Tennessee Archives — Protect Our Care

Court Ruling Helps Lamar Alexander Rip Away Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Decision From Federal Judge Means:

Medicaid Expansion is Gone

Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions are Gone

Hundreds of Thousands of Tennesseans Will Lose Health Care

And Lamar Alexander OWNS IT

Washington, D.C. –  On Friday night, conservative U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor issued his ruling in Texas, et. al. vs. United States, et. al., siding with Republican attorneys general, governors, the Trump Administration, and Senator Lamar Alexander  to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). Whether it’s repealing the individual mandate to pay for tax cuts or ramming through partisan repeal legislation, repeal cheerleader Lamar Alexander has done nothing but support the GOP’s efforts to strip coverage from hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care issued the following statement:

“Like two sides of the same coin, Lamar Alexander and the Trump Administration have worked relentlessly to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Today, they are one step closer to ripping health care away from millions of Tennesseans with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, or asthma.  If this ruling isn’t overturned, Lamar Alexander will roll back the clock and take Tennesseans back to the days where insurance companies had the power to once again deny, drop, or charge more for coverage. They will once again have the power to impose annual or lifetime limits and charge women and seniors more based on their age and gender. Make no mistake, these actions will hurt hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans.”


Due to Judge O’Connor’s ruling yesterday, 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. Under this ruling:

  • 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.

What’s at stake for Tennessee:

  • The coverage that 266,000 Tennesseans gained through the ACA by 2015.
  • Protections for 2,718,800 Tennesseans who have a pre-existing health condition.
  • The health care of roughly 47,000 young adults in Tennessee who have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.
  • The nearly 2,745,436 Tennesseans, most of whom have employer coverage, who can access free preventive care at no cost.
  • The 3,369,000 Tennesseans with employer coverage who no longer have to worry about lifetime or annual limits.
  • Seniors’ drug savings — 108,136 Tennessee seniors are saving $111.8 million on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,034 per beneficiary.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, 17.1 Million People Would Lose Their Coverage

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition

  • According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
    • 44 million people who have high blood pressure
    • 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
    • 44 million people who have high cholesterol
    • 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
    • 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
  • 17 million children. One in four children, or roughly 17 million, have a pre-existing condition This includes 355,200 Tennessee children.
  • 68 million women. More than half of women and girls nationally have a pre-existing condition.
  • 30 million people aged 55-64. 84 percent of older adults, 30.5 million Americans between age 55 and 64, have a pre-existing condition. This includes 630,100 in Tennessee
  • 2,718,800 Tennesseans have a pre-existing condition.

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have The Power To Deny Or Drop Coverage Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. If Judge O’Connor rules in favor of Republicans, insurance companies will be able to do this again.

  • A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period.
  • A 2009 congressional report found that the of the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period
Conditions That Could Cost You Your Care:

  • Alcohol/drug Abuse
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe Epilepsy
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
Jobs You Could Be Denied Coverage Because Of:

  • Active military personnel
  • Air traffic controller
  • Body guard
  • Pilot
  • Meat packers
  • Taxi cab drivers
  • Steel metal workers
  • Law enforcement
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Scuba divers
Medications That You Could Be Denied Health Care For Taking:

  • Anti-arthritic medications
  • Anti-diabetic medications (including insulin)
  • Anti-cancer medications
  • Anti-coagulant and anti-thrombotic medications
  • Medications used to treat autism
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Medications for HIV/AIDS
  • Growth hormone
  • Medication used to treat arthritis, anemia, and narcolepsy
  • Fertility Medication

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have The Power To Charge You More

  • More than 100 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition Could Be Forced to Pay More. An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” thanks to the Republican lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If Judge O’Connor sides with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
  • Women Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
  • People Over the Age of 50 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $5,404 in Tennessee. If Judge O’Connor sides with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $5,404 in Tennessee, according to the AARP.
  • Seniors Would Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If Judge O’Connor sides with Republican lawmakers, seniors would have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 CMS report. In Tennessee, 108,136 seniors saved $111.8 million on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,034 per beneficiary. .

