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War On Health Care Archives — Protect Our Care

Senate Democrats Pressure GOP To Oppose Trump’s Pre-existing Strikedown Lawsuit

Put Up, or Shut Up Time for Senate Republicans on Most Popular Provision of Health Care Law

In June, President Trump’s Department of Justice announced that it would go to court in support of a lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Yesterday, Senate Democrats, including Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Bob Casey (PA), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Jon Tester (MT), Sherrod Brown (OH) and Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), fought back by introducing a resolution that would authorize the Senate to step up to defend protections for pre-existing conditions in court.  While all 49 Senate Democrats sponsored the resolution, not a single Republican has signed on despite many paying lip service to the importance of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Here’s how it was covered:

The Hill: Dems Pressure GOP To Take Legal Action Supporting Pre-Existing Conditions. “Senate Democrats are targeting Republicans on health care, urging them to sign on to a resolution that would allow the Senate to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the legality of ObamaCare. The resolution, introduced Thursday, would allow the Office of Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in a case brought by Republican attorneys general that argues ObamaCare is now unconstitutional since Congress repealed the 2010 law’s individual mandate last year.” [The Hill, 7/19/18]

WV MetroNews: Manchin Leads Democrats On Resolution Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage. “Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced a resolution Thursday asking for the Senate Legal Counsel to represent the legislative chamber in Texas v. United States — a lawsuit involving West Virginia and 19 other states — in defense of “Obamacare” and its provisions, specifically the guarantee of health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions…Manchin said 800,000 West Virginians would be at risk of losing insurance coverage if protections for pre-existing conditions were eliminated.” [WV MetroNews, 7/19/18]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: McCaskill Co-Sponsors Senate Move To Oppose Hawley Backed Lawsuit Challenging Obamacare. “Sen. Claire McCaskill is co-sponsoring a resolution that would direct Senate lawyers to defend against a lawsuit trying to kill the Affordable Care Act, a move that has virtually no chance of passing but highlights the great divide between her and Attorney General Josh Hawley on a key issue in Missouri’s nationally watched Senate race. McCaskill, D-Mo., along with Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Thursday they would introduce the resolution.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/19/18]

WBIW: Donnelly Continues To Fight To Protect Hoosiers with Pre-Existing Conditions. “U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly continued his fight for quality, affordable health care coverage for Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions by joining a resolution that would allow the Senate’s Legal Counsel to represent the Senate in Texas v. United States. This would enable the Senate to defend protections for Americans with pre-existing condition against the current lawsuit seeking to make this provision unconstitutional.” [WBIW, 7/20/18]

Newsmax: “Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and a cadre of Democrats are taking steps to protect the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions.” “Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and a cadre of Democrats are taking steps to protect the healthcare coverage of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions. Nelson et al filed a resolution Thursday authorizing the Senate Legal Counsel to take up defense of a federal lawsuit, Texas v. United States, which would undo protections for those with preexisting conditions.” [Newsmax, 7/20/18]

Roll Call: Democrats Push Senate To Take Legal Action Backing Pre-existing Condition Protections. “Democratic senators want the chamber to go to court to defend health insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions…Manchin and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., are among those leading the introduction of a Senate resolution that would authorize the Senate to take legal action to intervene in litigation led by Texas that could undercut the protections on the health insurance exchanges and in the broader market. Morrisey and Hawley have signed on to the lawsuit, so it is no surprise that the Democratic Senate incumbents they’re challenging in 2018 would take the lead on the new legislative effort.” [Roll Call, 7/19/18]

Washington Examiner: “Senate Democrats Want To Intervene In A Lawsuit That Would End Obamacare’s Protections For Pre-existing Conditions.” “Senate Democrats want to intervene in a lawsuit that would end Obamacare’s protections for pre-existing conditions after the Trump administration declined to defend the healthcare law. A group of Democratic senators introduced a resolution on Thursday that would have the Senate intervene in a lawsuit brought by Texas and 19 other states against Obamacare. The lawsuit would gut the law’s protections for pre-existing conditions.” [Washington Examiner, 7/19/18]

