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Repeal Archives — Protect Our Care

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.”

Protect Our Care: Today’s Health Care Vote in the House Comes Down to This: Support The Law or Fully Repeal it  

“A No Vote Today is a Vote For Full Repeal,” says Brad Woodhouse

Washington DC — Today, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on a stand-alone resolution, which takes direct aim at the relentless repeal and sabotage campaign on health care by Republicans and President Trump. The resolution authorizes the House Counsel to intervene in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit to defend the Affordable Care Act and all of its protections.  Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, calls on House Republicans to join their Democratic colleagues and vote to pass this resolution in the following statement:

“A no vote on today’s resolution is a vote for the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans can no longer pretend this lawsuit is a theoretical exercise. Judge Reed O’Connor ruled to strike down the entire law, going further than any ACA repeal bill the House voted on in the last two years. By voting ‘no,’ Republicans are saying they want this ruling to stand and they want every clause, period and participle of the ACA repealed.  

“Let’s be clear: a ‘no’ vote means supporting taking away coverage from millions of people, raising the costs for millions more, and taking away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Republicans and President Trump were hammered at the polls in November for this very lawsuit and for their years-long repeal and sabotage agenda. We’ll find out today if they got the message – and if not – we’ll tag them with repeal and all of its consequences all over again. Win win ”

A new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care released yesterday demonstrates the vulnerability of Republicans on this issue. The poll found that well more than half of voters oppose the recent court decision striking down the Affordable Care Act and sixty-nine percent of voters say it’s a major concern to them that the court case would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

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, here’s what would happen:

  • 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.

 

 

Shelley Moore Capito Suddenly Supports the Affordable Care Act

Facing re-election, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) is now telling voters one thing while consistently having done the opposite. This morning, she told the Los Angeles Times she supports maintaining protections for people with pre-existing conditions and letting children stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, two main provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Where has this been for the previous two years?

SHOT: “I think it would be in our best interest as Republicans to assure the public that [on] the issues like preexisting conditions, staying on your parents’ insurance until age 26 and things like that, we’re committed,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who is up for reelection in West Virginia in 2020.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/30/18]

CHASER: Sen. Capito voted to fully repeal the ACA as a House Member, which would have repealed provisions to protect people with pre-existing conditions and allow kids to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26. And she voted to repeal the ACA as a Senator last summer.

In 2011, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito Voted For A Full Repeal Of The ACA, “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” [House clerk, 1/19/11]

In 2012, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito Again Voted For A Full Repeal Of The ACA. [House clerk, 7/11/12]

In 2017, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Voted For The Better Care Reconciliation Act, Which Would Kicked 22 Million Americans Off Of Their Insurance. [New York Times, 7/28/17; Congressional Budget Office, 6/26/17]

In 2017, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Also Voted For The GOP’s Final Repeal Bill. [New York Times, 7/28/17]. As a reminder, under repeal:

  • 184,000 West Virginians would lose health coverage, a 208% increase in the number of uninsured. [Urban Institute]
  • West Virginians would lose $1.794 billion in federal financial assistance through the insurance marketplaces from 2019-2028, leading to a dramatic spike in the number of uninsured. [Urban Institute]
  • 29,163 West Virginians would lose an average monthly advanced premium tax credit of $388 which currently helps them pay for insurance [Kaiser Family Foundation]
  • West Virginia would lose $12.2 billion in federal Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding, currently providing lifelines to 562,183 West Virginians. [Urban Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation]
  • Repealing the ACA would result in 16,000 West Virginia jobs lost, including 7,200 jobs in the healthcare sector. [Commonwealth Fund]

GOP Congressman Says It’s Unfair That Searching Google Reveals How Awful His Health Care Repeal Bill Was

SHOT: In a recent Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Steve Chabot complained to Google CEO Sundar Pichai that Google revealed too many negative articles about the Republican health care repeal bill.

CHASER: All the people who know health care the best say repeal would have been the worst.

