Coast to Coast, Americans Hold Events and Flood Social Media with Their Stories
…all to Remind Key Senators that Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions, Medicaid, Women’s Health and More Are #WhatsAtStake in Supreme Court
Washington, DC – As Senators return home for recess, they will be confronted at every turn with an important request from concerned patients, providers and advocates: to stand up tall for health care and against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
“Brett Kavanaugh was hand-picked to be a rubber stamp for President Trump’s anti-health care agenda, which is driving up costs and reducing health care for all of us. With Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the future of Americans’ health care for generations is once again coming down to the vote of just a handful of Senators. Americans are sick and tired of fighting for our health care, but we’ll do whatever it takes to protect our care — it’s that important. That’s why people will speaking out all week to ask their Senators to stand up for our health care and keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Court,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care.
Throughout the week:
- Protect Our Care is up with digital and TV ads in Maine, Alaska and Nevada, and radio ads in Alaska, urging constituents to contact their Senators to preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions and vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination;
- Patients, providers and advocates will be personally asking their Senators to vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination at public events and private meetings, and
- Across 14 states constituents will be sharing their stories, hosting house parties and roundtable discussions, writing letters to their Senators, delivering letters and stories as well as requesting meetings with their Senators while they are home on recess.
- On Thursday, August 9, people living with pre-existing conditions, enrolled in Medicaid, and whose health care is otherwise at risk with Kavanaugh’s nomination will be holding events and other activities at Senators offices to be sure their Senators keep their personal stories top of mind when considering Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Watch Protect Our Care’s ad, airing all week on TV and online in Maine, Alaska and Nevada.
Listen to Protect Our Care’s radio ad, airing in Alaska.
With health care being a top issue on American’s voters’ minds, people are already flooding social media with stories why they demand that their Senators stand up for their health and oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Court.
President Trump had two litmus tests for Supreme Court candidates: overturning the Affordable Care Act and overturning Roe vs. Wade. In being selected for the Court, Brett Kavanaugh met Trump’s test and could tip the balance of the Court in the wrong direction.
At Risk: Protections For 130 Million Americans With A Pre-Existing Condition
Roughly half of non-elderly American adults and one in four children, or up to 130 million people, have at least one pre-existing condition. That includes everyone with cancer, diabetes, asthma, and any form of mental health issue or substance use problem. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies were able to discriminate against them, by charging them more, dropping coverage once people got sick, or denying coverage altogether. The ACA banned all of those practices, providing health security to millions.
Ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions is the official policy of the Trump Administration. The Trump Administration’s Department of Justice has taken the extraordinary step of joining the latest partisan lawsuit that seeks to strike down the ACA and has argued the Courts put Americans at the mercy of insurance companies by overturning provisions in the law that now prevent insurance companies from denying coverage completely or charging people more because of a pre-existing condition. Experts estimate that even if a cancer patient could get covered, they would have to pay as much as $140,000 a year more in premiums.
At Risk: Protections for Women and People Over 50
But that’s not all! If successful, the lawsuit joined by the Justice Department would also get rid of protections that prevent insurance companies from charging women and adults over 50 more for their health care coverage. Put another way, if these protections are taken away, we would go back to a time when older Americans could be charged an “age tax” of up to five times more for the same coverage as someone younger and women could be charged up to 50 percent more, just because they are women. Studies by AARP say premiums for someone over 50 could go up by more than $4,000 a year.
At Risk: Women’s Health Care
- Access to safe and legal abortion: By age 45, one in four women in the U.S. has had an abortion, for reasons that are deeply personal. But Brett Kavanaugh has used his power as a judge to prevent a pregnant young woman from accessing a safe and legal abortion she wanted. His track record, coupled with Trump’s campaign promises to only appoint justices who will overturn Roe vs. Wade, put women’s right to safe and legal abortion in jeopardy.
- Birth control coverage: Thanks to the ACA, 62.4 million women now have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs. Women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013. Three courts of appeals are considering the Trump Administration’s efforts to allow any employer to deny coverage.
- Access to Planned Parenthood: One in five women have turned to Planned Parenthood for care at some point in their lives for a wide range of health and education services, but numerous state and federal efforts are underway to block low-income women from continuing to rely on this provider of choice for so many. Currently, three cases working their way through the courts challenge state actions to prevent Planned Parenthood patients’ access to birth control and other preventive care.
- Coverage for nursing moms: Following the ACA, which helped give new moms access to lactation consultants, breast pumps, and time and space at work to pump their milk until as late as a year after birth, the rate of women breastfeeding 12 months after giving birth rose from 27 percent to 34 percent, the largest increase in any recent three-year period. Two court cases challenging the breast-feeding services available to moms at no cost under the ACA, however, could jeopardize these gains for maternal and infant health.
At Risk: Medicaid Coverage and Eligibility
Medicaid is a lifeline for one in five people, providing critical preventive care, substance use treatment, acute care, and more to more than 70 million people. Medicaid is the primary provider for long-term care in the country, covering 6 in 10 nursing home residents, and pays for roughly half of the births in this country.
But the Trump Administration has launched a new assault on Medicaid enrollees by pushing states to adopt rigid rules (so-called “work requirements”) that create burdensome paperwork requirements designed to kick people off coverage. These new rules are working their way through the courts and could very well make their way to the high court before long.
Why Senators Should Demand a Thorough Review Of Kavanaugh’s Records
Brett Kavanaugh worked on a number of issues that directly impact Americans’ health and rights during his time as staff secretary. Among the issues we know he worked on are:
- Abortion: During Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary, President Bush signed into law an abortion ban. Kavanaugh’s records on this ban could offer valuable insight as to leanings on Roe v. Wade.
- Medicaid: Also during Kavanaugh’s tenure as staff secretary, President Bush was pushing for Medicaid to be converted into a block grant program, which would have a profound impact on Medicaid’s core structure. As Republicans continue to push for Medicaid to be converted into block grant program and encourage states to adopt policy that restricts access to the program, Kavanaugh’s record on the issue is especially important.
- Marriage Equality: While Kavanaugh was staff secretary, President Bush announced his support of a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.
Senators who refuse to review all of Kavanaugh’s records on these issues are failing on their commitment to Americans.