U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum; Attorney General Keith Ellison; SEIU; Planned Parenthood; TakeAction MN Join Protect Our Care on Nationwide Bus Tour to Highlight What’s At Stake for Minnesotans In Trump-GOP Lawsuit to Overturn Health Care

St. Paul, MN — This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide Health Care Emergency Bus Tour arrived in St. Paul to call attention to Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and the threat posed by Texas v. United States, the Trump-GOP lawsuit to overturn the health care law. Headlined by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04) and Attorney General Keith Ellison, the event highlighted how Trump’s lawsuit would harm Minnesotans’ care, called on Republicans to denounce the lawsuit, and discussed Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Ellison and McCollum were joined by Minnesota’s leading health care advocates including Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, and health care activists from SEIU and TakeAction MN.

You can watch the event here.

“The ACA isn’t perfect, but I voted for it in Congress – and voted against repealing it more times than I can count – because it was an important step to making sure we can all have access to care that helps us afford our lives and live with dignity and respect,” said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. I’m not in Congress any more, but I’m still defending the ACA, this time in court as Attorney General. After all these years, it’s still hard to understand what Republicans have against affordable health care for the greatest number. But it’s not hard to understand why Americans need it and want it and are fighting to keep Republicans for taking it away from them. I’ll keep fighting for them and with them.”

“While Democrats are determined to make universal health care a right for all Americans, anyone with a pre-existing condition knows their health care is hanging on by a thread,” said U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum. “Millions of Americans are at risk unless we all stand united in stopping the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress from achieving their goal of destroying the ACA and patient protections. Protecting our care is a necessity and it is a fight we must win.”

“Reproductive health care is the foundation of freedom and autonomy for women,” said Sarah Stoesz, CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. “Without the ability to decide when and whether to have children, women can’t control any other aspect of our lives—like getting an education, starting a business, or running for office. We know this—and so does the Trump administration. For reasons that we simply don’t understand, it’s this very freedom and autonomy that the president and his allies seem to resent and fear the most. And so they want to take us back to a medieval era in which women don’t have reproductive health care, or control over their bodies or their futures.”

“My son Scott receives personal care from a team of PCAs that keeps him alive at a fraction of the cost placing him in an institution would cost taxpayers,” said SEIU health care activist Delores Flynn. “Beyond the costs, Scott is a human being who wants to be at home with his family and his dogs. The fact that Republicans are talking about rolling back healthcare protections for people like Scott makes me sick. Why is this even a conversation? My son is a living and breathing pre-existing condition. If the current administration is successful in revoking this aspect of the ACA my son would die. No alternatives, he would die. I remember when the republicans were saying during the debates on this bill many years ago that there would be death panels. Well, if they repeal this law, they will be creating their own death panels and I’m horrified to think what that would mean for so many of us.”

“Cutting lifesaving programs like Medicaid and repealing the ACA will hurt people like me,” said Rachel Zemmer, TakeAction Minnesota member. “Legislators are financing tax breaks for billionaires and it’s costing us—the people—our health care. It’s wrong. I’m going to keep fighting for a people-centered health care system that leaves nobody out.”

Later today, “Care Force One” will head to Iowa, where Protect Our Care will be joined by health care advocates from across the state. For more information, please visit protectourcare.org/bus-tour/.

The Protect Our Care “Health Care Emergency Bus Tour” is making stops in: 

Las Vegas, NV on Monday, August 5, 2019

Phoenix, AZ on Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tucson, AZ on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Santa Fe, NM on Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pueblo, CO on Thursday, August 8, 2019 

Denver, CO on Friday, August 9, 2019

St. Paul, MN on Monday, August 12, 2019

Des Moines, IA on Monday, August 12, 2019

Cedar Rapids, IA on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Lansing, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Livonia, MI on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Harrisburg, PA on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bethlehem, PA on Friday, August 16, 2019

Bangor, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Portland, ME on Monday, August 19, 2019

Concord, NH on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Richmond, VA on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Charlotte, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Asheville, NC on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 23, 2019

The Republican Health Care Emergency Hurts Minnesota Families

President Trump and his Republican allies are trying to rip away our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.  In 2018, a group of Republican Attorneys General filed suit seeking to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act. They were joined in this effort by the Trump administration, which is refusing to defend the law in court.  The case is currently before the 5th Circuit of Appeals and the health care of millions of Minnesotans hangs in the balance.  

If the Trump lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.  This Republican health care emergency is threatening to unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system.  Here’s what’s at stake in Minnsota: 

If Republicans Get Their Way, 265,000 Minnesotans Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 265,000 Minnesotans could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 265,000 Minnesotans would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 80 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 38,000 Minnesota young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.

If  Republicans  Get Their Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For Over Two Million Minnesotans With 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 the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies will be able to do this again.

  •  2,331,000 Minnesotans have a pre-existing condition, including 307,100 Minnesota children, 1,154,000 Minnesota women, and 568,600 Minnesotans between ages 55 and 64. 

If Republicans Get Their Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 2,761,583 Minnesotans Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 2,761,583 Minnesotans, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, 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 $4,805 in Minnesota. Because Judge O’Connor sided 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 $4,805 in Minnesota, according to the AARP.
  • 65,153 Minnesotans in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 65,153 in Minnesota.
  • 66,930 Minnesota Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be 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 Minnesota, 66,930 seniors each saved an average of $1,077.

 

If Republicans Get Their  Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  •  206,700 Minnesotans Enrolled Through Medicaid Expansion Could Lose Coverage. Seventeen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program, including 206,700 in Minnesota.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving Minnesota hospitals with $1.1 billion more in uncompensated care. 

Minnesota’s Democratic House Members Are Standing Up For Minnesotans’ Care 

Under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, the Democratic majority has been pursuing an aggressive strategy to lower costs, improve care, and block the Texas lawsuit and Republican sabotage: 

  • Minnesota Reps. voted to block the Trump Department of Justice from undermining the ACA. Reps. Craig, McCollum and Phillips voted for Lauren Underwood’s resolution to prevent the Department of Justice (DOJ) from spending federal funds on litigation that undermines the Affordable Care Act, including Texas v. United States.  
  • Minnesota Reps. voted to allow the House to intervene against the Texas lawsuit. Reps. Craig, McCollum and Phillips  voted for a House rules resolution that allowed Congress to intervene against the Texas v. U.S. lawsuit. The resolution affirms the House Counsel’s authorization to intervene as a party in the lawsuit, asserting the House of Representative’s authority to defend laws it has passed and enacted into law.
  • Minnesota Reps. voted to condemn Trump’s reckless attacks on Americans’ health care. Reps. Craig, McCollum and Phillips voted for Collin Allred’s resolution condemning the Trump administration’s ongoing assault on the American health care system, including the Texas lawsuit.