Monthly Archives

March 2021

ACA At 11: Health Care For Rural Americans

Protect Our Care Is Marking the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act With 11 Days Celebrating the Success of the Health Care Law

Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, and millions of people gained coverage and critical protections as a result. The ACA opened the door for states to expand Medicaid, which has helped an estimated 1.7 million rural Americans gain coverage. Health care for rural Americans is especially important due to higher prevalence of pre-existing conditions and barriers to accessing health care. 

After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are now working to build on the strong foundation of the law to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, historic legislation that includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade. This will help rural Americans in particular, who still experience lower coverage rates. In addition to providing affordable coverage options for millions of uninsured Americans through the ACA, the American Rescue Plan provides robust financial incentives for the 14 states* that have not yet implemented Medicaid expansion. 

As the nation continues to face this unprecedented health care crisis, Medicaid expansion is especially important for reducing uncompensated care costs and protecting rural hospitals from financial peril. Medicaid expansion is a critical part of our response to coronavirus, but Republicans in 12 states have rejected expansion, blocking millions from coverage. All of these states are in the southern and midwest regions with significant rural populations. 

Thanks To The ACA:

  • Nearly 1.7 Million Rural Americans Gained Coverage Through Medicaid Expansion. Thanks to the ACA, nearly 1.7 million rural Americans gained Medicaid coverage. 
  • In 2017, Nearly 1 In 5 Marketplace Enrollees Lived In Rural Areas. 1.6 million enrolled in ACA coverage lived in rural areas in 2017. 
  • The Uninsured Rate For Low-Income Adults Fell By More Than Half In Rural Areas With Medicaid Expansion. The uninsured rate for low-income adults dropped from 35 percent to 16 percent in rural areas and small towns in states that expanded Medicaid. 

Medicaid Expansion Is A Lifeline For Rural Hospitals:

  • Medicaid Covers Nearly One In Four Rural Americans. Medicaid covers nearly 24 percent of rural Americans, 45 percent of rural children, 15 percent of rural seniors, and pays for 51 percent of rural births. 
  • Rural Hospitals In Medicaid Expansion States Are 62 Percent Less Likely To Close. 75 percent of vulnerable rural hospitals are in non-expansion states. 
  • The ACA Reduces Uncompensated Care Costs. Medicaid expansion has saved hospitals an average of $6.4 million in uncompensated care costs, with safety-net hospitals seeing even greater savings. In 2017, uncompensated care costs comprised 6 percent of total expenses for hospitals in states that rejected Medicaid expansiondouble the amount for hospitals located in expansion states. 
  • 430 Rural Hospitals Were Already At A High Financial Risk Of Closing Before The Pandemic. Roughly 430 rural hospitals are at a high financial risk of closing. This represents roughly 21 percent of the country’s rural hospitals. 
  • More Than 130 Rural Hospitals Have Closed Since 2010. Nineteen closures were reported in 2020, topping the previous record of 18 rural hospitals closing in 2019 . The vast majority closed in states that had not expanded Medicaid at the time of the hospital closure.

The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Plays A Central Role In Fighting The Opioid Crisis:

The ACA includes critical provisions, including protections for pre-existing conditions and guaranteed coverage of essential health benefits, for individuals suffering from substance use disorder, and Medicaid expansion in particular has dramatically improved access to treatment. 

  • An Estimated Four In 10 People With An Opioid Use Disorder Are Covered By Medicaid. It is estimated that Medicaid expansion covers four in ten people with an opioid use disorder. In 2014, Medicaid paid for 25 percent of all addiction treatment nationwide.
  • Among Those With Opioid Addiction, People Covered Through Medicaid Are Nearly Twice As Likely As Those With Private Insurance To Receive Treatment. In 2017, 44 percent of people who had substance use disorders received treatment when they were covered through Medicaid, significantly higher than the 24 percent of those privately insured who received treatment and 32 percent of those who were uninsured and received treatment.
  • Medicaid Expansion Has Reduced Unmet Need For Substance Use Treatment By More Than 18 Percent. Recent research finds that Medicaid expansion reduced the unmet need for substance use treatment by 18.3 percent.
  • Medicaid Expansion May Have Saved More Than 8,000 People From Fatal Opioid Overdoses. A recent study found that Medicaid expansion prevented as many as 8,132 deaths in the 32 states that expanded Medicaid between 2014 and 2016.
  • The Uninsured Rate For Opioid-Related Hospitalizations In Medicaid Expansion States Dropped By 79 Percent. In expansion states, the uninsured rate for opioid-related hospitalizations dropped from 13.4 percent in 2013 to 2.9 percent in 2015. Non-expansion states only saw a 5 percent decline over the same period.

Protect Our Care Applauds Senator Baldwin, Stabenow, and Casey’s No Junk Plans Act

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), along with U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Bob Casey (D-PA), introduced the “No Junk Plans Act.” This legislation would overturn a Trump-era rule that expanded junk insurance plans. Senator Casey released an oversight report in October of 2019 which found that misleading advertisements through online search engines are also helping to funnel individuals into “junk” health insurance coverage. Often, these ads portray the junk coverage as comprehensive, or attempt to trick consumers into thinking that they link to a government site like Healthcare.gov. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:

“Protect Our Care applauds Senators Baldwin, Stabenow, and Casey for their leadership on the No Junk Plans Act and wholeheartedly endorse this important bill. This legislation protects consumers from enrolling in misleading junk plans that skirt vital consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act and do not provide the care people need. As we continue to battle the coronavirus, it’s more important than ever that Americans have comprehensive coverage that includes protections for people with pre-existing conditions. With the expansion of low or no cost coverage under the American Rescue Plan, these junk plans not only provide less coverage, but may cost more than coverage currently available on the marketplace.”