Because Judge O’Connor Sided With Republicans, Insurance Companies Could Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

Former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Rep. Jim Cooper, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse Headline Week Five of Protect Our Care’s Nationwide Bus Tour

Protect Our Care Continues 11,505 Mile Bus Tour With Stops in Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia

Washington, D.C. – This week, Protect Our Care continues its nationwide bus tour, a 49-stop, 24-state bus tour highlighting the Republican war on health care and its impact on Americans from coast to coast. In its fifth week, Care Force One is traveling to Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.

The tour will continue to show that the Republican war on health care is very much alive, with GOP officials using legislation, regulations, and the courts to continue their attacks on protections for the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, for women and older Americans, and on Medicaid and Medicare.

The week kicks off in Kansas City:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Kansas City:

Who: Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Sharice Davids

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Missourians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Mill Creek Park

West 47th St. & Broadway St.

Kansas City, MO 64111

When: Monday, October 22

9:30 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

The Care Force One bus will then travel to St. Louis:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – St. Louis

Who: Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden

Dr. Pamela Gronemeyer

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Missourians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Kiener Plaza
601 Market Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

When: Tuesday, October 23

9:00 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

Later in the week, Care Force One will travel to Nashville, Tennessee:

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Nashville

Who: Rep. Jim Cooper

State Sen. Jeff Yarbro

Kelly Gregory, Air Force veteran and terminal cancer patient

Rev. John Hill

Dr. Tom Phelps

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Where: Centennial Park
2500 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203

When: Wednesday, October 24

10:00 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

And as the week comes to a close, Care Force One will be in Atlanta, Georgia

What: Protect Our Care Rally – Atlanta

Who: Former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards

Laura Packard, cancer survivor

Georgians with pre-existing conditions and concerns over GOP actions

Where: Exact location forthcoming.

When: Friday, October 26

9:30 AM

Livestream: The event will be streamed on the Protect Our Care Facebook page

Check out protectourcarebustour.com for the latest information on the tour. The remaining schedule of Care Force One appearances is below:

Kansas City, MO on Monday, October 22, 2018

Springfield, MO on Monday, October 22, 2018

St. Louis, MO on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Memphis, TN on Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Nashville, TN on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Richmond, VA on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Raleigh, NC on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Atlanta, GA on Friday, October 26, 2018

Sarasota, FL on Monday, October 29, 2018

Orlando, FL on Monday, October 28, 2018

Miami, FL on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

St. Lucie, FL on Thursday, November 1, 2018

West Palm, FL on Friday, November 2, 2018


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.

Republicans At All Levels Face Fury from Their Constituents as the Coalition that Defeated Health Care Repeal Takes the Fight Local

As we head into the one-year anniversary of the Senate’s defeat of ACA repeal, Republicans are running scared of their own record, especially as Big Health Care CEO compensation soars on their watch.

Meanwhile, the coalition that defeated health care repeal is rising up to fight GOP sabotage at every level of government.

  • For a full month, Protect Our Care and its partners have continually sounded the alarm about Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, who is now opposed by 41 percent of Americans, the vast majority of whom do not want the Court to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • All week, the Protect Our Care coalition held events marking the anniversary of the Senate defeating repeal and highlighting continued threats to health care, and today Protect Our Care coalitions in Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia are holding actions to ask their Republican attorneys general and governors to drop their lawsuit to overturn protections for people with pre-existing conditions in the Affordable Care Act.
  • Looking ahead to August, Protect Our Care coalitions across the country are gearing up to confront House Republicans during recess about the numerous votes they have taken to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, jack up premiums, reduce coverage, and give kickbacks to insurance companies, drug companies, and the wealthy – while doing nothing to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.

