NATION SHOULD LEARN FROM ENACTMENT AND REPEAL OF CLAUDE PEPPER'S MEDICARE CATASTROPHIC COVERAGE ACT THAT REPEALS AND CUTS ONLY RECREATE NEED TO ENACT HEALTH CARE AGAIN, SAY WEINER AND GLADDENWASHINGTON, July 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National issues strategist Robert Weiner, former White House spokesman and chief of staff of the U.S. House Aging Committee and Health Subcommittee under Rep. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.), and policy and research analyst Nakia Gladden are highlighting the similarities between Rep. Pepper's Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act – a bill that was enacted into law in 1988 but repealed 16 months later – and the current 39 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the many "defund and destroy" outright and nickel-and-dime cutbacks. Weiner and Gladden assert, "We should learn from the repeal of Claude Pepper's Catastrophic Coverage Act and not again enter the cycle of having reform blocked by insurance industry-driven repeal. Repeals and cuts only recreate the need to enact health care again." In an article in the Palm Beach Post today, "Resist Push to Repeal or Cripple Affordable Care Act," Weiner and Gladden say, "This was the headline across cable TV news shows on July 23: "Sen. Mike Lee, R- Utah, threatens a government shutdown over Obamacare." Opposition to the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") – with 39 House-passed repeals but none in the Senate — but the administration agreeing to delays and funding cuts -- are reminiscent of opposition to the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act, originally written by former Florida U.S. Senator and Congressman Claude Pepper." Weiner and Gladden assert, "Pepper's bill was enacted in July 1988 and repealed 16 months later. We should have learned from that lesson. Instead, Affordable Care Act supporters are battling not just attempts to repeal the law but a more subtle, bit-by-bit 'defund and destroy' strategy." The authors declare, "Pepper believed that catastrophic protection, which he introduced in 1987, was necessary to protect persons who suffered from long-term illness, treatment for which could deplete their families' savings. The bill capped out-of-pocket expenses, expanded nursing facility and hospital benefits, and offered outpatient prescription drug coverage. The bipartisan bill was signed by President Reagan. It created The Pepper Commission to address the issue of long-term care and home care. Mr. Pepper was chairman until he died in May 1989." Weiner and Gladden say, "Health care lobbyists and insurance companies put their PR machines in motion to repeal the law. They organized hundreds of protests and bombarded members of Congress with irate mailers. As now, they converted seniors' support to opposition. Seniors were told they were paying too much, and they mobilized. The pressure drove Congress to repeal the bill on Nov. 22, 1989." They state, "Fast-forward to Obamacare. The health industry is conducting a similar lobbying campaign, and has targeted seniors to repeal or defund the law."