Texas Lawsuit Days of Action: Rural Health Care
Report on Seniors At Risk: War On Health Care Makes Coronavirus Crisis Worse for Older Granite Staters

Protect Our Care’s Campaign Brings Attention to the Stakes of Trump-Republican Lawsuit to Repeal Health Care in the Middle of a Pandemic

On June 25, the Trump administration and Republican attorneys general filed briefs in the Supreme Court in support of their lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, and even Fox News recognized the potential negative electoral impact for Republicans because of the lawsuit. In the days surrounding the filing, Protect Our Care launched a campaign including 12 days of action to bring attention to the dire consequences of the GOP’s reckless lawsuit that would strip coverage from 23 million Americans and 135 million with pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic. 

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 12.13.15 PMProtect Our Care’s campaign included virtual town halls, Zoom roundtables and press calls with members of Congress, state attorneys general, state legislators and health care advocates in 13 key states in the lead up to and after the Trump administration and Republicans’ filings in the case. The campaign also included 12 days of action to highlight a different aspect of the ACA while making clear what’s at stake if the Trump administration is successful in their lawsuit to overturn the law.

Protect Our Care’s Days of Action Campaign included:

Medicaid Expansion

Women

Seniors

Prescription Drug Costs

People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Disability Community

LGBTQ Americans

Young Americans

African American Community

Latino Community

Marketplace Signups & Financial Assistance

Rural Health (Including Opioids & Rural Hospitals)

Here’s a look at the events and some of the news coverage that took place surrounding the Days of Action:

ARIZONA

Friday, May 8 – Press Call with Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Providers and Advocates

Protect Our Care Arizona was joined by Congressman Tom O’Halleran, January Contreras, former Deputy County Attorney for Maricopa County and Assistant Attorney General for Arizona, and Ashley Bridwell, a brain tumor survivor and health care advocate on a press call to discuss how President Trump’s lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act would devastate Arizonans, and leave millions without access to health care in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers on the call condemned Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s support for the lawsuit, and described how health care repeal would undermine our country’s response to the pandemic. Listen to audio of the press call here

  • The Copper Courier: Rep. O’Halleran Chides Trump For Continuing ACA Repeal Efforts During Pandemic

Thursday, June 25 – Lawsuit Roundtable with Biden for President, Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro and January Contreras

Protect Our Care Arizona provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. Arizona storytellers included Alicia DeWitt, a behavioral therapist and a rare illness survivor. Alicia also lives with Addison’s disease, continues to face ongoing health struggles, and is very seriously immunocompromised; and Jeff Jeans, a throat cancer survivor who counts the passage of the ACA with saving his life.

Monday, June 29 – Press Call with Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Patient Advocates

Protect Our Care Arizona was joined by Congressman Tom O’Halleran and health care advocates from across the state on a press call to discuss the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act,” and highlight ongoing threats to Arizonans’ health care. The call came after the Trump Administration and Republican Attorneys General filed their opening briefs to the Supreme Court as part of their lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. You can listen to the call audio here.

COLORADO

Monday, May 11–  Zoom Roundtable with State Rep. Yadira Caraveo, Providers and Advocates

Protect Our Care Colorado and Rocky Mountain Values were joined by Dr. Representative Yadira Caraveo and other health care experts on a virtual roundtable to discuss the latest steps in Trump’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and briefs filed to the Supreme Court by the House of Representatives and Democratic attorneys general opposing the lawsuit. Rep. Caraveo and roundtable participants have been active in working to protect Coloradans’ health care from this lawsuit, and described the consequences of the lawsuit for Colorado, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which now qualifies as a pre-existing condition. Watch a full recording of the roundtable here.

Thursday, June 25 – Press Conference at Senator Cory Gardner’s Office

Protect Our Care Colorado was joined by health care advocates at a press conference outside Senator Cory Gardner’s office, asking him to oppose the lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Participants also condemned Senator Gardner’s support for radical anti-health care judges appointed by President Trump, and blasted the Senator’s refusal to prioritize the needs of Coloradans over partisan politics. 

