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Senate Archives — Protect Our Care

Protect Our Care Launches Senate Accountability Effort in Key States

POC State Teams Will Target GOP Senators in ME, CO, NC, IA, AZ, GA, OH and AK in effort to Protect People with Pre-existing Conditions, Lower Health Care Costs, and Hold the Line Against Health Care Repeal and Sabotage

Washington, DC — Protect Our Care (POC), the group which successfully fended off the efforts of President Trump and Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and then led the campaign to make it the defining issue of the 2018 elections, is launching its Senate accountability efforts. The program will focus on key states that are critical to holding the line against repeal and holding Republicans accountable for repeated attempts to sabotage health care.

Over the past two years, Protect Our Care maintained a significant presence in eighteen states and scores of congressional districts, where it used numerous tactics to lift up the success of the health care law and to defeat repeal including hundreds of events, protests and rallies; paid ads on television and social media; promoting the real health care stories of citizens; and a nationwide bus tour.

As the new congressional term gets underway with a Democratic majority in the House elected on the issue of health care, POC is kicking off its Senate accountability work in eight states — Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, and Ohio. POC’s state teams will work with in-state coalition partners and allies to put pressure on Republicans through earned media events, digital organizing, grassroots mobilization, rallies, protests, paid ads and other proven tactics. We will also mobilize the voices of people with pre-existing conditions, healthcare storytellers, and policy experts, so that these Republican Senators continue to hear from constituents from their home states.

“Health care is still the number one issue on the minds of voters and we’re going to continue to hold Republicans accountable for a repeal and sabotage agenda they simply can’t or won’t give up,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Whether these members have voted repeatedly for repeal, refuse to oppose President Trump’s sabotage of the law or voted for the tax scam bill which undermined the health care law while lining the pockets insurance and drug companies, we are going to make sure their constituents hear about it – loud and clear. Scores of Republicans paid the price in November for their anti-health care agenda yet those who remain are committed to repealing American health care or are turning a blind eye to the Trump administration’s sabotage of the law – and they simply must be held to account and that’s exactly what we intend to do.”

Over the last few weeks our state teams have:

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.

Americans Want To Know: Will Attorney General Nominee William Barr Keep His Promise On The Texas Lawsuit?

Washington DC — Yesterday, during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on William Barr’s nomination to become the next U.S. Attorney General, Senator Kamala Harris pressed Barr to reconsider DOJ’s current position on the Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al. lawsuit which would strike down the Affordable Care Act and its protections if not overturned. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response to Barr’s claims that he would like to review the department’s position if confirmed:

“Barr claimed he would review the department’s position on the Texas lawsuit, but that’s not enough. Let’s be clear, the Texas lawsuit is a politically motivated attack by Republican attorneys general, governors, and the Trump Administration to raise health care costs and take coverage away from millions of Americans. If confirmed, Barr must defend the law of the land and commit to protecting people with pre-existing conditions. We will hold Barr to his word and sound the alarm if yesterday’s comments prove to be empty promises meant to secure his confirmation.”

 

Background:

During The Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, William Barr Claimed He Would Review The Department Of Justice Position On The Texas Lawsuit. Watch for yourself.  

(click here)

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.

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: Nevadans Strongly Oppose Senator Dean Heller’s Attacks On Health Care

Rosen Up 2 points —  48-46 — in Head-to-head With New Poll Finding Health Care a Top Issue for Majority of Voters, and Strong Opposition to Senator Heller’s Efforts to Repeal the ACA and Pre-existing Conditions Protections

 

Washington DC — Ahead of tonight’s Senate debate between Congresswoman Jacky Rosen and Senator Dean Heller, a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care shows Nevadans are deeply motivated by health care this election cycle and have major concerns with Senator Dean Heller’s anti-health care record. Heller voted to cut health care while giving giant tax breaks to wealthy drug and insurance corporations, is a strong supporter of health care repeal and was the architect behind the GOP plan to gut health care for millions of Americans. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement ahead of the debate:

 

“From authoring repeal legislation that would have jacked up premiums and gutted Medicaid to standing alongside Trump and other Republicans as they work to rip away health care from those of us who need it, Dean Heller won’t stop until he eliminates all protections for millions of Americans. Don’t believe us? Just look at his promise to work to repeal health care again if Nevadans send him back to Washington. Dean Heller has shown his hand and Nevadans are ready to cash out.”