23 Million Americans Would Have Lost Coverage Under The AHCA. ​By 2026, 23 million people would have lost coverage. That’s a lot of people!

The AHCA Was The Least Popular Legislation In Three Decades. In Rep. Chabot’s defense, the AHCA never had a 12 percent approval like the Senate repeal plan did.

The Republican Repeal Bills Were Opposed By Nearly Every Major Patient Group, Health Care Provider, And Industry Organization – And Jimmy Kimmel. Among those who expressed opposition:

AARP

ALS Association

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American College Of Physicians

American Diabetes Association

American Medical Association

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Physicians

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

America’s Essential Hospitals

America’s Health Insurance Plans

American Heart Association

American Hospital Association

American Lung Association

American Nurses Association

American Osteopathic Association

American Psychiatric Association

The Arc

Arthritis Foundation

Association Of Community Affiliated Plans

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

Catholic Health Association

Children’s Hospital Association

Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

Consumers Union

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Family Voices

Federation of American Hospitals

Greater New York Hospital Association

Jimmy Kimmel

JDRF

Lutheran Services in America

Kaiser Permanente

Kansas Hospital Association

March of Dimes

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

National Health Council

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

National Organization for Rare Diseases

The School Superintendents Association and 70+ Groups

Volunteers of America

WomenHeart

After The GOP Was Routed On Health Care, Another Republican Is Running To Take Away Americans’ Care

Washington, D.C. – Last week health care delivered a Democratic wave, giving Democrats control of the House of Representatives, flipping more than 30 House seats, two Senate seats and electing seven health care champions as governor, while Medicaid expansion was handily approved in three conservative states. As the Mississippi Senate race goes to a run-off, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“When not making racially incendiary remarks, Cindy Hyde-Smith is plotting to take away Mississippians’ health care. Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, 147,000 Mississippians have gained coverage and the uninsured rate has fallen twenty-seven percent, with the uninsured rate for children falling more than fifty percent. But despite these gains in a state that ranks 50th in overall health, Cindy Hyde-Smith not only refuses to support Medicaid expansion, which would extend coverage to 300,000 Mississippians, but continues to call for repeal of the ACA. It’s unconscionable. How much longer must Mississippians suffer due to the Republican war on health care?”

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Mississippi Ranks 50th In Overall Health. “Mississippi ranks 50th for the second year in a row in the United Health Foundation’s health rankings. The foundation specializes in clinical expertise and health data, focused on making the country healthier. The report cites the state’s challenges with obesity, children in poverty and high rate of cardiovascular deaths as integral to the last-place ranking. Specifically, Mississippi also ranks last place for women’s and children’s health, as well as senior health. The report assesses not only health outcomes but also access to medical care. The report shows that Mississippi ranks in the bottom 10 states for dentists, mental-health providers and primary-care physicians.” [Jackson Free Press, 12/14/17]

Cindy Hyde-Smith: “Believes The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, Better Known As Obamacare, Should Be Repealed.” “Senator Hyde-Smith supports common-sense, patient-centered healthcare reforms to help Mississippi families afford health insurance coverage without expanding the government’s role in providing health care. She believes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, should be repealed.” [HydeSmith.Senate.Gov, accessed 11/13/18]

Mike Espy Has Made Health Care A Priority In His Campaign.  “In winning control of the House last week, Democrats focused on health care and in particular, protecting insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. The provision is perhaps the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Espy has also made the issue a priority. On Friday, the campaign asked people to share stories related to health care. In a statement that day, Espy said: ‘I’ll stand up for everyone with pre-existing conditions, defend Medicare and take on the drug companies to make sure prescription drugs are affordable.’ Hyde-Smith supports repealing and replacing Obamacare.” [CNBC, 11/12/18]