  • Colorado Times Recorder: As Republicans Push Lawsuit to Kill Obamacare, Activists Ask, ‘Where is Gardner Now?’
  • KWGN (FOX 31): Health Care Advocates to Blast Gardner for Supporting Lawsuit to Repeal ACA

GEORGIA

Wednesday, July 1 – Virtual Press Conference with Health Care Professionals

Protect Our Care Georgia was joined by Dr. Jamie Weisman, Kate Wrammert, NP, and State Representative Dr. Jasmine Clark on a virtual press conference to discuss the latest steps in President Trump’s efforts to eliminate the ACA and contrast it with how House Democrats, including Rep. Lucy McBath, passed new legislation this week to strengthen health care by bolstering consumer protections, expanding access, and lowering costs for Americans. The event can be watched here.

IOWA

Wednesday, May 6 – Press Call with IA Attorney General Tom Miller

Attorney General Tom Miller joined Protect Our Care Iowa’s press call to discuss the implications of Trump’s lawsuit to repeal the ACA and why he opposes the cruel judicial tactics used by Republicans to rip health care from thousands of Iowans when they need it most. AG Miller was joined by Dr. Glenn Hurst—a physician in Minden, Iowa—and Debbie Koopman, a resident of Cedar Rapids. Listen to a recording of the call here.

Thursday, June 25 – Virtual Roundtable with State Sen. Claire Celsi

Progress Iowa, Protect Our Care Iowa, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Iowa Voices, and Indivisible Iowa were joined by State Senator Claire Celsi and Iowans to discuss the latest steps in President Trump’s efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Speakers discussed the need to protect the Affordable Care Act, especially as it benefits thousands of Iowans. You can watch a recording of the event here.

MAINE

Thursday, May 7 – Press Call with State Legislators and Advocates

Protect Our Care Maine was joined by state lawmakers and health care advocates on a press call to discuss the ongoing lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Speakers included State Senator Heather Sanborn, a small business owner; State Representative Thom Harnett; and Marie Follyattar-Smith, a patient advocate with Mainers for Accountable Leadership. They discussed the consequences of the lawsuit for Mainers, particularly noting the importance of MaineCare and subsidies for marketplace insurance. Listen to a recording of the call here.

Wednesday, May 13 – Op-Ed by State Rep. Thom Harnett

Protect Our Care Maine worked with Rep. Thom Harnett, who represents District 83 in the Maine House of Representatives, to place an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News describing how Republicans’ continued efforts to repeal the ACA are especially cruel and irresponsible amid the current pandemic.

  • Bangor Daily News: COVID-19 shows recklessness of lawsuit to repeal Affordable Care Act

Friday, June 26 – Lawsuit Roundtable with Biden for President & State Legislators

Protect Our Care Maine provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. Maine storytellers included State Senator Troy Jackson, a fifth-generation logger and current State Senate President; and State Representative Anne Perry, who is also a Family Nurse Practitioner working at Calais Regional Medical Services.

Tuesday, June 30 – Press Call with State Legislators and ME Attorney General Aaron Frey

Protect Our Care Maine was joined by Attorney General Aaron Frey, State Rep. Thom Harnett, and State Rep. Donna Doore on a press call to discuss the latest steps in President Trump’s efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. They contrasted Republicans’ war on health care with Democrats’ efforts to expand health care, including passing a bill the night before to shore up the ACA. View the post-event release here and listen to a recording of the event here.

  • NewsCenterMaine: Maine’s A.G. mounts legal defense to counter President’s legal challenge of Obamacare
  • Portland Press Herald: Move to repeal Affordable Care Act ‘just inviting chaos,’ Maine leaders say

MICHIGAN

Wednesday, May 6 – Press Call with MI Attorney General Dana Nessel

Protect Our Care Michigan was joined by Attorney General Dana Nessel, Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) and Eric Schneidewind, immediate past president of AARP, on a press call to discuss the latest steps in Trump’s disastrous lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act and briefs filed to the Supreme Court by the House of Representatives and Democratic attorneys general opposing the lawsuit.

  • MIRS: AG Coalition Says Repeal Of ACA Could Make COVID-19 Crisis Worse
  • WULC Upper Michigan News: AG Nessel joins coalition of 20 states, District of Columbia in defending the ACA in US Supreme Court

Monday, May 11 – Op-Ed by David Woodward

Protect Our Care Maine worked with David Woodward, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, to place an op-ed in The Oakland Press describing how Republicans’ continued efforts to repeal the ACA are especially cruel and irresponsible amid the current pandemic. 