 

Key Findings from the Protect Our Care-PPP Poll of Nevada Voters:

  • A majority of voters (58 percent) say health care is a top issue when casting their vote this November
  • By 23 points, Nevada wants to keep what works and fix what doesn’t in the Affordable Care Act, rather than scrap it and start over.
  • Nevada voters oppose the Trump administration’s lawsuit to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions by a 37 point margin, 59 percent to 22 percent.
  • The survey finds Rosen with a two-point lead over Heller (48-46) and more than half (52 percent) of voters disapprove of Sen. Dean Heller’s job performance
  • More than half of Nevadans (51 percent) have a major concern with Sen. Heller’s efforts to repeal funding for the Medicaid Expansion

 

PPP surveyed 648 Nevada voters from October 15-16, 2018.  The margin of error is +/- 3.85%. This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews.

 

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

  • Protections for 1,215,300 Nevadans with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
  • 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
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 15 million people, including more than 200,000 Nevadans

2010:  Heller Voted Against Passage Of The ACA. [HR 3590, Roll Call Vote #165, 3/21/10]

2015:  Heller Voted To Repeal Most Of The ACA. [HR 3762, Roll Call Vote #114, 12/3/15]

Heller Authored Repeal Legislation That Would Have Jacked Up Premiums, Gutted Medicaid And Eliminated Protections For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Graham-Cassidy-Heller Would Raise Costs For People With Pre-Existing Conditions.
  • 200,583 Nevadans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion At Risk of Losing Coverage.
  • 63,968 Nevadans Who Receive Marketplace Tax Credits Could Pay More For the Coverage.

North Dakotans: Get Ready for More Health Care Lies From Kevin Cramer Tonight

Washington DC — Ahead of tonight’s Senate debate between Kevin Cramer and health care champion Heidi Heitkamp, Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:

 

“Facing mounting pressure from North Dakota voters demanding protections for pre-existing conditions, Kevin Cramer has done a 180 on health care issues in recent weeks. Kevin Cramer joins a long list of Republicans who are collecting pinocchios for flat-out lying about protecting people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by insurance companies. Today, the very same day Mitch McConnell has admitted that the Senate’s goal will be repeal if folks like Kevin Cramer win in November, will Kevin Cramer finally tell the people of North Dakota the truth? I wouldn’t bet on it.”

 

The Truth About Kevin Cramer’s Record:


Rep. Kevin Cramer Voted Multiple Time to Eliminate Protections for 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]

  • In fact, Cramer’s own campaign website acknowledged his vote 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]

Why The Truth Matters:

  • Roughly 275,000 North Dakotans Live With A Pre-Existing Condition. [CAP, 4/5/17]
  • Women no longer charged more than men. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer charge women more than men for the same care.
  • Ended annual and lifetime limits. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer put annual or lifetime limits on the care you receive.
  • Young adults can stay on their parent’s plan until age 26. Because of the ACA, roughly 7,000 young adults in North Dakota have coverage because they can stay on their parent’s coverage until age 26.
  • Allowed states to expand Medicaid. Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid. 18,000 North Dakotans have gained coverage because of this program.

 

She Lied: Rep. Martha McSally Voted to Gut Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

“McSally is the latest in a long line of Republicans telling shameful, outright lies out of desperation to conceal their votes to strip the pre-existing conditions protections millions of Americans depend upon,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive Director  of Protect Our Care.

 

SHOT: At last night’s Senate debate, Congresswoman Martha McSally stated, “I voted to protect people with pre-existing conditions.”

 

Chaser:  McSally lied to Arizonans last night. She voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In its place, she tried to pass “the American Health Care Act,” (AHCA) which would have gutted protections for pre-existing conditions and forced people to spend thousands more for the care they need: an estimated $4,270 extra for asthma, $17,060 extra for pregnancy, $26,180 extra for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer.

 

That’s not all: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the ACHA would have raised premiums 20 percent in 2018 and the negative economic impact of the American Health Care Act would cause 60,714 Arizonans to lose their jobs by 2022.

 

NEW POLL: Health Care Is A Top Issue in Arizona Senate Race

In A New Poll Released Ahead of Reps. Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally’s Senate Debate Tonight Finds Health Care a Top Issue for Majority of Voters, and Strong Opposition to Repeal of ACA and Pre-existing Conditions Protections

 

Washington, DC – Ahead of tonight’s debate between U.S. Representatives Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Martha McSally (R) in Phoenix, Arizona, a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) for Protect Our Care is the latest to show health care is a top issue for voters. Building upon today’s bombshell AP story about the heat McSally is getting on the campaign trail for her votes to repeal health care and gut pre-existing conditions protections, the poll also shows that Arizonans strongly oppose Republican health care agenda across the board. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement ahead of the debate:

 

“Martha McSally has had a bull’s eye on Arizonans’ health care her whole career, and a promotion to the Senate could make her the deciding vote to rip away protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease or cancer. But as this poll shows, the more Arizonans learn about her repeal-and-sabotage record, the more likely they will be to vote for her opponent and a real health care champion, Kyrsten Sinema.”