Mike Espy: “Will Protect And Defend The Parts Of Our Health System That Currently Are Under Attack, Such As For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.” “Mike Espy will protect and defend the parts of our health system that currently are under attack, such as for people with pre-existing conditions. He believes strongly in increasing access for Mississippians to treatment programs to fight the current epidemic of opioid and substance abuse. He believes that Mississippians should have full access to the services and programs that are available to many other Americans through expanded funding of Medicaid and CHIP.” [Espy for Senate, accessed 11/13/18

TONIGHT: Health Care Will Take Center Stage In Indiana Senate Debate

Washington DC – Tonight, health care champion Senator Joe Donnelly will debate Mike Braun, a pro-repeal and sabotage Republican who has been concealing his true record from voters in recent weeks. Ahead of the debate, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“Tonight’s debate will put on full display what many Hoosiers already are coming to know: just like Mike Braun’s skimpy health insurance for his employees made health care too expensive for too many, Mike Braun has no plan at all for protecting health care, including for those with pre-existing conditions, or making health care more affordable. Like many Republicans this cycle, Mike Braun seems to think he can skate to victory by lying to voters, but his lies will backfire just like his numerous calls to ‘fully repeal’ the Affordable Care Act and its protections for pre-existing conditions have. The truth is simple: Mike Braun would be another vote to roll back health care for tens of millions Americans if elected to the Senate.”

 

Additional Background:

 

BRAUN’S BEEN LYING TO VOTERS ABOUT HEALTH CARE

Braun Said He Supports A Plan To “Cover Pre-Existing Conditions, No Cap On Coverage, And Affordable.”  “In a phone call this week,  Braun says if he wins, he will support ACA repeal efforts, but preserve some of the most popular parts of the plan in a replacement. ‘The key part of it has to be: cover pre-existing conditions, no cap on coverage, and affordable,’ says Braun.” [WFYI, 10/25/18]

 

IN REALITY, BRAUN HAS PLEDGED TO “REPEAL AND REPLACE EVERY WORD” OF ACA, INCLUDING PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Braun, June 2018: I Will “Fully Repeal” Obamacare. “In the Senate, I will use my business experience and work with President Trump to fully repeal Obamacare and implement free-market solutions that will provide better healthcare for Hoosiers.” [City-County Observer, 7/26/18]

  • On the subject of the ACA, his website reads, “There is no repairing this broken law; the only option is to repeal and replace every word and regulation.” [Braun For Indiana, Accessed 8/14/18]

 

Mike Braun Supports The Trump-GOP Lawsuit That Would Gut the ACA Entirey, Including Pre-existing Conditions Protections:  “Sure, Anything That’s Going To Actually Get Rid Of It, Yes.” “‘Sure, anything that’s going to actually get rid of it, yes,’ said Indiana GOP Senate nominee Mike Braun of the GOP lawsuit to gut the law in an interview in Mishawaka.” [Politico, 8/17/18]. If this lawsuit is successful, millions of Hoosiers stand to lose, including:

  • 2,745,700 Hoosiers Living With A Pre-Existing Condition. About one in two Hoosiers, 50 percent, lives with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]

 

  • 1,382,000 Indiana Women And Girls With A Pre-Existing Condition. Approximately 1,382,000 women and girls in Indiana live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP & National Partnership For Women and Families, June 2018]

 

  • 377,100 Indiana Children With A Pre-Existing Condition. Roughly 377,000 Hoosiers below age 18 live with a pre-existing condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]

 

  • 643,800 Older Hoosiers Living With A Pre-Existing Condition. 643,800 Indiana adults between the ages of 55 and 64 live with at least one pre-existing condition, meaning attacks on these protections significantly threaten Hoosiers approaching Medicare age. [CAP, 4/5/17]

 

 

Paul Ryan Latest Republican to Call for Return to Health Care Repeal

Last night, Paul Ryan became the latest Republican to call for a return to full health repeal:

Paul Ryan: Good reforms mean that we can better fulfill the mission of these important programs, health and retirement security, without bankrupting the country. And that’s why the kind of reforms we’ve been talking about I think are so necessary.