  • The Oakland Press: Column: COVID-19 reminds us why Trump’s reckless health repeal lawsuit should be thrown out 

Thursday, May 21 – Polling Press Call with State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud and Dr. Rob Davidson Protect Our Care and Public Policy Polling were joined on a press call by Michigan State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn, MI) and Dr. Rob Davidson of the Committee to Protect Medicare. They discussed President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis in Michigan and how his failures have placed Michiganders’ health and safety at risk ahead of his visit to the state. Protect Our Care also unveiled a new survey conducted with Public Policy Polling in Michigan that finds voters in Michigan disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and trust Governor Whitmer far more. Listen to the call audio here.

  • U.S. News & World Report: Trump Trails Biden in New Michigan Poll
  • Dearborn Press & Guide: Hammoud, Protect Our Care blast Trump on COVID-19 policy ahead of visit to Michigan 
  • MLive: Trump visits Michigan amid coronavirus pandemic, historic flooding and economic downturn

Thursday, June 25 – Lawsuit Roundtable with Biden for President, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) and MI Attorney General Dana Nessel

Protect Our Care Michigan provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. Michigan storytellers included Eric Schneidewind, Past President of Michigan AARP and current national president; Dr. Farhan Bhatti, MD, a Family Medicine Specialist in Lansing, MI; and Erich Ditschman, a National Kidney Foundation advocate.

  • MIRS News: Slotkin, Nessel Talk ACA In Roundtable

MINNESOTA

Thursday, May 13 – Press Call with MN Attorney General Keith Ellison and Andy Slavitt

Protect Our Care Minnesota was joined by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Andy Slavitt, and health care advocate Jessica Intermill to discuss how President Trump’s lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act would devastate Minnesotans, and exacerbate the COVID-19 crisis. Attorney General Ellison and Former Acting Administrator Slavitt blasted the Trump administration for refusing to drop the lawsuit in light of the pandemic, and Jessica Intermill, who relies on the Affordable Care Act for access to care, explained how losing the law’s protections would leave her unable to afford the health care she needs to manage her chronic condition. Listen to the call audio here.

  • Fox 9 News: Minnesota AG Pushes to Preserve Obamacare Ahead of Supreme Court Fight

Wednesday, June 24 – Virtual Roundtable with Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02)

Protect Our Care Minnesota was joined by Representative Angie Craig, State Senator Matt Klein, and health care advocates from across Minnesota on a virtual roundtable to discuss how Democrats are working to expand and improve access to health care in Minnesota, while President Trump and Republicans work to strip Minnesotans of their health care. Participants on the call shared concerns that the Republican lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act would devastate Minnesotans, and leave many unable to access care. You can watch the roundtable here.

MONTANA

Wednesday, May 20 – Press Call with Local Voices

Leaders in Havre joined a press call with Protect Our Care to discuss the implications of the Trump lawsuit on Montana’s Medicaid program. State Rep. Jacob Bachmeier, Bullhook CEO Kyndra Hall, and Havre resident Andrea Melle—whose adult children benefit immensely from the Medicaid program—condemned the lawsuit and it’s disastrous effects that it could have on Montana because it would defund the state’s Medicaid expansion program. You can listen to a recording of the call here

Tuesday, June 30 – Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) Files Resolution in Support of the ACA

Protect Our Care Montana issued a statement in support of Senator Jon Tester’s resolution demanding that the Department of Justice defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in court and halt its efforts to repeal the health care protections for millions. 

Wednesday, July 1 – Seniors and ACA Press Call with State Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell and Advocates

Protect Our Care Montana was joined by State Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell (D – HD 47), Dr. Kris Spanjian, Judy Shannon , and Big Sky 55+ Executive Director Elizabeth Marum on a press call to discuss how Trump’s health care sabotage agenda is putting Montana seniors at increased risk during the coronavirus pandemic. Participants also discussed a new report released by Protect Our Care and the Alliance for Retired Americans on how Trump’s war on health care continues to harm seniors—especially his lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would devastate older Americans during this crisis. You can listen to a recording of the call here.