Washington Times: Senate Democrats Offer Resolution To Protect Obamacare. “All 49 members of the Democratic caucus signed onto a resolution that would compel the Senate’s Office of Legal Counsel to intervene in the case, effectively daring the GOP to choose between President Trump’s hands-off position or a spirited defense of the most popular parts of the 2010 health care law, as the midterm campaign season heats up.” [Washington Times, 7/19/18]

Trump Brags About His War on Health Care at CPAC

Trump Header Background

In response to President Trump’s outrageous comments at CPAC, where he bragged that his Administration is “wip(ing) out” the Affordable Care Act “piece by piece,” Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“President Trump said loud and clear today that his Administration will stop at nothing to wage a war on our health care and sabotage the Affordable Care Act, confirming that recent HHS actions amount to nothing less than back-door health care repeal. Republicans on the ballot in 2018 will try to pretend they didn’t vote to repeal health care and endorse the sabotage of our health care. President Trump, the Saboteur-in-Chief,  just admitted that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.”

BACKGROUND

This Week in The War on Health Care [Protect Our Care, 2/22/18]

This Week in the War on Health Care

This week, while Congress was on recess, the Trump Administration continued its unprecedented assault on the American health care system. Here’s what happened this week in the Republicans’ war on health care – and the extensive data showing that opposition to the GOP health care agenda is only growing:

SHORT-TERM PLANS? MORE LIKE LONG-TERM SCAMS

On Tuesday, the Trump Administration announced a proposal to let insurance companies sell short-term plans year-round. These plans skirt Affordable Care Act requirements to cover essential health benefits like cancer treatment, substance use treatment, and maternity care and can deny coverage altogether for those with pre-existing conditions.

What do these plans do?

  • Short-term health plans offer inadequate medical coverage and circumvent fundamental consumer protections
  • Short-term plans provide junk coverage which leaves those who get sick with thousands of dollars in unpaid bills
  • Short-term plans offer subpar coverage coverage which will raise premiums and destabilize markets

The negative reactions to this backdoor sabotage came fast and thick:

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Liver Foundation, American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Consumers Union, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Leukemia And Lymphoma Society, Lutheran Services In America, March Of Dimes, National Health Council, National Ms Society, National Organization For Rare Disorders, United Way, World Wide Volunteers Of America: “The proposed rule released today would permit insurance companies to offer substandard insurance policies to millions of americans… as organizations committed to ensuring that coverage remains affordable, accessible, and adequate for all americans, we cannot support this proposal.” [Consumers Union, 2/20/18]

America’s Health Insurance Plans: “We remain concerned the expanded use of short-term plans could further fragment the individual market, which would lead to higher premiums for many consumers, particularly those with pre-existing conditions.”  [Twitter, 2/20/18]

Mike Kreidler, Washington State Insurance Commissioner: “If you get sick you may not be able to renew your coverage — there are no protections for people with pre-existing conditions. maternity care and mental-health benefits often are excluded.” [New York Times, 2/20/18]

Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation Senior Vice President: “Short-term insurance plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions, don’t cover the aca’s essential benefits, and can impose annual limits on coverage.” [Twitter, 2/20/18]

Rachel Sachs, Health Law Professor: “The government will spend millions more to provide fewer people with comprehensive coverage.” [Twitter, 2/20/18]

REPUBLICANS GO AFTER PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

The most popular provision of the Affordable Care Act is its ban on insurance company discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. Short-term plans would once again force consumers to fill out medical history forms, and pay the price if they check the wrong boxes. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the headlines yourself:

NBC News: Trump pushes insurance that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions

Vox: Trump’s quiet campaign to bring back preexisting conditions

Alaska Native News: Trump’s Latest Sabotage Targets Americans with Pre-existing Conditions