Jeff Mayers: Ok, but that would depend upon – I mean, the Senate didn’t even agree with you. That would depend on having broader control of Congress than you’ve had.

Ryan: We failed to pass our budget, our entitlement reform bill on health care by one vote in the Senate, that’s correct.

Mayers: So I guess what are the prospects of reigning that in, because –

Ryan: I think the election will have to determine that because, based upon our vote count in the Senate. We keep the House majority in the house, which I think we will, and then you have to have enough of a majority in the Senate to be able to pass heath care reform.

Mayers: But do people in Janesville, do people in Wisconsin – is that what they want? Do they really want their benefits taken away or curtailed?

Ryan: Did I say that?

Mayers: No, I know, but do they –

Ryan: I think they want to see an end to double-digit premium increases. I think they want to see that we have Medicare on a path to solvency. I don’t think they want to see 200 million people get added to Medicare to accelerate its bankruptcy, which is what a lot of people are running for, like Tammy and others. I think if you take a look at our proposals, they would have lowered health care premiums, it would have still protected pre-existing conditions, it would’ve done more to give people more choices.

As a reminder, the so-called American Health Care Act would have:

  • Raised Premiums By Double Digits. ​The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that a key part of the American Health Care Act, repealing the requirement that most people have health insurance and was enacted as part of the GOP tax bill, will premiums 10 percent next year.
  • Imposed An Age Tax – Older Americans Would Have Paid Nearly $12,000 More. ​The American Health Care Act would have imposed what the AARP calls an “age tax” on older Americans by cutting the amount of assistance older people receive and by allowing insurers to charge people over 50 fives times more. Nationally, out-of-pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $11,917 by 2026.
  • Increased Premiums for People With Pre-Existing Conditions by Up to $150,000. ​The American Health Care Act would have allowed states to eliminate community rating, meaning insurers would be able to charge people with pre-existing conditions more. This surcharge could have been in the tens of thousands of dollars and even six figures: up to $4,270 for asthma, $17,060 for pregnancy, $26,180 for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer.
  • 23 Million Americans Would Have Lost Coverage. ​By 2026, 23 million U.S. residents would have lost coverage under this bill.

Mike Pence Confirms GOP Still Gunning for Americans’ Health Care

Vice President Follows Republican Senators In Calling for Total Repeal

Washington, D.C. – Tonight in Wisconsin, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that, “We made an effort to fully repeal and replace Obamacare. And we’ll continue. With Leah Vukmir in the Senate, we’ll go back to that,” joining the list of Republicans this week calling yet again for repeal.

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

“Tonight, Vice President Pence reminded everyone of Republicans’ real goal: attacking the health care of tens of millions of Americans. If Mike Pence and the GOP have their way, protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be stripped overnight; lifetime limits would once again be the norm; and women and seniors would see gender and age taxes applied to their care. The contrast couldn’t be more clear: the same week Tammy Baldwin introduces legislation to stop junk plans and maintain the protections Americans rely on, the Vice President doubles down on the Republican war on health care.”

WHO CALLED FOR REPEAL THIS WEEK?

Vice President Mike Pence: “We Made An Effort To Fully Repeal And Replace Obamacare. And We’ll Continue.” “We made an effort to fully repeal and replace Obamacare. And we’ll continue. With Leah Vukmir in the Senate, we’ll go back to that.” [Twitter, 8/30/18]

Senator John Thune (R-SD): “It Would Be Nice To Have Members Who Enable Us To Pass [Repeal].” “‘It would be nice to have members who enable us to pass it,’” Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) said when asked about the possibility of ObamaCare repeal legislation coming up for a future vote.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Senator David Perdue (R-GA): “I’d Love To Have Somebody Take Care Of [Repeal].” “‘I’d love to have somebody to take care of that,’ Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said of repealing ObamaCare.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI): Hopes Arizona’s Next Senator Will Favor Repeal. “Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he hopes the next senator from Arizona will be a ‘strong ally’ who ‘recognizes that ObamaCare is not a proper solution.’” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “I Want Somebody Who Is For Affordable Health Care, And Right Now Obamacare Is Not Affordable, Nor Is Health Care.” “Cassidy said he doesn’t know whether the Senate will move another comprehensive health-care reform package, but he expects Republican leaders will push ‘piecemeal efforts to make affordable once more that which has not been affordable since ObamaCare passed.’ … ‘I want somebody who is for affordable health care, and right now ObamaCare is not affordable, nor is health care, which is a direct result of ObamaCare,’ Cassidy said.” [The Hill, 8/29/18]

