Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senators Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and 14 Senate colleagues in a letter calling on President Trump to cease efforts to slash, sabotage and undermine the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid if he is serious about addressing the price of prescription drugs to individuals and families.
“The actions by your Administration to sabotage, slash and undermine Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have already resulted in higher out-of-pocket costs for individuals and families in need of prescription drugs to remain healthy,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to protect comprehensive health care coverage through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act for our nation’s children, seniors, people with disabilities and families to make sure drugs are affordable for everyone.”
In their letter, the Senators note that the Administration’s actions have already caused Americans to lose insurance coverage, including coverage for their prescription drugs, and threatens the health of millions more. Since President Trump has taken office, 7 million fewer people have health insurance coverage, according to data released by Gallup in January. Attacks on Medicaid threaten the prescription drug coverage for more than 75 million people.
Joining Cortez Masto, Casey, Baldwin and Murphy are Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).
A full copy of the letter can be found HERE and below:
Dear President Trump:
We write regarding concerns that your efforts to sabotage the health care coverage of millions of Americans will undermine our shared goal of lowering the price of prescription drugs. As you know, the coverage individuals receive through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act provides protection against extreme out-of-pocket costs on the medications they need in order remain healthy. To that end, we urge you to cease all efforts to cap Medicaid or turn the program into a block grant and to ensure consumers benefit from the protections in the Affordable Care Act so that families are not forced to pay more for prescription drugs or potentially lose coverage entirely.
Medicaid plays a pivotal role in making sure our most vulnerable Americans have access to quality, affordable health care, including prescription drug coverage. Indeed, Medicaid covers the cost of prescription drugs for over 75 million seniors, people with disabilities, adults and children. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, individuals and families gained key consumer protections that guaranteed access to comprehensive coverage, including prescription medications. Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act are emblematic of who we are as a nation – reflecting what and who we value and the ideals we are willing to fight for.
Despite the public outcry in 2017 that prevented your Administration and Republicans in Congress from imposing caps on Medicaid and repealing the Affordable Care Act legislatively, your Administration remains steadfast in undermining these two programs. For example, your Administration is working with states behind closed doors to impose spending caps on Medicaid according to reports, and actively working with states to implement harmful work-requirements on those most in need. These secret negotiations have already caused people to lose coverage and threaten the coverage of millions more. Your Administration also expanded enrollment in short term, limited duration health plans, ”junk plans,” in some cases for up to three years. These plans were only ever intended for short-term use and are not bound by the consumer protections required in the Affordable Care Act. As a result, individuals and families are signing up for health insurance thinking it provides comprehensive coverage when it does not. Worse yet, you have proposed using federal dollars to help consumers pay for these junk plans. Your support of Texas v. United States makes it clear that your fundamental intention is to upend our health care system in its entirety.
The actions by your Administration to sabotage, slash and undermine Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have already resulted in higher out-of-pocket costs for individuals and families in need of prescription drugs to remain healthy. If these efforts continue, we fear that our shared goal of lowering the cost of prescription drugs will be for naught. We urge you to protect comprehensive health coverage through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act for our nation’s children, seniors, people with disabilities and families to make sure drugs are affordable for everyone.