USA Today: Trump proposes 12-month insurance plans that don’t cover people, issues Obamacare requires

NPR: Trump Administration Wants To Let Insurers Offer Plans With Fewer Benefits

New York Times Editorial Board: Trump Tries to Kill Obamacare by a Thousand Cuts

CAUGHT IN A LIE

Also this week, top Administration health officials Secretary Alex Azar and Administrator Seema Verma directly contradicted their own short-term plan regulation as they desperately tried to spin away the damage which would be inflicted on Americans’ ability to access quality, affordable health care:

What They Said What Their Reg Said
Individual market premiums VERMA: “This shift will have will have virtually no impact on the individual market premiums.” HHS REG: “It would result in an increase in premiums for the individuals remaining in those risk pools. An increase in premiums for individual market single risk pool coverage would result in an increase in Federal outlays for APTC.”
Lower-quality coverage VERMA: “While in the past these plans have been a bridge, now they can be a lifeline.” HHS REG: “Consumers who purchase short-term, limited-duration insurance policies and then develop chronic conditions could face financial hardship as a result, until they are able to enroll in PPACA-compliant plans that would provide for such conditions.”
Fewer insurance options AZAR: “This is a group of people, they live in areas of the country where there’s one plan they might have access to, so they’re looking for other options.” HHS REG: “Individual market issuers could experience higher than expected costs of care and suffer financial losses, which might prompt them to leave the individual market.”
Short-term or not? AZAR: “We are proposing that these plans would be available up to 12 months for people … We are asking for comment on whether we have the legal authority to let people renew their plans.” HHS REG: “Short-term, limited-duration insurance is a type of health insurance coverage that was designed to fill temporary gaps in coverage that may occur when an individual is transitioning from one plan or coverage to another.”
Pre-existing conditions AZAR: “These plans may have fewer benefits than we’re used to, they may have more restrictions, and also they may be able to limit who they insure for. That’s part of this.” HHS REG: “Short-term, limited-duration insurance policies would be unlikely to include all the elements of PPACA-compliant plans, such as the preexisting condition exclusion prohibition.”

CROCODILE TEARS FROM THE SWAMPIEST ADMINISTRATION

On Thursday, Axios reported that America’s largest pharmaceutical companies are using their windfall from the GOP tax scam to drive up their own stock prices to the tune of $50 billion, “a sum that towers over investments in employees or drug research and development.” Why is this so appalling?

  • The GOP cried crocodile tears over the cost of prescription drugs – and then gave Big Pharma a giant windfall through their tax scam.
  • The GOP has consistently voted to raise prescription drug costs, from the health care repeal that would get rid of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit to their confirmation of a Big Pharma executive who let drug prices skyrocket to lead HHS.
  • All the while, millions of Americans continue struggling to afford their prescription drugs, too often being forced to choose between their medication and a meal. And the GOP does nothing.

On prescription drugs, as well as their broader war on health care, however, the GOP’s actions, are finally catching up to them…

AMERICANS AGREE: KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OUR HEALTH CARE

Four polls over six weeks have reached the same conclusion: the ACA has achieved lasting popularity, the electorate is angry about GOP sabotage, and health care is voters’ top priority. Here’s what the numbers say:

Last week, Public Policy Polling released its first national poll of the year, contrasting the rising popularity of the Affordable Care Act with the blame being leveled on President Trump’s sabotage:

  • Approval for the Affordable Care Act is 12 points above water (47% approval to 35% disapproval), a dramatic reversal from trends before Trump took office.
  • Over half of voters know Republicans are sabotaging health care, with 51% believing the Trump Administration is actively taking steps that will raise people’s health care costs.

Also last week, a Priorities USA memo found that President Trump’s handling of health care remains vastly unpopular, especially among independent voters:

  • On the policy of health care, Donald Trump has a 34/46 favorable/unfavorable message.
  • On his handling of drug pricing, 60% of voters have major concerns, including 71% among independents.