Like Arsonists Coming to Put Out a Forest Fire, These Republicans Are Coming After Your Health Care Again

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, Governors Matt Bevin (R-KY) and Phil Bryant (R-MS) will join with former senator Rick Santorum to announce their latest iteration of the GOP’s health care repeal legislation. Bevin has threatened to take health care away from 500,000 Kentuckians if a court strikes down his work requirements, Bryant thinks Americans go to to the doctor because they have “nothing else to do,” and Santorum compared the ACA to apartheid. In anticipation of the event, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“That Washington Republicans have turned to two governors who have actively attempted to prevent citizens of their states from obtaining health care coverage and a former senator who compared the ACA to apartheid tells you all you need to know. The GOP’s latest attempt to repeal the ACA would be just as devastating as previous versions, taking health care away from millions of Americans, remove protections for those with pre-existing conditions, ending Medicaid expansion, and implementing an age tax on seniors, leaving Americans from coast to coast to needlessly suffer the consequences of their vengeance-driven legislation. As Americans continue to say loud and clear: enough is enough – it’s time for the GOP to end its war on health care.”

Here’s a summary of three horrible records on health care:

MATT BEVIN

Matt Bevin Threatens to Take Health Care From 500,000 Kentuckians If Courts Strike Down His Work Requirements.  “Attorneys for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) will tell a federal court this Friday that that the governor plans to take his ball and go home if he can’t get his way on Medicaid work requirements, premiums, and other restrictions. Bevin, who campaigned on ending the Medicaid expansion but backed down from that threat once elected, is now arguing that he will scrap the state’s Medicaid expansion if the controversial new rules are struck down by federal courts. Kentucky was the first state in the nation to win permission from the Trump administration to impose the new Medicaid rules, which are expected to throw nearly 100,000 Kentuckians off the program. With at least a dozen other states looking to adopt their own Medicaid work requirements, the outcome of the case could determine the future of the program not only in Kentucky but across the country.” [Talking Points Memo, 6/14/18]

January 2017: Matt Bevin Proposed Repealing The ACA “In Its Entirety” Without Offering Replacement Ideas.  “Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is urging GOP leaders in Congress to repeal Obamacare “in its entirety,” including the Medicaid expansion and popular consumer protections. In a Jan. 6 letter to House Republicans, Bevin did not advocate any major replacement ideas. Instead, he said Kentucky should be given ‘maximum flexibility’ to regulate health insurance as the state did before Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. ‘States understand the unique challenges and demographics of their own populations, so repealing the cumbersome one-size-fits-all’ law will allow states to ‘be nimble’ and develop their own health care solutions, Bevin wrote. ‘Congress should repeal the ACA in its entirety and permit Kentucky to return to regulating the health insurance market under its existing state authority.’” [Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/14/17]

Matt Bevin Dismantled Kentucky’s Successful State Run Health Exchange Leaving Nearly 75,000 Kentuckians To Re-Enroll On The Federal Exchange.  “Kentuckians who’ve purchased health insurance via Kynect will have to re-enroll on the federal exchange starting Nov. 1. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday told Gov. Matt Bevin that all major milestones for the switch had been met. As of this year, 74,640 people were enrolled via the state health care exchange, Kynect. […] In his campaign for governor, Bevin promised to dismantle Kynect and move Kentucky to the federal exchange. He called the state-run exchange ‘redundant’ and said it ‘adds no value.’” [WFPI,10/4/16]

