This week, Protect Our Care hosted press calls across the country with Democratic attorneys general and elected officials to bring attention to the Trump-Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act and discuss the briefs from state AGs and the House of Representatives filed Wednesday in the Supreme Court. On press calls with attorneys general and elected officials in Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Democratic leaders described the damage of this lawsuit which if successful would rip health care from 20 million Americans and throw the health care system into complete chaos as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Protect Our Care also hosted a call on Tuesday with Senator Kamala Harris and American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold to discuss the dire consequences of the lawsuit and a national press call Wednesday with California AG Xavier Becerra and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lay out the arguments in the briefs filed by State AGs and the House in support of the law. 

The message on all of these calls was clear: overturning the health care law and ripping coverage from 20 million Americans would have a disastrous, irreparable impact on the health and safety of all Americans, especially at a time when the coronavirus crisis grips the nation and Americans’ health care is threatened like never before. 

A look at Protect Our Care’s activity this week: 

NATIONAL PRESS CALLS

Wednesday, May 6 – Press Call with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and CA AG Xavier Becerra

“The protections of the Affordable Care Act are more important than ever during this time of extraordinary heartbreak, as millions of lives and livelihoods are shattered by the coronavirus crisis,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “President Trump’s doubling-down on the lawsuit to destroy the Affordable Care Act and dismantle every last one of its protections and benefits is an act of staggering cruelty and senselessness that must be defeated. Democrats in Congress and the American people will fight together to Protect Our Care and defend every American’s right to quality, affordable health care during this dark time.”

“In defending the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court, our goal is simple: save affordable healthcare and with it, American lives,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.The Trump administration is choosing to walk away from its obligation to defend our nation’s laws. This is not a moment to abandon Americans who need to know they have the health coverage to protect their families from the coronavirus — or pre-existing conditions, surprise medical bills or junk health insurance. Our coalition of 20 states and DC is in the right place at the right time to protect Americans’ healthcare before the Supreme Court.”

Listen to the call here.

Tuesday, May 5 – Press Call with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and ACS President Russ Feingold

“Once again, the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are actively trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Kamala Harris. “We cannot lose sight of the fact that this administration is trying to rip health coverage away from people in the middle of a life threatening global health crisis. Now, more than ever, people need access to quality, affordable health care.”

“So much work went into passing the Affordable Care Act, and now we have the courts potentially poised to undo it,” said American Constitution Society President Russ Feingold. “In an unprecedented way, the current administration is not defending the law of the land. Instead, they are pushing the other way to take away health coverage from 20 million people during this very frightening pandemic.” 

Listen to the call here.

STATE PRESS CALLS 

ARIZONA

Friday, May 8 – Digital Roundtable with Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01)

“Continued attacks on the ACA have left many hardworking families wondering if the care they had previously been promised would be stripped,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran. “No family in America is completely free from pre-existing conditions. We cannot play politics with the health care of millions of Americans, nor can we sit idly by while Arizonans live in fear of their next doctor’s visit. This lawsuit could be a disaster for more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions, 15 million people covered by Medicaid, seniors on prescription drugs, and young adults on their parents’ insurance plans.” 

IOWA

Wednesday, May 6 – Press Call with IA AG Tom Miller 

“For people’s healthcare to be put in jeopardy during this time is as bad a time as you can imagine,” said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. “I think that it’s really important that we join together as a group of states and DC to try to defeat this lawsuit which would have these enormous consequences.”

Listen to the call here.

MAINE

Thursday, May 7 – Press Call with Maine Lawmakers

“Against the backdrop of a pandemic, Republicans are nonetheless doubling down on challenging the ACA. I’m boggled why anyone would even continue to question the importance of ensuring that folks have access to health care during a pandemic,” said State Senator Heather Sanborn. “We’ve passed robust patient protections at the state level in the case that the ACA is overturned, but one thing we can’t do, especially in light of the impacts that the pandemic will have on tax revenue, is replace the subsidy program and the MaineCare expansion dollars that the federal government provides Maine through the ACA. Those are the things truly at risk for Mainers if the Supreme Court decides to strike down the law.”

