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Senate Republicans Archives — Protect Our Care

Anti-Health Care Nominee Chad Readler Is Voted Out Of Committee By Senate Republicans 


Senate Republicans Once Again Turn Their Backs On People With Pre-existing Conditions With Anti-Health Care Vote

Washington DC — Today, on a party-line vote, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to allow Chad Readler’s nomination to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to proceed to the full Senate for debate and a vote. Readler led the effort in the Trump Justice Department to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions by filing a brief on behalf of the Trump administration in Texas v. United States arguing in favor of striking down the Affordable Care Act’s provisions to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage, or charging more because of a pre-existing condition. In December 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in favor of the Republican plaintiffs and said the entire ACA should be struck down. Now, Mitch McConnell is breaking with longstanding Senate norms to jam through this nomination by ignoring the objections of Readler’s home state senator, Sherrod Brown. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“A vote for Chad Readler is a vote for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. His confirmation vote is a litmus test for Republican’s claims to protect people pre-existing conditions and today they failed that test. Readler wants to go back to the days where insurance companies could deny, drop or charge more for coverage and end protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions. The stakes couldn’t be clearer, the full Senate must stand up for people with pre-existing conditions and block Chad Readler from a lifetime appointment to the court.”

Background:

As Acting Assistant Attorney General, Chad Readler filed a brief on behalf of the Trump administration in Texas v. United States arguing that protections for people with pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act should be struck down. This put the full weight of the Department of Justice behind the Republican war on health care to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In December, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Republican plaintiffs, striking down the entire ACA. 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.

BREAKING: Trump Renominates Anti-Health Care Chad Readler for the Sixth Circuit

Washington DC —  Yesterday, the Trump administration announced the renomination of 51 nominees, including Chad Readler for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In his role as Acting Assistant Attorney General, Readler overturned the career attorneys at the Department of Justice and made the decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act. He filed a brief on behalf of the Trump administration in Texas v. United States arguing in favor of striking down the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Now, Mitch McConnell is breaking with longstanding Senate norms to jam through this nomination by ignoring the objections of Readler’s home state senator, Sherrod Brown. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:

“Let’s be clear: A vote for Chad Readler is a vote for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. His confirmation vote is the litmus test that will show everyone where each Senate Republican stands on protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Readler wants to go back to the days where insurance companies could deny, drop or charge more for coverage and end protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions. The stakes couldn’t be clearer, the Senate must stand up for people with pre-existing conditions and block Readler from a lifetime appointment to the court.”

 

Background:

As Acting Assistant Attorney General, Chad Readler filed a brief on behalf of the Trump administration in Texas v. United States arguing that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. This put the full weight of the Department of Justice behind the Republican war on health care to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA).  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.

On The 19th Day Of Christmas, The GOP Gave America: A NO Vote On Stopping The Lawsuit To Overturn The Affordable Care Act

Washington DC – Today, Senate Democrats attempted to intervene on behalf of the American people and authorize the Senate legal counsel to defend the Affordable Care Act in the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al lawsuit following the terrible ruling from conservative U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But in true sabotage fashion, the Republicans blocked the measure from moving forward. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement in response:

“If anyone thought Republicans would end their war on health care after they were wallopped on the issue in November they were sadly mistaken. Republicans blocking the Senate from intervening in the Texas lawsuit confirms that they will do everything in their power to repeal and sabotage health care.  Americans do not want to roll back the clock and go back to the days where insurance companies could drop coverage or deny it altogether simply for having a pre-existing condition. Enough is enough. It’s time for the GOP to wake up and end this relentless war on health care.”

New Poll: Health Care Is A Top Issue For North Dakotans

New poll released ahead of Protect Our Care’s “Care Force One” Bus Tour Rolling Into Fargo and Bismarck

Six in 10 Voters Disapprove Of Cramer’s Vote to Repeal Health Care and Revive Age Tax

Sixty Percent of Voters Oppose Trump Administration’s Lawsuit To Gut Pre-existing Conditions Protections and Cramer’s Support for Health Repeal

 

Washington DC — Ahead of the ‘Care Force One’ bus tour stops on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 in Fargo and Bismarck, a new poll by Change Research for Protect Our Care shows sixty percent of voters strongly oppose the Trump-GOP lawsuit to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions and fifty-two percent say health care is very important to them in the midterms. This poll shows danger ahead for Kevin Cramer, who has voted repeatedly to repeal health care for North Dakotans and served as one of the biggest cheerleaders of the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement upon the poll’s findings:

 

“Kevin Cramer thinks he can hide his shameful record on health care from the public, but he can’t: From his support of the Trump-GOP lawsuit that would eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions to ads that flat-out lie about his record, Cramer has done absolutely nothing to help North Dakotans have quality and affordable health care — and worse, he’s taken many steps to harm them. For years, Cramer has voted to repeal our care and give insurance companies the power to deny or drop coverage, or charge more because of a pre-existing condition or a person’s age. By putting big insurance companies ahead of working North Dakota families, Kevin Cramer has not earned a promotion to the Senate.”

 

Key Findings from the Protect Our Care-Change Research survey of North Dakota Voters:

  • Sixty percent of voters oppose the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to eliminate protections for pre-existing conditions, while only twenty-nine percent support
  • Fifty-two percent of voters say health care is very important when deciding their vote for the U.S. Senate
  • Sixty-one percent of voters have a major concern with Cramer’s vote to repeal the ACA and allow insurance companies to charge an age tax for people 50 and older.
  • Fifty-three percent of voters have a major concern with Cramer’s vote to repeal the ACA and undermine protections for people with pre-existing condition

This poll surveyed 967 registered voters online in North Dakota on October 3, 2018 using Change Research’s bias correct engine. The margin of error is +/- 3.15% and the post-stratification was done on age, gender, ethnicity, and 2016 presidential vote.