These polls came on the heels of a January Washington Post/ABC News poll asking Americans about President Trump’s time in office, which found that Americans are most united in opposition to the GOP’s health care agenda:

  • Asked if keeping “Obamacare” was a good thing for the country, 57 percent of respondents said yes – a significantly higher percentage than any other policy. The only policy underwater? The GOP tax scam, which kicked millions off of their insurance and was opposed 46% – 34%.

And all of these polls followed a Hart Research memo which found health care is the number one issue among voters, far exceeding anything else:

  • “Healthcare far exceeds any other issue as an important driver of voting preferences, with over half of all voters identifying healthcare as one of their top priorities in the 2018 congressional elections, with 54% of those surveyed choose health care as one of the two issues that will be the most important to them in deciding how to vote for Congress.”
  • Healthcare is the most frequently cited priority among Democrats (68%), independents (54%), and Republicans (38%). It is particularly important to African-American voters (66%) and to white women voters, whether they are college graduates (62%) or non-college graduates (59%).

One poll can be an outlier, two a coincidence – but four polls in six weeks independently highlighting the importance of health care and the contrast between the Affordable Care Act’s popularity and the GOP’s sabotage show just how important this issue is to the American people.

From coast to coast, constituents are making their view abundantly clear: it’s time for the GOP to stop its war on health care, and there will be significant consequences should President Trump and Congressional Republicans fail to heed this advice.

This Week in the War on Health Care — February 12-16, 2018

This week, as the President announced his budget and the Senate debated various immigration proposals, the Trump Administration continued its unprecedented assault on the American health care system. Here’s what happened this week in Republicans’ war on health care, and why the American people stood up to this Administration – and the prominent GOP legislator who joined them:

ABOUT THAT BUDGET

On Monday, President Trump released his 2019 fiscal year budget blueprint, and its most prominent feature was a series of draconian cuts to the nation’s health care programs.

The Trump budget doubled down on Congressional Republicans’ previous failed repeal attempts, calling for the implementation of Graham-Cassidy, the GOP’s worst repeal bill, which would take away health insurance from 32 million Americans, raise costs, remove protections for pre-existing conditions, and end Medicaid as we know it. The budget also called for drastic cuts to Medicare and ending funding for Planned Parenthood, continuing to target everyday Americans in an attempt to balance costs after cutting taxes for the wealthiest and corporations.

President Trump and his Administration should be ashamed – and Congress should declare the budget dead on arrival.

THE ATTACKS ON WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE CONTINUE

The Administration also ratcheted up its war on women’s health care this week. In addition to a budget defunding Planned Parenthood and slashing Medicaid, denying millions of women access to basic health care, it came out that President Trump’s Health and Human Services Department last month instructed a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group to write an official government letter providing a roadmap for state Medicaid programs to restrict women’s access to the health care provider of their choice.

Politico: “A conservative legal organization worked with the Trump administration to make it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood.”

CNN: “The Trump administration relied on a right-wing anti-abortion rights group to draft the letter it sent to states reversing Obama-era guidance that it’s against the law to terminate Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider … the Alliance Defending Freedom calls itself a conservative Christian nonprofit organization … but the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled it a hate group for its attacks on LGBT rights.”

A BLATANT VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW? MEH, SAYS ALEX AZAR

On Wednesday, Blue Cross of Idaho announced that it would follow Republican Governor Butch Otter’s lead and violate federal law by offering insurance plans that don’t conform to the consumer protections mandated by the Affordable Care Act, leading the charge to take people back to a time when insurance companies could decide whether they were taken care of when they got sick. In response, newly-confirmed HHS Secretary Alex Azar refused to say he will stop the measure, despite it being a blatant violation of federal law. Secretary Azar should read the letter fifteen patients’ rights groups sent him:

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Liver Foundation, American Lung Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Hemophilia Federation of America, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Lutheran Services in America, March of Dimes, Mended Little Hearts, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National MS Society, National Organization for Rare Disorders: “The Federal Government Must Uphold The Requirements Of Federal Law.” “Idaho’s insurance bulletin would allow insurers to sell individual market plans that do not comply with federal law. Because the Idaho Bulletin purports to authorize the issuance of insurance coverage that is prohibited by federal law, it is legally invalid… The federal government must uphold the requirements of federal law that protect patients, their families, and the health system against these consequences. On behalf of our patients, and all Americans, we urge you to make clear that Idaho cannot authorize the issuance of health insurance coverage that violates federal law, and that any insurer that issues such plans risks enforcement action and serious penalties.” [American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network, 2/14/18]

JOB OR NO JOB, REPUBLICANS CONTINUE SECRETLY ATTEMPTING TO REPEAL THE ACA

The Hill this week reported that Congressional Republicans, in a backdoor manner, are seeking to repeal yet another component of the Affordable Care Act: its requirement that employers with over 50 workers offer health insurance. The hypocrisy of encouraging states to cut working-age people off Medicaid, saying they should find a job if they want coverage, to telling employers they shouldn’t have to offer health coverage to their workers, is breathtaking. 151 million Americans are covered through employer-sponsored insurance, and such a move would be devastating. Unfortunately for the GOP, voters are on to their secret sabotage strategy…

POLLS CONFIRM AMERICANS ARE FED UP WITH GOP’S WAR ON HEALTH CARE

Two major polls were released this week, and both came to the same conclusion: voters are fed up with the GOP’s war on health care.

Public Policy Polling released its first national poll of the year, and offered some key findings about the state of health care:

  • Approval for the Affordable Care Act is 12 points above water (47% approval to 35% disapproval), a dramatic reversal from trends before Trump took office.
  • Over half of voters know Republicans are sabotaging health care, with 51% believing the Trump Administration is actively taking steps that will raise people’s health care costs.

Additionally, a Priorities USA memo found that independent voters continue to hold major concerns about President Trump’s war on health care, confirming that voters realize Republican sabotage is driving up insurance premiums and exacerbating the high health care costs burdening working families.

All in all, the results are clear: voters are fed up with the GOP’s posturing on health care and want real solutions that can expand coverage and lower premiums, and what they’re telling the GOP is simple: enough is enough, stop your war on our health care.

Trump Administration Targets Women in its War on Health Care

After yesterday’s revelations about the Trump Administration’s continuing attacks on women’s health care, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“The past 24 hours confirm that the Trump Administration’s war on health care is specifically targeting American women. Not only did President Trump release a budget that would defund Planned Parenthood and slash Medicaid, denying millions of women access to basic health care, but we also learned that Trump’s HHS last month instructed a Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group to write an official government letter that provides a roadmap for state Medicaid programs to restrict women’s access to the health care provider of their choice. These blatant attacks on women’s health care remain front and center in the Trump Administration’s ongoing war against the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the entire American health care system.”

POLITICO, 2/12/18: “A conservative legal organization worked with the Trump administration to make it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood.”

CNN, 2/12/18: “The Trump administration relied on a right-wing anti-abortion rights group to draft the letter it sent to states reversing Obama-era guidance that it’s against the law to terminate Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider … the Alliance Defending Freedom calls itself a conservative Christian nonprofit organization … but the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled it a hate group for its attacks on LGBT rights.”

This Week In the War on Health Care — January 29 – February 2, 2018

While Washington focused on the State of the Union, the Trump Administration continued its unprecedented assault on the American health care system. Here’s what happened this week in Republicans’ war on health care – and why they’re losing battles to the American people:

LIES FROM THE LECTERN

During his State of the Union address, President Trump doubled down on the war on health care his administration and his Republican allies in Congress waged last year, saying he “repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare” — a widely debunked lie. He also failed to mention that:

The President then pivoted to the opioid crisis, attempting to take credit for addressing the epidemic. But in reality, Trump has done nothing to facilitate treatment for Americans struggling with addiction. In fact, his attacks on critical federal health care and opioid response programs stand to make the situation worse:

  • His public health emergency declaration speech freed up just $57,000, pathetically short of the billions experts say are desperately needed.
  • His Administration sabotaged Medicaid, which pays for one-fifth of all substance abuse treatment nationwide.
  • He proposed a 95% cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which coordinates the federal opioid response – and he did so for the second year in a row.