 

Key Findings from the Protect Our Care Public Policy Polling survey of Arizona Voters:

  • Forty percent of voters say health care is very important when deciding who to vote for in the US Senate election
  • Sixty-six percent of voters have a “major concern” with efforts to eliminate protections for people who have pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Forty-seven percent of women say health care is very important when deciding who to vote for in the US Senate election
  • Sixty-four percent of women and fifty-four percent of men say they want to keep what works and fix what doesn’t in the health care law
  • Fifty percent of voters oppose Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • Sixty-three percent of voters have a “major concern” with Martha McSally’s support for repealing the Affordable Care Act
  • Fifty-nine percent of voters oppose the Trump’s Administration’s lawsuit strike down the healthcare law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions


Public Policy Polling surveyed 726 Arizona voters on October 12-13, 2018.  The margin of error for the poll is +/- 3.6%. This poll was conducted using automated telephone interviews on behalf of Protect Our Care.

 

What would full repeal of the Affordable Care Act eliminate?

  • Protections for 2,763,200 Arizonans with pre-existing conditions, if they buy coverage on their own
  • 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
  • Limit on out-of-pocket costs
  • Medicaid expansion currently covering 425,800 Arizonans

 

2012:  McSally Supported Repealing The ACA: “A Vote For Obamacare Is A Vote Against Small Business And A Vote Against Fiscal Responsibility.”  “The United States House of Representatives today passed the Repeal of Obamacare Act, 244-185, with bi-partisan support.  Arizona’s 8th Congressional District Representative and candidate in the newly drawn 2nd District, Ron Barber, voted against the Act and in support of Obamacare.   ‘Mr. Barber’s vote to save Obamacare is example number 1 of why he needs to be replaced in Congress. Obamacare is costing Americans jobs and driving up our debt. Ron Barber has only been in Washington for 3 weeks and has already become part of the problem. A vote for Obamacare is a vote against small businesses and a vote against fiscal responsibility.'” [Martha McSally for Congress Press Release, 7/11/12]

 

2015:  McSally Voted For A Total Repeal Of The ACA.  McSally 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]

 

2017: McSally Voted For AHCA, Which Was a Vote AGAINST Pre-existing Conditions Protections.   [HR 1628, Roll Call Vote #256, 5/4/17]

 

The American Health Care Act weakens key protections of the Affordable Care Act by allowing states to let insurers charge people with pre-existing conditions more, among other provisions. The bill would also make it more likely insurers would cherrypick young and healthier people, causing costs to skyrocket for older, sicker people.

 

The American Health Care Act allowed states to eliminate community rating, meaning insurers would be able to charge people with pre-existing conditions more. This surcharge could be 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.

 

  • McSally Encouraged Her GOP Colleagues To “Get This F——g Thing Done” And Repeal The ACA.  “Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his GOP leadership team held what amounted to a pep rally for rank-and-file members in the Capitol basement Thursday morning as they predicted victory in their push to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Leaders played the ‘Rocky’ theme song as lawmakers walked into the meeting. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put an image of George S. Patton on the screen and read inspirational quotes from the general. ‘Let’s get this f–king thing done!’ Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) told her colleagues, according to sources in the room.” [The Hill, 5/4/17]

 

 

Take Two: ACA Defender Senator Tammy Baldwin Debates Health Care Extremist Leah Vukmir

Washington DC — Tonight in Wausau, health care champion, Senator Tammy Baldwin will debate Leah Vukmir, a repeal crusader who supports ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions for the second time. Tonight’s debate will confirm what Wisconsinites already know, Leah Vukmir’s career as a nurse cannot conceal her extreme positions on health care and multiple attempts to block Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. Ahead of the debate, Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement:

 

“Let’s be clear, Leah Vukmir will not defend Wisconsinites’ health care. Although Vukmir claims she supports keeping protections for people with pre-existing conditions, she has turned her back on Wisconsinites at every opportunity to do so. Whether it’s supporting the Trump-GOP lead lawsuit to gut protections for pre-existing conditions, refusing to take action at the state level against the Trump administration’s junk plan rule or opposing Medicaid expansion, Leah Vukmir’s extreme views would be a disaster for the health care of Wisconsinites.”