NEVADA

Thursday, May 7 – Zoom Roundtable with Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03) and NV Attorney General Aaron Ford

Congresswoman Susie Lee and Attorney General Aaron Ford joined Protect Our Care Nevada for a Zoom roundtable to unpack the briefs filed by attorneys general opposing Trump’s lawsuit to repeal the ACA. Nevada is one of the states opposing the lawsuit, and Attorney General Ford remarked on his office’s work fighting the lawsuit that would rip health care from hundreds of thousands of Nevadans. Watch a full recording of the roundtable here.

Monday, May 11 — Op-Ed by Dr. Mark J. Kahn, Dean of the UNLV School of Medicine

Protect Our Care Nevada provided Dr. Mark J. Kahn with data on the racial disparities of how COVID-19 affects demographics in different states for an op-ed in the Las Vegas Sun. “The fact that the mortality from COVID-19 in black, Latino or Native American communities is several times that of whites is alarming. Certainly, the reasons behind these differences are not completely known and are likely in part related to genetic differences in the way different ethnic groups’ immune systems respond to the infection,” Dr. Khan wrote.

Thursday, June 25 – ACA Lawsuit Roundtable with Biden for President, NV Attorney General Aaron Ford and State Sen. Julia Ratti

Protect Our Care Nevada provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. Nevada storytellers included Allison Stephens, DNC Committeewoman and health care advocate; Joseph Merlino, a cancer survivor who received life-saving cancer treatment thanks to Medicaid expansion; Mayor Daniel Corona, Mayor of West Wendover in rural Nevada; and Liz Carrasco, who was hospitalized for several days with COVID-19.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Wednesday, May 13 – Zoom Roundtable with Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), Health Care Advocates

Protect Our Care New Hampshire co-hosted a Zoom roundtable with New Futures to discuss New Hampshire’s ongoing addiction crisis, especially amid coronavirus and the pending ACA repeal lawsuit. Rep. Kuster heard from health care advocates and substance use disorder experts from across the state. On the call, themes of decreased treatment access due to the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, along with the threats of the ACA lawsuit on gains New Hampshire made in health coverage and addiction treatment. Watch a full recording of the roundtable here.

Wednesday, June 24 – Op-Ed in Concord Monitor

Protect Our Care New Hampshire secured an op-ed, authored by state director Jayme Simoes, in the Concord Monitor about how health care will be the defining issue of the 2020 election. “The choice is between taking coverage away from millions of Americans in the middle of a pandemic versus making health care more accessible and affordable for the American people. This dichotomy will set the agenda for the November election on what most likely will be the number one issue on the minds of Granite Staters.”

  • Concord Monitor: My Turn: Health care is defining issue for Granite Staters in 2020
  • Rep. Annie Kuster Tweet on Op-Ed: “Simply put, there has never been a more important time to protect and expand Americans’ health care, and never a worse time to take it away.”

Friday, June 26 – Lawsuit Roundtable with Biden for President

Protect Our Care New Hampshire provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. New Hampshire storytellers included Holly Stevens, the Health Policy Coordinator at New Futures and a patient with a pre-existing condition who relies on the ACA for health care coverage.

Monday, June 29 – Virtual Roundtable with Local Advocates

Protect Our Care New Hampshire hosted a roundtable discussing the potential impact on Granite Staters of the Trump Administration’s recent filing to the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Democrats like Rep Annie Kuster and Rep. Chris Pappas filed briefs opposing the lawsuit in May, and have voted to protect and expand the ACA. Watch the full roundtable here.

NORTH CAROLINA

Thursday, May 7 – Press Call with NC Attorney General Josh Stein, Elena Hung and Brad Woodhouse

Protect Our Care North Carolina was joined by Attorney General Josh Stein, Elena Hung, the President and Co-Founder of Little Lobbyists, and Brad Woodhouse, the Executive Director of Protect Our Care on a press call to discuss how Trump’s lawsuit to eliminate the Affordable Care Act threatens North Carolinians’ access to health care. Speakers on the call highlighted the cruelty of Trump’s refusal to drop his lawsuit during the global health crisis, and explained how Republicans like Thom Tillis have failed to protect Americans against this attack on their care. Listen to the call audio here.