Sadly, the Trump Administration is not only offering a pathetic response to the nation’s most urgent public health crisis, it’s actively sabotaging communities that are fighting to turn the tide on this deadly epidemic.

A NEW GENERAL TAKES HIS OATH

On Monday, former Big Pharma lobbyist Alex Azar was sworn in as the new secretary of Health and Human Services. Azar lied about the Trump Administration’s sabotage throughout his confirmation process, choosing to embrace the Republican agenda that takes coverage from millions of Americans, raises costs for millions more, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Whether Azar upholds the oath he swore will soon be tested because of…

IDAHO’S ATTEMPT TO FLOUT FEDERAL LAW

Negative reactions continued as experts digested Idaho Governor Butch Otter’s illegal proposed assault on the Affordable Care Act. University of Michigan law professor and former Department of Justice attorney Nicholas Bagley called such an action “crazypants illegal,” noting that Idaho, “appears to be claiming they do not have to adhere to federal law.”

What Secretary Azar does with this will be an excellent indicator of whether he plans to truly support the health of the American people, like he claimed, of if he will merely be another foot soldier in the Administration’s war on health care.

COSTS FOR SENIORS CONTINUE TO RISE

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights massive increases in out-of-pocket medical costs for Medicare beneficiaries – costs that are projected to keep skyrocketing.

While President Trump has claimed he wants to lower costs, the reality is the opposite: he has consistently supported proposals making health care more expensive, from repeal legislation allowing insurance companies to charge people over 50 an ‘age tax’ with rates five times higher to the GOP tax scam set to raise premiums double digits. Seniors should rightly be furious, as are…

HEALTH CARE PROTESTS IN WEST VIRGINIA

As GOP Members of Congress retreated to West Virginia, they were greeted by protesters furious about the ongoing war on health care:

OPEN ENROLLMENT NUMBERS BLOW EXPECTATIONS OUT OF THE WATER

And finally, yesterday was the scheduled final day of open enrollment. Despite the widespread attempts at sabotage by the Trump Administration, from cutting the sign-up period in half to dropping advertising by ninety percent, we have already reached 96% of last year’s enrollment total:

  • Nearly 8.8 million people signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov.
  • Demand from new consumers outpaced new enrollments every single week of last year, with 2.5 million new people signing up for coverage.
  • Almost 6.3 million returning consumers actively renewed their coverage or were automatically re-enrolled compared to 6.2 million people last year.

A Year Later: President Trump’s Broken Health Care Promises

Enough Is Enough Graphic

Last year, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump made several promises to the American people about what type of health care plan he would support. Tonight, as he makes his first official State of the Union address, we know he and his Republican allies in Congress broke those promises.

PRESIDENT TRUMP BROKE HIS PROMISE ON LOWERING HEALTH COSTS

WHAT TRUMP SAID: “The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going do.”

WHAT TRUMP DID: The health repeal plan House Republicans passed last year, and President Trump supported, ripped coverage away from 24 million people and raised premiums 20 percent. It imposed an age tax on older Americans by allowing insurers to charge people over 50 five times more.

PRESIDENT TRUMP BROKE HIS PROMISE ON PROTECTING PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

WHAT TRUMP SAID:We should ensure that Americans with preexisting conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges.”

WHAT TRUMP DID: The health repeal plan that House Republicans passed, and President Trump supported, raised costs on people with pre-existing conditions by allowing states to let insurers charge them more. This surcharge could be in the six figures: up to $4,270 for asthma, $17,060 for pregnancy, $26,180 for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 for metastatic cancer. The Trump Administration has also proposed rules that, if finalized, will allow health insurers to skirt protections for pre-existing conditions.

