaker of the House for a second time. Speaker Pelosi will continue making health care a top priority, first by passing the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless health care repeal and sabotage campaign waged by Republicans in Congress and President Trump:

“Nancy Pelosi is a true health care champion and Protect Our Care is proud to congratulate her on being selected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “The American people voted for a pro-health care Congress and now they have a health care champion at the helm. Speaker Pelosi worked tirelessly to ensure that millions of Americans gained access to affordable health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and continuously defeated Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda. The House once again has a pro-health care leader whose unrelenting discipline and long track record will make health care and protecting people with pre-existing conditions a top priority.”

“With today’s vote, the American people gained a steadfast and experienced leader who not only delivered quality health care to millions of Americans but who continues to fight every day to check Republicans and the Trump administration,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “I have no doubt that Speaker Pelosi will fight to lower health care costs, protect Medicaid and Medicare, and stop Republican sabotage efforts. By scheduling a vote on the Restoring Congress For The People Resolution, Nancy Pelosi is once again, putting health care first. This resolution puts a bullseye on the dangerous Texas court decision that threatens to strip health care from millions of Americans. The choice couldn’t be more clear. There is no one better prepared for this role than Nancy Pelosi and we congratulate her on this monumental win.”

Protect Our Care Urges Congress to Back Democratic Nominee For Speaker

Washington DC — Following today’s overwhelming vote in the House Democratic caucus, Protect Our Care issued the following statement congratulating Nancy Pelosi on being the Democratic nominee for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2018, Democrats won more seats and by a larger vote margin than at any point since Watergate and it was fueled by a health care focused campaign. The Republican nominee for Speaker is Kevin McCarthy, who has voted multiple times to repeal health care and roll back protections for millions of Americans.  

“Protect Our Care is proud to stand with and congratulate Nancy Pelosi on being selected by her colleagues to be the Democratic nominee for the next Speaker of the House,” said Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care. “Leader Pelosi led the Democratic wave that ended Republican control of the House and today she was resoundingly picked to be the Democratic Nominee for Speaker. With today’s vote, the House of Representative is on track to have an experienced, pro-health care leader at the helm. Pelosi’s hard-work has made way for millions of Americans to gain quality health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and defeat Republicans repeal-and-sabotage agenda. Members of Congress who want to stand up for health care, ought to back the Democratic nominee for Speaker as Republicans offer a warmed-over version of the same repeal agenda that voters just rejected.”

“With impeccable discipline, Leader Pelosi made health care the number one issue in the midterms and voters responded – flipping as many as 40 seats held by pro-repeal Republicans,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Make no mistake, the American people took to the polls this election to make their voices heard and overwhelmingly voted for pro-health care Democrats. The Democratic nominee for Speaker of the House is a pro-health care leader with a proven track record of getting results. The Republican nominee for Speaker will do nothing but continue the Trump Administration’s repeal-and-sabotage agenda that fails hard-working Americans every day. The choice could not be more clear.”

Health Care Advocates Fight Trump-GOP Lawsuit and Kavanaugh in Washington, DC and in the States

Advocates Across the Country Demand GOP State AGs and Governors Drop Their Lawsuit Against Our Health Care, and Urge Senators to Block Trump’s ‘Rubber Stamp’ on the Case

As oral arguments took place this afternoon in Texas v. United States, and the Senate Judiciary Committee continued hearing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, health care advocates from coast to coast demanded their state and federal leaders protect Americans’ health care.

Cancer survivors Jeff Jeans of Arizona and Joseph Merlino of Nevada, and Air Force Veteran Kelly Gregory of Tennessee, currently battling terminal breast cancer, traveled to Washington, D.C. to urge the Senate to reject the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, while local Protect Our Coalitions in ten states held events making the dangers of the GOP’s lawsuit clear.

In the nation’s capitol, Jeans, Merlino, and Gregory spent the day on Capitol Hill, speaking, meeting with senators, and attending the confirmation hearings, highlighting Republicans’ continuing war on health care. This morning, Gregory and Jeans joined House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Members, and other health care advocates at a press conference to discuss the threat Judge Kavanaugh represents to their health health care and that of millions of Americans.

And, as oral arguments took place in Texas, et al. v. United States, et. al., a lawsuit that could unilaterally end protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions overnight, local Protect Our Care coalitions and advocates living with pre-existing conditions held events outside the offices of their Republican attorneys general, urging them to drop this dangerous Trump-GOP lawsuit and instead protect our health care.

For example:

In West Virginia, health care advocates with pre-existing conditions visited the office of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, one of the eighteen Republican attorneys general on the Texas lawsuit, discussing their concerns about his actions to end protections for the 738,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions.

In Florida, health care advocates gathered outside of the Jackson Memorial Hospital to denounce Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit and the repercussions which could come from it. State. Rep. Shevrin Jones also highlighted the urgency to protect these protections in his South Florida Sun-Sentinel op-ed, “We must continue to defend the Affordable Care Act.”

In Maine, health care advocates and people living with pre-existing conditions held a press conference discussing the dangers 548,000 Mainers would face, should Governor Paul LePage’s lawsuit prevail.

In Missouri, a group of Missourians with pre-existing conditions, including a strong Missourian currently battling breast cancer, met with staff of Sen. Roy Blunt at his district office, noting their concerns about Attorney General Josh Hawley’s lawsuit and Kavanaugh’s nomination.

In Tennessee, local health care advocates called on Attorney General Herbert Slatery to withdraw from the Texas lawsuit and instead support the protections for 2.7 million Tennesseans with pre-existing conditions. Advocates requested a meeting with Slatery, but representatives from his office instead would only meet with three of the six Tennesseans in question.

And in Arizona, caregivers and health care advocates joined with Protect Our Care, the Human Rights Campaign, and Planned Parenthood to deliver letters to Attorney General Mark Brnovich, calling on him to remove himself from the lawsuit and instead protect the 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions.

As the hearings and the Trump-GOP lawsuit continue, health care advocates from coast to coast will continue to stand up to the GOP’s war on health care, with hopes that Republicans will finally start listening.