Wednesday, June 24 – Virtual Roundtable with NextGen North Carolina & Health Care Advocates

Protect Our Care North Carolina supported NextGen North Carolina in organizing a virtual roundtable with health care advocates from across North Carolina to discuss how Senator Thom Tillis’ attacks on health care put North Carolinians’ lives at stake. Participants urged their fellow North Carolinians to reach out to their Senator, and voice their concerns over his ongoing attacks on the Affordable Care Act, and his refusal to protect access to quality, affordable, health care. You can watch the roundtable here.

  • Cardinal & Pine: Thom Tillis Voted to Repeal the ACA Seven Times. He Has To Go, Healthcare Advocates Say.

Friday, June 26 – Lawsuit Roundtable with Biden for President

Protect Our Care North Carolina provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. North Carolina storytellers included Stacy Staggs, the North Carolina Chapter Director of Little Lobbyists and a mother of two young children with complex medical needs who rely on the ACA; and DonnaMarie Woodson, a cancer survivor who credits the Affordable Care Act with saving her life. 

Thursday, July 8 — Press Call with Rep. David Price (NC-04), Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse and Patient Advocates

Protect Our Care North Carolina was joined by Rep. David Price, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse and patient advocates from across North Carolina on a press call to discuss the latest in President Trump’s efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. On June 25, the Department of Justice and Republican-led states filed their briefs in the Supreme Court lawsuit to repeal the law and rip health care away from millions of North Carolinians. Democrats filed their briefs opposing the lawsuit in May. You can listen to a recording of the press call here.

PENNSYLVANIA

Wednesday, May 6 – Zoom Roundtable with Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07) and Pennsylvania Health Action Network

Protect Our Care Pennsylvania was joined by Congresswoman Susan Wild, Robin Stelly of the Pennsylvania Health Action Network (PHAN), and Leslie Dach—Chair of Protect Our Care. Speakers slammed the Trump administration for pursuing its lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a global pandemic and highlighted the implications for rural communities in Pennsylvania if the Republican lawsuit is successful. You can watch a recording of the roundtable here.

Thursday, June 25 – Lawsuit Event with Vice President Joe Biden

Protect Our Care Pennsylvania provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. Pennsylvania storytellers included Amy Raslevich, a breast cancer survivor, Pittsburgh health care advocate, and mother of two children with pre-existing conditions; Stacie Ritter, the mother of twin cancer survivors; and Victoria Salerno, whose son Cole was born with a mitochondrial disease.

  • WJAC-TV: Joe Biden meets with families impacted by the Affordable Care Act in Lancaster
  • Lancaster Online: Biden’s visit to Lancaster: Why he came here, who he met with and the dual-protesters outside
  • York Daily Record: Biden talks about Trump’s ‘twin legacies’ as supporters yell ‘Black Lives Matter’ outside
  • CBS 21: Dueling Trump-Biden events offer contrasting virus responses

WISCONSIN

Wednesday, May 6 – Video Roundtable with WI Attorney General Josh Kaul and DNC Chair Tom Perez

DNC Chair Tom Perez, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, and Wisconsinite Noah Reif, who has type 1 diabetes, blasted Trump’s continuing attacks on protections for people with pre-existing conditions. You can watch the full call here.

Thursday, May 14 – Zoom Press Conference with WI Attorney General Josh Kaul

Attorney General Josh Kaul joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin to talk about the amicus brief that he filed with fellow attorneys general this week in opposition to the Trump lawsuit that would rip health care from hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites. The AG was joined by Zena Blom—a Wisconsinite who gained coverage under the ACA and would be penalized by insurance companies because of her pre-existing condition if the law went away. You watch a recording of the call here.

Friday, June 26 – Lawsuit Roundtable with Biden for President, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and State Rep. Robyn Vining

Protect Our Care Wisconsin provided storytellers and participants to the Biden campaign for a series of events on health care and Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act. Wisconsin storytellers included Julie B, a retired MPS teacher who has a rare autoimmune disease and relies on the ACA to help her cover daily and weekly treatment and keep insurers from implementing annual or lifetime caps on her care.

  • WisPolitics: Jill Biden, U.S. Sen. Harris condemn Trump administration’s efforts to overturn ACA
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Kamala Harris, Jill Biden back Obamacare, warn of ‘brutal fight’ during virtual event for Milwaukee
  • CBS 21: Dueling Trump-Biden events offer contrasting virus responses