With an energized grassroots representing the will of the public, according to poll after poll after poll after poll, it’s no wonder why Democrats are rising up to fight for health care. Just yesterday:

  1. Senate Democrats redoubled their commitment to fight tooth-and-nail to protect health care for all Americans, while marking the one-year anniversary of their defeat of Republicans’ effort to repeal the ACA.
  2. House Democrats introduced a resolution that would intervene to protect the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions from the GOP-Trump Administration lawsuit working to overturn protections for them.
  3. A coalition of 12 Democratic attorneys general filed a lawsuit to fight back against the Trump Administration’s revival of junk plans that charge money for poor coverage.


Lamar Alexander Blames Democrats for Premiums, Ignoring Insurance Company Which Blames Republican Sabotage

Last night, Sen. Lamar Alexander once again lied about the rising premiums in his state, attempting to blame Democrats for problems caused by his party in Washington.

What did Sen. Alexander say? Per the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he blamed Democrats for Tennessee’s premiums:

“Since Democrats in Congress have elevated Obamacare to the 67th book of the Bible, and have blocked even minor changes to the law that could have lowered rates by up to 40 percent, it is up to the states and the administration to continue to help lower premiums.’”

What did BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee say? That they were raising people’s premiums by $649.28 next year specifically because of the Trump Administration’s decision to freeze risk adjustment payments:

Sen. Alexander: stop denying that GOP sabotage is costing Tennesseans.

Advocates Mount Defense of Health Care for Millions

Last night, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Supreme Court justice. To be clear, Trump had two litmus tests in selecting Brett Kavanaugh for the Court:

1) overturning Roe v. Wade, and

2) overturning Americans’ health care by gutting protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Across the country, health care advocates geared up in opposition, urging their senators to reject Judge Kavanaugh, an activist judge who was hand-picked to rubber-stamp President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ war on health care.

Here are some highlights, with more activity on the ground happening today.

In Alaska, Protect Our Care was joined by health care advocates, Alaska Native leaders, and former Alaska Superior Court Judge John Reese to urge Sen. Lisa Murkowski to do what is best for Alaska and reject a justice who won’t protect Alaskans’ care.

In Maine, Protect Our Care was joined by the Maine Women’s Lobby and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in calling on Sen. Susan Collins to protect pre-existing condition protections and women’s access to health care.

In Arizona, Jeff Jeans, a cancer survivor joined  state Rep. Athena Salman, and representatives from Planned Parenthood and ACLU Arizona urged Senator Flake to stand up for Arizonans’ care.

In Nevada, Protect Our Care and Laura Packard, a health care advocate living with cancer, Cyndy Hernandez of NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada, and Sam Shaw of SEIU Nevada Local 1107 urged Sen. Dean Heller to stand up and protect Nevadans’ health care.

In Ohio, Protect Our Care Ohio joined with Innovation Ohio, the Physicians Action Network, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio highlighted the current and long-term threats to health care under a conservative Supreme Court.

In Tennessee, Protect Our Care was joined by a coalition of concerned citizens including Jen Yamin, the mother of a son with pre-existing conditions, Kristen Grimm, the mother of child with special needs, and Anna Carella, Co-Chair of Healthy and Free Tennessee, outside Sen. Bob Corker’s Nashville office.

In West Virginia, Protect Our Care advocates went on the record to make it clear that they want their senators to stand up health care.

Advocates Gear Up to Defend Health Care for Millions

Protect Our Care Coalition to Host Events Across the Country As Supreme Court Pick Looms

Enough Is Enough Poster

  • As President Trump prepares to make his Supreme Court announcement Monday, Americans from coast to coast are gearing up to make clear to their Senators that they must not vote against health care by voting for an extreme nominee who will use their position to attack our health care.
  • Protect Our Care is active in fourteen states, and our advocates have already scheduled events on Monday in Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. We’ll be holding a rally at Monument Square in Bangor, Maine; a press conference in front of Sen. Bob Corker’s office in Nashville, Tennessee; and a press call with local leaders, health care advocates, and a former judge in Alaska.
  • President Trump and Congressional Republicans have spent the past 18 months waging a relentless war on our health care, with millions losing coverage, premiums increasing by double digits, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions eroding. But all of these pale in comparison to the damage that an extreme Supreme Court justice could do — read more to find out all that’s at stake for health care with this Supreme Court vacancy.