PRESIDENT TRUMP BROKE HIS PROMISE ON MEDICAID

WHAT TRUMP SAID: “We should give our great state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.”

WHAT TRUMP DID: The health repeal bill House Republicans passed, and President Trump supported, ended Medicaid as we know it, slashing it to the tune of $839 billion, or 25 percent, and converting it into a “per capita cap”, thus ending guaranteed coverage for everyone who qualifies, chiefly seniors, children and people with disabilities. It also ended Medicaid expansion. As a result, 14 million people were estimated to lose their coverage under the plan.

PRESIDENT TRUMP BROKE HIS PROMISE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH

WHAT TRUMP SAID:My administration wants to work with members of both parties to … invest in women’s health…”

WHAT TRUMP DID: The Trump Administration and its Republican allies in Congress waged a war on women’s health last year, including efforts to defund Planned Parenthood; taking direct aim at birth control by rolling back the copay-free coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act; proposing drastic cuts to Medicaid; putting anti-choice judges on the federal bench; and raising costs on women by making them pay more for maternity care.

PRESIDENT TRUMP BROKE HIS PROMISE ON OPIOIDS

WHAT TRUMP SAID:We will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.”

WHAT TRUMP DID: The House repeal plan Republicans passed, and President Trump supported, would make the opioid crisis worse. The repeal bill eliminated the parity requirement that mental health and addiction services be covered under the Medicaid expansion, and the plan put states on the hook for the full cost of dealing with the crisis by proposing drastic Medicaid cuts.

PRESIDENT TRUMP BROKE HIS PROMISE ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

WHAT TRUMP SAID: “[We should] work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs, and bring them down immediately.”

WHAT TRUMP DID: Bringing down prescription drug prices has not been a priority for the Trump Administration this past year. Just yesterday, President Trump installed a former Big Pharma executive, Alex Azar, as the new secretary of Health and Human Services.

State of American Health Care Threatened by Trump & GOP’s War on Health Care

To: Interested Parties

From: Leslie Dach, Campaign Chair, Protect Our Care

Date: January 29, 2018

Re: State of American Health Care Threatened by Trump & GOP’s War on Health Care

On Tuesday, President Trump will deliver his first official State of the Union address. We anticipate he will gloat about his efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act (ACA), take insurance away from millions of people in order to fund tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthiest , cut hundreds of billions of dollars from care for the elderly, children, and people with disabilities, and promise a continuation of his partisan approach to health care in 2018. But his agenda is overwhelmingly unpopular. The American people are saying “enough is enough.” We demand that the Trump Administration and Congress stop their war on our care.

The 2017 Republican War on Health Care

Last year, the Trump Administration and its Republican allies in Congress waged a war on our health care. Their attacks included five attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, proposing to end Medicaid as we know it, and sabotaging our health care system. Under their agenda, millions would lose coverage, costs would increase, especially for those with pre-existing conditions, and insurers would be able to skirt the tough rules that currently protect consumers thanks to the health care law. At the end of the first year of the Trump Administration, 3.2 million people have lost their health coverage, and premium rates spiked because of uncertainty President Trump injected into the individual insurance marketplaces. Here is what the first year of Trump’s partisan war on health care looked like:

January 2017

  • On his first day in office, President Trump signs an Executive Order directing the administration to identify every way it can unravel the Affordable Care Act.

February 2017

  • The Trump Administration proposes a rule to weaken Marketplace coverage and raise premiums for millions of middle-class families.

March 2017

  • The Trump Administration sends a letter to governors encouraging them to submit proposals which include provisions such as work requirements that make it harder for Medicaid beneficiaries to get affordable care and increase the number of people who are uninsured.

April 2017

  • The Trump Administration cuts the number of days people could sign up for coverage during open enrollment by half, from 90 days to 45 days.