“It feels more than a little ironic to be talking about the continued Republican assault on the ACA and health care in the middle of a pandemic. This health and economic crisis is only going to get worse – we need the ACA now more than ever,” said State Rep. Thom Harnett. “This relentless Republican attack on the ACA is designed to hurt the poor, minority populations, and the recently unemployed. It’s nothing less than shameful.”

Listen to the call here.

MICHIGAN

Wednesday, May 6 – Press Call with MI AG Dana Nessel 

“There’s never been a more important time to protect Michiganders’ health care, and never been a worse time to rip it away,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “That’s why I’m fighting Donald Trump and the  Republicans’ reckless attacks on the Affordable Care Act that would gut protections for pre-existing conditions and strip Michiganders of critical health care. I will continue standing with Democratic Attorneys General, Governor Whitmer, and Senators Peters and Stabenow to ensure Michiganders’ have access to health care, even as Republicans callously work to take it away.”

NEVADA

Thursday, May 6 – Digital Roundtable with NV AG Aaron Ford and Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03)

“Finances should not lead to death—and it should not lead to bankruptcy when you have a health care need that a country doesn’t help you address through universal health care,” said Attorney General Aaron Ford. “What we’re looking at here are opportunities to help people survive…and the Affordable Care Act is helping folks do exactly that.”

“It’s really tone-deaf,” Rep. Susie Lee said when asked about the president doubling down on his lawsuit to eliminate the ACA yesterday. “The fact that we are in the middle of a public health crisis and 33.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment—and that this president and this administration is going to double down on taking affordable health care from millions of Americans. To me, it’s just unconscionable.”

Watch the roundtable here.

NORTH CAROLINA

Thursday, May 7 – Press Call with NC AG Josh Stein

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented health care crisis that underscores how critical it is that we have the best health care system possible,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We should be moving forward with improving access to health care, including expanding Medicaid here in North Carolina. I will never waiver on my commitment to put the health and safety of North Carolina first.”

Listen to the call here.

PENNSYLVANIA

Wednesday, May 6 – Digital Roundtable with Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07)

“The ACA itself is an invaluable tool in fighting the Coronavirus across Pennsylvania and thousands of individuals across our commonwealth are already dependent on this legislation for their health coverage, including many relying on the Medicaid Expansion.” said Rep. Susan Wild. “That’s why I am so deeply disappointed that the Trump Administration has not only refused to open a special enrollment period to allow folks without coverage to access it, but persists in its backing of a lawsuit that could rip away coverage from hundreds of thousands of individuals without any plan to replace it.”

Watch the roundtable here.

WISCONSIN

Wednesday, May 6 – Video Press Conference with WI AG Josh Kaul and DNC Chair Tom Perez

“Today is a really significant day. One of the leaders of the lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act had been my predecessor, Brad Schimel. Ultimately, the people of Wisconsin weighed in on this issue…and they elected Governor Evers and me….Wisconsin is no longer part of that challenge to the Affordable Care Act,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “It’s a suit that should not succeed and no state should be a part of. If this suit is successful, millions of Americans will lose access to health insurance coverage. We need more resources for our medical system, and it’s one of the reasons why expanding Medicaid now is critical for the state of Wisconsin. Frankly, I think it’s very troubling that this suit is going forward during a pandemic.” 

“We know from the research that states that have expanded Medicaid see better health outcomes,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “But the President and Republicans across the country are on a mission to undo the heart and soul of health care for millions of Americans. It is tough enough right now in a pandemic to make ends meet. There is so much fear. And when we put the Affordable Care Act at risk for the tens of millions of people with pre-existing conditions…that’s unconscionable. That’s why Democrats are continuing to fight for the Affordable Care Act, continuing to fight to expand Medicaid…We believe that health care is a right for all and not a privilege for the few.”

Watch the video press conference here.