Health Care Repeal in North Dakota would mean the elimination of:

    • Protections for 316,000 North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions
    • Improvements to Medicare, including reduced costs for prescription drugs
    • Allowing kids to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26
    • Ban on annual and lifetime limits
    • Ban on insurance discrimination against women
    • Medicaid expansion currently covering 21,400 North Dakotans
    • Marketplace tax credits and coverage for up to 20,000 North Dakotans.

 

Kevin Cramer Repeatedly Voted to Eliminate Repeal Health Care Protections for People Over Age 50 and People with Pre-existing Conditions

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Cramer supports the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to roll back coverage for people with pre-existing conditions

Kevin Cramer vigorously supports the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back coverage for people with pre-existing conditions via a lawsuit that would eliminate the protections for pre-existing conditions that exist in the ACA.  

Cramer is now doubling down on his support for the AHCA last year, a bill which would have allowed insurance companies to go back to charging people with pre-existing conditions “prohibitively high premiums.”  

Cramer’s support for these measures puts the health of the 316,000 North Dakotans living with a pre-existing condition at risk and would take us back to the days when insurers routinely denied coverage or charged unaffordable premiums to people with pre-existing conditions, including cancer, asthma and hypertension.

 

 

Protect Our Care Statement on Kavanaugh’s Confirmation

Washington, DC – Upon a majority of the U.S. Senate voting to approve Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

“America has seen the real Brett Kavanaugh — an angry, entitled, dishonest, partisan operative — and by historic proportions, they have opposed this nominee and asked their Senators to vote no. When Brett Kavanaugh uses his power as a justice to steamroll health care and abortion rights for the American people,millions will suffer the consequences of this vote. Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation puts an indelible stain on our nation’s highest court, and poses a significant risk for the millions of Americans whose pre-existing conditions are protected because of the ACA, or whoever may need a safe and legal abortion. The Republicans who control the Senate”refused to fully investigate the sexual assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, and refused to allow a full and thorough review of his nomination throughout the process.”

Enough is Enough: Here Are Some of the Ways The Trump Administration And Republicans In Congress Have Waged War on Health Care in 2017

Since taking office earlier this year, President Trump, his administration and allies in Congress have waged an unrelenting war against our health care. Their twin weapons have been repeal and sabotage. The innocent victims are the American people. Their agenda takes  health care away from millions, raises costs for millions more, guts protections for people with preexisting conditions, and purposely destroys the insurance markets.  And they have done it without listening to the American people, health care experts, or engaging in a hint of bipartisanship.

President Trump famously said “the best thing we can do…is let Obamacare explode” and “let it be a disaster because we can blame that on the Democrats.” But as his actions this show clearly, he and his allies in Congress are not letting Obamacare fail, they are making Obamacare fail.

In Congress,  they tried five separate times to completely  repeal health care — starting with the so-called American Health Care Act (AHCA) in the House, then the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a partial repeal bill, Graham-Cassidy, and “skinny” repeal bills in the Senate.  At the White House and HHS, they sabotaged open enrollment, took direct aim at birth control, instructed their cabinet secretaries to disobey the law, and  stopped funding the payments that kept out of pocket costs low for millions of our fellow citizens. They just snuck in a repeal of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that will raise premiums by double digits and increase the number of uninsured by millions, so they can  give massive tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations.

Here is some of what they did  in 2017:

  • On his first day in office, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the administration to find any ways they could to unravel the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Trump administration cut the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days.
  • House Republicans voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that causes 23 million people to lose coverage and guts protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • The Trump administration cut the outreach advertising budget for open enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – likely to result in 1.1 million fewer people getting covered. Advertising is a critical way for people to know when and how they can get covered.  
  • Republicans refused to move forward on the bipartisan Alexander Murray bill even though it had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.
  • Senate Republicans tried but failed to pass BCRA, Skinny Repeal and Graham-Cassidy, all of which would cause millions to lose their health coverage and raise premiums by double digits for millions more..
  • The administration ordered the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in open enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell said, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”
  • The administration dramatically cut in-person assistance that helped people sign up for 2018 coverage.
  • The Trump administration took direct aim at birth control by rolling back a rule that guaranteed women access to contraception. (A court has since delayed their effort.)
  • After threatening for months to stop funding cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that help lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs,  the Trump administration stopped CSR payments altogether in October. The CBO found failing to make these payments would increase premiums by 20 percent and add nearly $200 billion to the debt.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order that would roll back key protections and result in garbage insurance, raise premiums, reduce coverage and expose millions of Americans again to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
  • House and Senate Republicans repealed the individual mandate in their tax bill in order to pay for massive tax breaks to the ultra wealthy and big corporations.  CBO predicts millions will lose coverage and premiums will go up double digits.

While the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress want to keep up this war on health care in 2018, the American people are saying “Enough is Enough.” Nearly 9 million people just signed up for coverage through healthcare.gov despite all the sabotage efforts. The Affordable Care Act is more favorable than it has ever been. And millions of people across the country made their voices heard at rallies, town halls and calling their member of Congress to fight these repeal efforts.

The American people are right: enough IS enough.