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Trump administration Archives — Page 7 of 7 — Protect Our Care

LATEST SABOTAGE:Trump Admin Continues Destructive Plot with New Strike Against Medicaid

Protect Our Care tells Trump: Do your own job & leave hard working Americans’ care alone

WASHINGTON, DC – Following the Trump Administration’s attempt to impose onerous work requirements on Americans covered by Medicaid, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“Today’s attack on Medicaid is just the latest salvo of the Trump Administration’s 2018 war on health care. Having faced overwhelming public rejection of their failed attempts to repeal health care, Trump and his Congressional Republicans are now going for death by a thousand cuts.

“Republicans want to ignore the truth in order to push their partisan health care agenda, but the majority of adults covered by Medicaid who can work, do work – often two or three jobs in fields like the service industry that are less likely to offer insurance. This new attack on Medicaid has nothing to do with program integrity, and everything to do with the recently revealed step-by-step Trump Administration plot to wage war on our health care.

“President Trump, it’s time for you to do your job instead of forcing onerous extra requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries who are already doing theirs. It’s time for you and your Republican allies to end your attacks on our care.”

BACKGROUND

Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/18/17: “Most Medicaid adults work in industries with low offer rates for employer-sponsored insurance, such as agriculture and food service.”

Health Affairs, 3/6/17: “These policy ideas stem from a serious misunderstanding about Medicaid recipients and a flawed belief that employment effectively assures health insurance coverage. In reality, only a small share of the adults covered by Medicaid expansions are in good health but not working, in school, or looking for work. Moreover, the types of low-wage jobs available to Medicaid enrollees are unlikely to offer meaningful health insurance coverage.”

Kaiser Family Foundation, 8/18/17: “Nearly 8 in 10 [Medicaid recipients] live in working families, and a majority are working themselves… Research shows that Medicaid expansion has not negatively affected labor market participation, and some research indicates that Medicaid coverage supports work. A comprehensive review of research on the ACA Medicaid expansion found that there is no significant negative effect of the ACA Medicaid expansion on employment rates and other measures of employment and employee behavior.”

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/28/17: “A work requirement in Medicaid would penalize those least able to get and hold a job — while keeping others from improving their health and participating in the workforce… Many adults on Medicaid are disabled or are caring for a family member. Many others have low-wage jobs that don’t offer health coverage. For those who can work, Medicaid can help them keep their job or search for work. Three-quarters of beneficiaries in Ohio who received care under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion and who were looking for work reported that Medicaid made it easier to do so. For those who were currently working, more than half said that Medicaid made it easier to keep their jobs.”

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/28/17: “A work requirement would likely reduce the number of people who could access care through Medicaid and there’s no evidence that it would increase employment among poor families. The experience of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is telling. The 1996 welfare reform law converted the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program into the TANF block grant and imposed a work requirement. While touted as a ‘work opportunity’ program, TANF has failed to increase long-term employment among its beneficiaries. Before the 1996 law took effect, 68 every 100 poor families with children received basic cash assistance to help make ends meet; today, just 23 do. Sanctions on parents who didn’t meet a work requirement have been a factor in that drop.”

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.

Protect Our Care Fact Sheet on Health Repeal in Senate Tax Bill

Senate Republicans just passed a tax bill that repeals your health care to pay for another massive tax break for the wealthiest and corporations. What this means is simple: while the wealthy and corporations get a tax break, middle-class families will get double digit premium increases, 13 million people will lose their coverage, older Americans will get an age tax and $25 billion in Medicare funding will be cut.

SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST VOTED TO REPEAL HEALTH CARE — RAISING PREMIUMS BY DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, RIPPING AWAY COVERAGE FOR 13 MILLION AMERICANS, IMPOSING AN AGE TAX ON OLDER AMERICANS AND GUTTING MEDICARE BY $25 BILLION — ALL TO PAY FOR SPECIAL TAX BREAKS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS

Congressional Budget Office: Republican Tax Bill Will Result In 13 Million More Uninsured People. “The number of people with health insurance would decrease by 4 million in 2019 and 13 million in 2027.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

CBO: Average Premiums Will Increase By 10 Percent In Most Years Of The Next Decade Due To The Republican Tax Bill. “Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade (with no changes in the ages of people purchasing insurance accounted for) relative to CBO’s baseline projections.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

CBO: Healthier People Less Likely To Purchase Health Coverage, Raising Costs For Everyone Else. “Those effects would occur mainly because healthier people would be less likely to obtain insurance and because, especially in the nongroup market, the resulting increases in premiums would cause more people to not purchase insurance.” [CBO, 11/8/17]