 

Vukmir Supports Repealing The ACA And Its Protections For 2.4 Million Wisconsinites with Pre-Existing Conditions

 

Vukmir “Supports Full Repeal Of Obamacare. Period.” “Leah understands why people are upset with Republicans who promised to repeal Obamacare and didn’t deliver. She supports full repeal of Obamacare. Period. And she won’t stop pushing for full repeal in Congress.” [LeahVukmir.com, accessed 6/12/18]

 

Though Leah Vukmir claims she supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions, saying “patients with pre-existing conditions should be covered,” she has turned her back on Wisconsinites at every opportunity to do so.

 

  • Vukmir refuses to stand against a lawsuit designed to end protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration refused to defend against a lawsuit brought by twenty conservative states aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Leah Vukmir refuses to speak against this lawsuit, instead calling it a “necessary step.”

 

  • Vukmir refuses to take action at the state level against the Trump administration’s junk plan and association plan rules that let insurance companies discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. This summer, the Trump Administration finalized a junk plan rule and an association plan rule that allow insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Experts warn that these moves will only increase the cost of comprehensive care, ultimately making it even harder for people with pre-existing conditions to get the care they need. Twenty-one states have taken or are taking action to limit the harmful effects of these junk plans, but Vukmir refuses to do the same for Wisconsin.

 

Vukmir Supported Scott Walker’s Plan To Convert All Health Care Programs To Block Grants: “A Successful Repeal Of Obamacare Begins With The Federal Government Handing Over The Reins To The States.” “State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R–Brookfield, Tuesday endorsed Gov. Scott Walker’s request of the White House and Congress to send states block grants, giving them full responsibility for health care programs. ‘Healthcare is very personal,’ said Vukmir, chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. ‘That’s why those closest to our constituents, not Washington bureaucrats, should be responsible for tailoring our programs to fit Wisconsin’s needs. A successful repeal of Obamacare begins with the federal government handing over the reins to the states.’” [State Senator Leah Vukmir Press Release, 8/22/17]

  • Converting health care programs to block grants was the core of what the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have done. Multiple independent analyses agreed that the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill would have cut federal funding to states including a $29 billion cut over two decades to Wisconsin.

Vukmir Is Hostile Towards Medicaid

Vukmir “Would Support Efforts To Send Medicaid Dollars To States In The Form Of A Block Grant.” “Finally, Leah knows from her experience dealing with Wisconsin’s Medicaid program that states truly are laboratories of innovation, which is what our founders intended. Leah supports more flexibility for states when it comes to Medicaid spending, and would support efforts to send Medicaid dollars to states in the form of a block grant – allowing states more flexibility to design their own plans and save taxpayers billions of dollars.” [LeahVukmir.com, accessed 6/12/18]

  • The Graham-Cassidy bill would have enacted Vukmir’s plan to convert Medicaid into a block grant, meaning the 1,037,795 Wisconsinites who are enrolled on Medicaid would have their care jeopardized. Medicaid disproportionately helps children, seniors in nursing home care and people with disabilities. A study by Avalere found that a Graham-Cassidy-style plan would cut funding for people with disabilities by 15-percent and 31-percent for children by 2036.

Vukmir Opposed Medicaid Expansion In Wisconsin. “State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R–Brookfield, issued the following statement Friday after seeing recent news reports from states that accepted Medicaid expansion dollars and are now facing major problems with their budgets: ‘Recent reports from states across the U.S. are confirming our prior expectations, proving what we’ve known all along: Increased expansion is not financially feasible.” [State Senator Leah Vukmir Press Release, 4/22/16]

  • Medicaid is not only a lifeline for over one million Wisconsinites, it strengthens our communities and is supported by 74 percent of Americans. By not fully expanding Medicaid, Wisconsin has restricted its Medicaid program such that only Residents earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. If Wisconsin expanded its program, 119,000 more adults could gain coverage through Medicaid.

Vukmir Supports Drug Testing For Medicaid Recipients.  “Gov. Scott Walker wants to make Wisconsin the first state in the country to require able-bodied, childless adults applying for Medicaid health benefits to undergo drug screening, a move that could serve as a national model.  […] Republican backer, Sen. Leah Vukmir, defended the approach, saying: ‘We know what to do. We know how to take care of our own.’” [Associated Press, 5/25/17]