HEADLINE:  “How One U.S. State Is Leading The Charge To Dismantle Obamacare” [Reuters, 5/5/17]

PHIL BRYANT

Phil Bryant Opposed Expanding Medicaid Because Recipients Go To The Doctor Too Often Because They Have “Nothing Else To Do.” Kaiser Health News: What is the cost to the state of having 17 percent of the population without health insurance? Phil Bryant: I would rather pay extra to Blue Cross [to help cover uncompensated costs for the uninsured], rather than have to raise taxes to pay for additional Medicaid recipients. Medicaid recipients multiply their visits to a physician. It’s clear once someone goes on Medicaid, the number of times they go to a physician doubles, quadruples. KHN: Some experts may argue people new to Medicaid have many health issues they need to address. Bryant: I make the argument that it’s free. It’s free and you have nothing else to do.” [Kaiser Health News, 1/23/13]

Phil Bryant:  Because Of Emergency Rooms “There Is No One Who Doesn’t Have Health Care In America.” Kaiser Health News: Are there any positive benefits to people being on Medicaid? Phil Bryant: Medicaid was meant to be a temporary [stop]gap for providing you medical treatment while you are looking for a job. Now we are saying, you can have a job and still receive Medicaid. So we have changed the whole dynamic. There is very little incentive for those 940,000 people on Medicaid to find a better job, or to go back to school, or to get [into] a workforce training program because they say: Look, if I go over $33,000,  [I] will lose Medicaid. There is no one who doesn’t have health care in America. No one. Now, they may end up going to the emergency room. There are better ways to deal with people that need health care than this massive new program.” [Kaiser Health News,1/23/13]

Phil Bryant’s Refusal To Expand Medicaid Has Deprived 300,000 Mississippians Of Health Care.  “As Americans across the nation begin to find out what Obamacare has in store for them, many of Mississippi’s most needy will find out the answer is nothing. That is likely the case for William and Leslie Johnson of Jackson County, since the state decided not to expand the Medicaid program for the poor under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. As a result, nearly 300,000 adults there will fall through the cracks of healthcare reform.” [Reuters, 10/4/13]

  • Mississippi Is The Unhealthiest State In The Country.  “It’s time again for the United Health Foundation’s annual state health rankings report, and like last year, Mississippi comes in 50th. Despite being a leader in telehealth and, historically, childhood vaccinations, Mississippi’s high rate of childhood poverty, obesity and cigarette smoking contributes to it being the unhealthiest state in the country, according to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings report. Of the five categories examined in the report, Mississippi ranked overall 50th for one: clinical care. This has to do with Mississippi’s doctor shortage, lack of mental health providers and preventable hospitalizations. The state ranked 49th for behaviors and 44th for community and environment — both in which Louisiana came in last — 47th for policy and 48th for health outcomes. Mississippi has the highest infant mortality rate of any state with 8.8 deaths per every 1,000 live births.” [Jackson Clarion Ledger, 12/12/17]

Phil Bryant Pushed For Passage Of The AHCA.  “Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has joined seven other Republican governors in a letter endorsing the GOP plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law. The Thursday letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan was also signed by the governors of Indiana, Alabama, Idaho, Kanas, Maine, Missouri and Utah. The governors say they support the plan’s more flexible Medicaid program and phased-in transition from Obama’s law. The letter says the plan offers states more freedom on how they use money for Medicaid and allows them to require that participants have a job or go through job training.” [Associated Press, 3/24/17]

RICK SANTORUM

Rick Santorum Compared The ACA To Apartheid.  “Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that, and that’s the reason he is mourned today, because of that struggle that he performed…and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.” [“O’Reily Factor,” Fox News, 12/5/13]