AARP: Premiums For People Over 50 Would Increase Up To $1,500 Because Of Health Care Repeal In The Republican Tax Bill. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50–64 would be at particularly high risk under the proposal, facing average premium increases of up to $1,500 in 2019 as a result of the bill.” [AARP, 11/21/17]

CBO: Republican Tax Bill Would Trigger A $25 Billion Cut To Medicare. “Without enacting subsequent legislation to either offset that deficit increase, waive the recordation of the bill’s impact on the scorecard, or otherwise mitigate or eliminate the requirements of the PAYGO law, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. However, the PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year), leaving about $111 billion to be sequestered from the remaining mandatory accounts.” [CBO, 11/14/17]

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Republicans Need To Cut Medicare Next To Pay For Tax Cuts. “‘I analyze this very differently than most,’ Rubio told the crowd. ‘Many argue that you can’t cut taxes because it will drive up the deficit. But we have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future,’ the senator said.” [Financial Advisor Magazine, 11/30/17]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: “Senate Tax Bill Would Add 13 Million To Uninsured To Pay For Tax Cuts Of Nearly $100,000 Per Year For The Top 0.1 Percent.” “The savings from eliminating the mandate would come entirely from reducing health coverage. For example, the federal government would spend less on premium tax credits because fewer people would sign up for marketplace coverage, less on Medicaid because fewer people would enroll, and less on the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance because fewer employees would enroll in job-based coverage. These savings are what let Senate leaders make their full corporate rate cut permanent…The benefits of corporate rate cuts go overwhelmingly to high-income households.” [CBPP, 11/15/17]

PASSING ALEXANDER-MURRAY AFTER VOTING FOR REPEAL IS LIKE INSTALLING GUARDRAILS ON THE HIGHWAY AFTER YOUR CAR HAS GONE OVER THE CLIFF

CBO: Passing Alexander-Murray After The Repeal Of The Individual Responsibility Provision Would Not Undo The Damage. “In your letter of November 21, 2017, you asked about the combined effects of simultaneously passing the BHCSA and legislation that would repeal the requirement that most U.S. citizens and noncitizens who lawfully reside in the country have health insurance meeting specified standards. Specifically, you asked if legislation that combined the provisions would change the agencies’ previous estimates of the number of people with insurance coverage or premiums in the nongroup insurance market. In the estimate for the BHCSA, the agencies wrote that, relative to the Summer 2017 baseline, the legislation would not substantially change the number of people with health insurance coverage, on net.” [CBO, 11/29/17]

There Is No Guarantee Alexander-Murray Would Pass The House, Let Alone Become Law. There is no guarantee Alexander-Murray would pass the House, let alone become law. Speaker Ryan dodged questions about its fate in the House. House conservatives called it a “nonstarter.” And President Trump has been all over the map on this issue his word cannot be trusted.

THE LEADING EXPERTS — PATIENT GROUPS, INSURERS, DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS — AND MORE THAN 2,400 FAITH LEADERS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OPPOSE HEALTH REPEAL

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, And 16 More Leading Patient Groups: People With “Serious Health Care Needs” And With Pre-Existing Conditions “May Not Be Able To Afford Coverage.” “Many individuals with serious health care needs, including patients with chronic or major health conditions, who by definition, have a pre-existing condition, may not be able to afford coverage.” [The Hill, 11/28/17]

America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy Of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation Of American Hospitals: Leading Industry Groups Warn Of “Serious Consequences” Should The Mandate Be Repealed. “As providers of healthcare and coverage to hundreds of millions of Americans, we are committed to assuring everyone has access to a range of high quality, affordable coverage options so they can access the care they need, regardless of pre-existing conditions. To achieve this critical goal, we are urging you to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.” [Letter, 11/14/17]

More Than 2,400 Faith Leaders: “That The Number Of Uninsured Individuals Would Increase By 13 Million By 2025…Violates Our Faith Teaching.” “The individual mandate is critical to keeping individual market coverage affordable and keeping the individual market stable. By repealing the individual mandate, legislation will cause catastrophic losses in health coverage. The CBO estimates that the number of uninsured individuals would increase by 13 million by 2025, which violates our faith teaching.” [Letter, 11/29/17]

EARLY REVIEWS ARE IN: Trump’s Executive Order Will Sabotage Health Care

Based on what we know so far, the reviews of Trump’s health care sabotage Executive Order aren’t pretty.