Protect Our Care’s national leaders and local advocates are available for on the record interviews. Please contact [email protected].

Protect Our Care Launches 130 Million Strong Month of Action

Washington, D.C. – The Protect Our Care coalition today launches “130 Million Strong Month of Action,” a campaign to warn Americans about escalating Republican attacks on Affordable Care Act-guaranteed protections for over 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. As the Trump Department of Justice asks the courts to take away these protections, the campaign will leverage earned and paid media as well as grassroots advocacy to highlight the true cost of letting insurance companies bring back discrimination.

“There are over 130 million Americans out there with pre-existing conditions who deserve to know that Republicans are trying to let insurance companies take away their coverage,” said Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse. “The Trump Department of Justice just declared war on people who have a history of diabetes, asthma, or cancer. This month, our coalition of health care advocates will be conducting an aggressive information campaign to make sure people know what’s at stake.”

The campaign launches this morning with a new digital ad targeted to 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Watch Digital Ad

Protect Our Care is also rolling out 51 fact sheets this morning highlighting the impact residents would face in each state if the Trump Administration wins its case and takes away pre-existing condition protections, and dozens of events are set to take place across the country between now and Independence Day.

Advocates Nationwide Highlight Medicaid’s Role In Combating Opioid Crisis

Throughout the second week of Medicaid Awareness Monthadvocates across the country highlighted the significant role Medicaid plays in combating the opioid crisis – most notable being that in 2014 Medicaid paid for one-fourth of addiction treatment nationwide – and spoke out against Republican proposals to weaken and cut Medicaid.

In Ohio, Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney, Cheryl Beverly, Operator of Cheryl’s House of Hope, and Michelle McAllister, Coordinator for the Heroine Partnership Project, held a press conference to discuss how changes to the state’s Medicaid program would leave over 150,000 Ohioans that suffer from substance abuse disorders and mental illness without care.

Protect Our Care released an opioid crisis fact sheet, showing how Medicaid provides access to treatment and gives states more resources in combating the epidemic.

In Tennessee, Chip Forrester, a father who lost his son to opioids, held a roundtable discussion about the crisis and how restricting access to Medicaid threatens lives and impedes states’ ability to respond to the epidemic.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report analyzing how Better Integration of Medicaid and Federal Grant Funding Would Improve Outcomes for People with Substance Use Disorders.

ACA Medicaid Expansion Reduced Share of Opioid-Related Hospitalizations in Which Patient Was Uninsured


In Ohio,  Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham and health care leaders in Steubenville held a press conference to talk discuss how Medicaid benefits thousands of Ohioans suffering from substance abuse disorders.

And in Alaska and West Virginia, advocates held a virtual postcard sending party throughout the week to send notes thanking Sen. Lisa Murkowski for supporting Medicaid and encouraging her to continue doing so, culminating in a stand up event outside Sen. Murkowski’s Anchorage office emphasizing the role Medicaid plays in addressing the opioid crisis, and a press conference with faith leaders which focused on the opioid crisis and how West Virginia’s faith community can address substance abuse disorders in the state, respectively.


Tell Bob to Put a Cork In the Tax Bill

Sen. Bob Corker wins from the tax bill, while Tennesseans lose


Economist Dean Baker estimates that Sen. Bob Corker could see a more than $1 million windfall from a provision in the latest tax bill Corker is now supporting.


  • $1.46 trillion added to the debt
  • 262,000 Tennesseans will lose health coverage
  • $2,970 higher premiums for a typical middle class family in Tennessee
  • $2,189 age tax for people over 50 in Tennessee because of higher premiums
  • $25 billion in Medicare cuts, including $539 million in Tennessee alone – and laying the groundwork for even more