October 29, 2020 Press Releases

As Pence Visits, Arizona Families Still Suffering From Spiking COVID Cases and Trump’s Attacks on Arizonans’ Health Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Thursday, October 29, 2020

CONTACT: Tyler Cherry, tcherry@azdem.org

As Pence Visits, Arizona Families Still Suffering From Spiking COVID Cases and Trump’s Attacks on Arizonans’ Health Care

Trump & Pence Are Continuing Their Push To Overturn The ACA In The Middle Of A Pandemic — Jeopardizing Protections for 2.8 Million Arizonans with Pre-Existing Conditions 

PHOENIX — As Mike Pence visits Tucson and Flagstaff tomorrow, Arizonans won’t forget his and Donald Trump’s long record of broken promises and reckless attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the middle of a global pandemic. As head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Pence’s failed leadership has worsened the public health and economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis — all while the Trump administration is in court to try and strip away protections for pre-existing conditions from as many as 2.8 million Arizonans.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus is now “spreading at its fastest rate here since June … In Arizona, daily case counts, hospitalizations, percent positivity, ventilators in use and the rate at which the virus spreads have all increased in recent weeks.”

“Arizonans will see right through Pence when he visits tomorrow and tries to spin the Trump administration’s failed pandemic response and attacks on the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this month, Pence called the ACA a ‘disaster.’ But the real disaster is Trump’s health care agenda, which would strip away protections from as many as 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions,” said Tyler Cherry, spokesperson for the Arizona Democratic Party. “Now, in the middle of a global pandemic, the Trump administration is suing to overturn the ACA and rip away health care coverage from Arizona families with no replacement plan in sight — all while giving up on controlling the virus. Arizonans deserve leaders who will fight to protect the ACA, contain the pandemic, and build our economy back better. That’s Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”

Here are just some of the broken promises Pence must answer to Arizonans for tomorrow:

BACKGROUND ON TRUMP AND PENCE’S
BROKEN PROMISES ON HEALTH CARE

Trump and Pence promised Arizonans that their administration would make “health care better” and protect people with pre-existing conditions. 

  • Pence: “We’re going to keep our promise to the American people — we’re going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with solutions that lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government.” [CNN]

  • Trump: “We’re making health care better and much, much cheaper … We’re protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and we always will.” [Phoenix Rally, February 19, 2020]

  • Trump: “We’re getting rid of Obamacare and we’re replacing it with something so much better … so much less expensive and just better in every single way.” [Tucson Rally, March 19, 2016]

But during the Trump administration, Trump and Pence have overseen a rise in uninsured Arizonans for three consecutive years.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Trump and Pence are trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act — endangering hundreds of thousands of Arizonans’ health coverage and protections for 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions right when they need it most.

  • Months into the pandemic, Trump again publicly voiced support for his federal lawsuit seeking to upend the ACA. Pence has also reiterated support for repealing the ACA.

  • If Trump and Pence’s federal lawsuit is successful, 363,000 Arizonans could lose their coverage, and protections for nearly 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions would be at risk.

  • To make matters worse, if their lawsuit succeeds, complications from COVID-19 — including heart damage, lung scarring, and other respiratory effects — could become the next deniable pre-existing condition for more than 217,000 Arizonans who have contracted the virus. 

  • The Trump Administration’s lawsuit would also threaten to end the Medicaid expansion program, which has extended coverage to an additional 105,700 Arizonans.

Trump and Pence’s effort to overturn the ACA risks raising prescription drug costs for many Arizona seniors who benefit from Medicare. 

  • In Arizona, approximately 17.5% of the population is 65 years and over, and many older Arizonans have relied on the ACA to lower premiums and reduce prescription drug costs by eliminating the Medicare Part D coverage gap (also called the ‘donut hole’).

  • Without the ACA, Medicare beneficiaries would pay more for preventive care and prescription drug costs. In fact, many seniors would likely end up spending around $2,000 or more in out-of-pocket drug costs each year if the ACA is overturned and the Medicare Part D coverage gap is reopened.

In contrast, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a plan to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act by expanding coverage and lowering costs.

  • Joe worked with President Obama to pass the Affordable Care Act, protecting 2.8 million Arizonans with preexisting conditions and reducing the percentage of uninsured non-elderly Arizonans by 39%. ​

  • As President, Joe will continue to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act. He will:

    • Give Americans more choice, including through a new public option, and simplify the system.

    • Reduce health care and prescription drug costs.

    • Double the federal investment in community health centers, improve care for patients with chronic conditions, and expand access to mental health care.