May 2017

  • House Republicans vote for and pass a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It would have imposed an age tax and allowed insurers to charge people over 50 five times more for coverage and ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the care of seniors, children and people with disabilities in jeopardy.

June 2017

  • Senate Republicans embark on a monthslong failed attempt to pass BCRA, Skinny Repeal and Graham-Cassidy, all repeal bills that would have caused millions of Americans to lose their health coverage and raised premiums by double digits for millions more. They would have ended Medicaid as we know it, putting the care of children, seniors and people with disabilities at risk.

July 2017

  • The Trump Administration uses funding intended to support health insurance enrollment to launch a multimedia propaganda campaign against the Affordable Care Act.

August 2017

  • The Administration cuts the outreach advertising budget for Open Enrollment by 90 percent, from $100 million to just $10 million – which resulted in as many as 1.1 million fewer people getting covered.

September 2017

  • The Administration orders the Department of Health and Human Services’ regional directors to stop participating in Open Enrollment events. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Executive Director Roy Mitchell says, “I didn’t call it sabotage…But that’s what it is.”

October 2017

  • The Trump Administration takes direct aim at birth control by rolling back a rule that guaranteed women access to contraception. (A court has since questioned the legality of the action.)
  • President Trump signs an Executive Order to roll back key consumer protections that will result in garbage insurance, raise premiums, reduce coverage and again expose millions of Americans to discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
  • The Trump Administration dramatically cuts in-person assistance to help people sign up for 2018 health coverage.
  • After threatening for months to stop funding cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs) that help lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, the Trump Administration stops the payments altogether. The CBO finds that failing to make these payments will increase premiums by 20% and add nearly $200 billion to the debt.

November 2017

  • Republicans refuse to move forward on the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill to address the CSR crisis even though it had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

December 2017

  • The Trump Administration proposes a rule to expand association health plans, which would gut consumer protections, raise costs for people with pre-existing conditions and further destabilize the insurance markets.
  • Congressional Republicans pass their tax scam, which doubles as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

January 2018

  • The Trump Administration announces that it will support states that impose onerous work requirements on Americans covered by Medicaid, and approves Kentucky’s worst-in-the-nation waiver the next day.
  • The Trump Administration announces a move to allow providers to discriminate by allowing them to deny patient care for almost any reason.
  • The Trump Administration makes plans to announce even more exemptions from the requirement people have health coverage before this provision is repealed altogether.

Despite Attacks, the Affordable Care Act Continues to Help Americans

While the Trump Administration and its Republican allies in Congress had some success last year in their partisan war on health care, the Affordable Care Act is still here, and it is working. The reason the law survived is simple: the American people made their voices heard last year at town halls, rallies and the voting booth, thwarting the partisan repeal effort in Congress.

Despite Trump-led attacks, and because the American people spoke up, insurers still cannot deny or drop coverage because of a pre-existing condition; tax credits are still available to help people pay for coverage; young adults can still stay on their parents’ plan until age 26; the Medicare prescription drug donut hole is still closed; and Medicaid is still a lifeline for millions of seniors, children and people with disabilities. The recent open enrollment period saw nearly 9 million people sign up for coverage in the federal marketplaces, despite the Trump Administration’s decisions to cut the open enrollment period in half and refuse to promote it.  While any law can be improved, and the ACA is no exception, it continues to provide affordable health care and vital protections to millions of Americans.

Enough is Enough: Stop the Partisan War on Health Care

The Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress need to listen to the American people who are saying ‘enough is enough.’ It’s time to stop the partisan health care repeal effort and work on bipartisan solutions. If Republican politicians do not listen, they do so at their own peril. Recent polling by Protect Our Care showed that health care is far and away the number one issue on voters’ minds, and is one of the main reasons why voters disapprove of the job Republicans in Washington are doing.

Last week, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said, “I don’t think we should be spending time trying to do repeal and replace of Obamacare.” Her colleagues in Congress, and President Trump himself, would do well to listen to her.