In fact, they’re downright scary.

President Trump’s pledge to sign an Executive Order later this week will sabotage health care, achieving his dream of health care repeal that failed with bipartisan opposition in Congress and overwhelming opposition from the American people.

Trump has been rooting for health care to fail, saying “Let it be a disaster,” and his sabotage will end protections for those with pre-existing conditions, raise health care premiums and deny access to coverage for millions of Americans — and could result in the collapse of the individual insurance market.

But don’t take our word for it.

Look at the early reviews that have exposed the truth…

Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation: “If the executive order is as expansive as it sounds, it could severely destabilize the individual and small business insurance markets. Association plans exempt from the ACA can cherry pick healthy people and make coverage unaffordable for those with pre-existing conditions. If loosely regulated association plans are allowed, insurers will leave the ACA marketplaces as soon as they can or hike premiums a lot.”

Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation: “The executive order also reportedly envisions expanding the use of short-term health insurance plans. Short-term insurance plans can offer inexpensive coverage to currently healthy people, but they exclude people with pre-existing conditions. If healthy people can enroll in short-term plans and avoid the individual mandate penalty, the ACA marketplaces could collapse. Anything that creates a parallel insurance market for healthy people will lead to unaffordable coverage for sick people. Middle class people with pre-existing conditions ineligible for ACA subsidies could be especially vulnerable under the executive order. You can bet this executive order will get challenged in court, but it could also create lots of confusion going into open enrollment.”

Cori Uccello, American Academy of Actuaries: “Cori Uccello, senior health fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries, said that one aspect to watch in the order is when the changes will take effect. Insurers have already set their prices and made plans for 2018. ‘Anything that applied to 2018 would be incredibly destabilizing,’ she said. ‘It would still be destabilizing in 2019 but people would know ahead of time.’”

Matt Fiedler, Brookings Institute: “‘Associations would siphon many healthier people out of the ACA-compliant market, driving up premiums,’ said Matt Fiedler, a fellow with the Center for Health Policy at Brookings Institute. ‘Higher premiums in the ACA-compliant market would result in big cost increases for many sicker enrollees — since they would not have the option of switching to the association market — and likely for the federal government as well.’”

Joseph Antos, American Enterprise Institute: “Joseph Antos, a health policy scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, agrees. ‘Trying to exempt these new associations from ACA rules that apply to all other plans doesn’t strike me as something that’s going to stand up in federal court,’ Antos says.”

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: “AHPs would fragment and destabilize the small group market, resulting in higher premiums for many small businesses. … AHPs would be exempt from state solvency requirements, patient protections, and oversight exposing consumers to significant harm.”

Commonwealth Fund: “If they do so, the health insurance sold via the AHP could become exempt from consumer protections such as the essential health benefits standard and the prohibition on charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions. The result would be increased risk for higher premiums and fewer plan options on the individual market, as well as fraud and insolvency.”

Craig Garthwaite, Northwestern University: “‘There’s a general belief that at every turn the federal government is going to create regulations to hurt rather than help the markets,’ said Craig Garthwaite, director of the health care program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, referring to the Trump administration. ‘It unwinds the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance under the ACA,’ Garthwaite said.”

Gary Claxton, Kaiser Family Foundation: “‘If the market’s already fragile right now, this is going to make it much more fragile,’ said Gary Claxton, director of the health-care marketplace project at the Kaiser Family Foundation. ‘All of this would be the start of the end of the individual ACA market.’”

Linda Blumberg, Urban Institute: “‘The risks of trying to do the kinds of things we’re hearing about are really tremendous,’ said Linda Blumberg, senior fellow at the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute.”

Associated Press: “Without those healthy customers, the cost might rise faster for people with medical conditions.”

The Hill: “President Trump’s planned executive order on ObamaCare is worrying supporters of the law and insurers, who fear it could undermine the stability of ObamaCare.”

Washington Post: “If at first you don’t succeed at repealing Obamacare, try, try again — with an executive order. President Trump, desperate for a health-care win that Congress couldn’t hand him, is pursuing a backdoor way of letting more Americans buy insurance plans free of the Obamacare regulations that Republicans have blamed for big premium hikes and costly deductibles.”

Washington Examiner: “Both association health plans and short-term plans are less expensive than Obamacare plans because they offer limited coverage. They don’t guarantee same-cost coverage, or any coverage, for people with pre-existing illnesses and they do not cover a broad range of medical care, from addiction treatment to maternity care.”