Rick Santorum Claimed That The ACA Made “100 Percent” Of Americans Dependent On The Federal Government And Called It “The Beginning Of The End Of Freedom In America.”  “What we have — what we will go to in a very short period of time, the next two years, a little less than 50 percent of the people in this country depend on some form of federal payment, some form of government benefit to help provide for them. After Obamacare, it will not be less than 50 percent; it will be 100 percent. Now, every single American will be looking to the federal government — not to their neighbor, not to their church, not to their business or to their employer, or to the community or nonprofit organization in their community — will be looking always to those in charge, to those who now say to you that they are the allocator and creator of rights in America. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the beginning of the end of freedom in America. Once the government has control of your life, then they got you.” [Rick Santorum, Election Night Speech, Steubenville, OH, 3/6/12]

Rick Santorum Called The ACA “The Final Death Knell” For America.  “They are fundamentally different than my grandfather. He cared about freedom. He cared about it more than anything else. Didn’t want to be taken care of by Mussolini and told what to do and his kids grow up and march in whatever military and conformity that the fascists were dictating at the time. As I was saying to Jim today earlier, I think we’re at a critical junction of American history right now where that freedom that my grandfather fought for is fundamentally at stake. We are ever-gradually — and not-so-gradually in the last couple of years — edging our way toward the same kind of country that my grandfather left. […] What got me into this race was Obamacare. I’m no history professor like Newt Gingrich, but I am a little bit of a student of history and I’ve seen what that, I believe, final death knell will be to America of having government control that very critical aspect of our life, which is access to the care that we need to stay alive.” [Rick Santorum, Campaign Speech, Waterloo, IA,12/14/11]

Rick Santorum Said That Government-Provided Health Care Is A Plot To Kill Off People Who Don’t Vote The Right Way.  “If we have a system where the government is going to be the principal provider of health care for the country, we’re done. Because then, you are dependent on the government for your life and your health…When Thatcher ran for prime minister she said — remember this, this is the Iron Lady — she said, ‘The British national health care system is safe in my hands.’ She wasn’t going to take on health care, because she knew once you have people getting free health care from the government, you can’t take it away from them. And the reason is because most people don’t get sick, and so free health care is just that, free health care, until you get sick. Then, if you get sick and you don’t get health care, you die and you don’t vote. It’s actually a pretty clever system. Take care of the people who can vote and people who can’t vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care so they can’t vote against you. That’s how it works.” [Rick Santorum, Young Americans for Freedom Convention, Yorba Linda, CA, 12/3/13]

As a reminder, here are the stakeholders who opposed the initial version of Graham-Cassidy:

  • Physicians and Nurses: American Medical Association; American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association; American College of Physicians; American Nurses Association
  • Patient Groups: ALS Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Family Voices, JDRF, Lutheran Services in America, March of Dimes, National Health Council, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Organization for Rare Diseases, Volunteers of America, WomenHeart; More Than 35 Cancer Organizations; 469 Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Groups; The Arc
  • Hospitals: American Hospital Association; Children’s Hospital Association; Federation of American Hospitals; America’s Essential Hospitals; Catholic Health Association; Kansas Hospital Association; Greater New York Hospital Association; Kaiser Permanente
  • Insurers: America’s Health Insurance Plans; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association; Association for Community Affiliated Plans
  • Consumer Groups: AARP; Consumers Union

As States Move to Expand Medicaid, GOP Keeps Pushing Repeal

Washington, D.C. – Today, “exclusive details” of the GOP’s new repeal bill were reported in the Washington Examiner, just a day after Virginia’s bipartisan expansion of Medicaid. Protect Our Care Campaign Chair Leslie Dach released the following statement in response:

“Less than 24 hours after Virginia moved to expand Medicaid, and as Idaho and Utah continue to move to place Medicaid expansion on the ballot this November, Washington Republicans are touting their latest health care repeal plan, taking health care away from millions of Americans and raising costs for millions more.Their newest effort is modeled after the worst of last year’s repeal bills, Graham-Cassidy, and guts the very Medicaid expansion that Virginia embraced yesterday, ends protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and imposes an age tax on older Americans. Enough is enough – it’s time for President Trump and Congressional Republicans to end their war on Americans’ health care.”