Protect Our Care Marks the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act With Nationwide Events

President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Governor Evers, Representatives G.K. Butterfield, Ted Deutch Headlined Events in Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land and millions of Americans gained coverage and critical protections as a result. Because of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans gained health coverage. After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the law, President Biden and Democrats in Congress have passed the American Rescue Plan, which builds on the strong foundation of the ACA to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. These steps are essential as millions have lost their jobs and their health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To mark the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and passage of the American Rescue Plan, Protect Our Care held nationwide events with President Barack Obama, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Governor Tony Evers (D-WI), U.S. Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) and Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), state and local elected officials, and health care storytellers. 

Protect Our Care released two videos featuring the events from this week:

President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and HHS Secretary Becerra Marking 11th Anniversary of the ACA with Protect Our Care

Protect Our Care Releases New Video Featuring President Obama to Recognize 11th Anniversary of the ACA

Highlights and coverage from Protect Our Care’s events:

NATIONAL:

Monday, March 22, 2021 — President Barack Obama Joins Protect Our Care, Health Care Storytellers to Reflect on the Success of the Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama joined Protect Our Care and health care advocates to discuss how the law has benefitted millions of Americans since its passage 11 years ago and the work still needed to ensure all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. The former president reflected on the ACA, which was one of the most significant legislative achievements of his presidency, and the impact of the the American Rescue Plan, which further expands coverage and lower costs. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

The Washington Post: The Health 202: Democrats See a Pathway for Their Ambitious Drug Pricing Bill

  • “Today marks the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Former president Barack Obama praised the sweeping health-care law and criticized GOP governors who didn’t embrace its Medicaid expansion, in a virtual event organized by the Democrat-aligned group Protect Our Care.”

CNN: Biden’s Moves on Obamacare Attract New Signups — and a Second Look From Red States

  • “Former President Barack Obama spoke Monday about how the Affordable Care Act has benefited Americans and how the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion relief package, which Biden signed into law earlier this month, has strengthened the law.”

The Hill: Obama Ties Biden Priorities to ObamaCare Anniversary: ‘We’ve Still Got More Work to Do

KMJ News (Fresno, CA): Biden Moving to Bolster Obamacare Before Its 11th Anniversary

KPTM (FOX Omaha, NE): Former President Obama Marks 11th Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Protect Our Care Mark the 11th Anniversary of ACA

On the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Protect Our Care and a health care storyteller from Georgia for an online event about how the health care law has benefitted millions of Americans since its passage, and the work still needed to ensure all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. During the event, speakers covered the historic nature of the ACA, its impact on Americans’ lives, and how the law is stronger than ever after the enhancements passed in the American Rescue Plan, which further expand coverage and lower costs. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Bloomberg: Pelosi May Revive Drug Price Bill With Infrastructure Package

Insurance News Net: Speaker Pelosi Issues Remarks on 11th Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

The Hill: Pelosi: Drug Pricing Measure Under Discussion for Infrastructure Package

The Hill: Watch Live: Pelosi, Schumer Celebrate ACA’s 11th Anniversary

ALASKA

Thursday, March 18, 2021 — American Rescue Plan and ACA at 11 Event with State Rep. Snyder, Alaska Black Caucus President, and Advocates: State Rep. Liz Snyder, Celeste Hodge Growden, Erin Jackson-Hill, and Meda DeWitt joined Protect Our Care Alaska for a virtual press conference to highlight the impacts of the American Rescue Plan, including its historic measures to expand access to quality, affordable health care and build upon the foundation of the Affordable Care Act 11 years after the law was passed by Congress. You can watch the event here.

FLORIDA

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 — ACA Anniversary and ARP Event with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Rep. Ted Deutch, State Senator Taddeo, Florida Voices for Health, and Health Care Advocates: U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, along with Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), State Senator Annette Taddeo (SD-40); Scott Darius, executive director for Florida Voices for Health; Anne Packham, marketplace project director at Primary Care Access Network; and Veronica Salsman, who was able to access affordable coverages through the ACA, joined Protect Our Care Florida for a virtual Zoom event to highlight the historic measures in the American Rescue Plan to expand access to quality, affordable health care and build upon the foundation of the ACA 11 years after the law was passed by Congress, as well as the new incentives for Florida to expand Medicaid. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

Palm Beach Post: Ted Deutch, New HHS Chief Tout Stimulus, Call on Florida to Expand Medicaid

Florida Politics: Democrats Lobby Florida Legislature to Expand Medicaid, Grab New Federal Dollars Under COVID-19 Relief Bill

WUSF (NPR Tampa): Explaining the American Rescue Plan’s $3.5B Incentive to Expand Medicaid In Florida

WMFE (NPR Orlando): Explaining the American Rescue Plan’s $3.5B Incentive to Expand Medicaid In Florida

WLRN (NPR South Florida): Expanding Medicaid 

WUSF (NPR Tampa): Expanding Medicaid 

GEORGIA

Monday, March 22, 2021 — American Rescue Plan and ACA Anniversary Event with Health Providers, Small Business and Health Advocates: Three Georgians from the health provider and small business and health advocate communities joined Protect Our Care Georgia for a virtual press conference to highlight the impacts of the American Rescue Plan, including its historic measures to expand access to quality, affordable health care, and build upon the foundation of the Affordable Care Act eleven years after the law was passed by Congress. You can watch the event here.

MAINE

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 — ACA at 11 Anniversary and ARP Event with Senate President Troy Jackson, Advocates, and Mainers: Lawmakers, frontline workers and advocates joined Protect Our Care Maine for a press call to highlight the impacts of the American Rescue Plan, including its historic measures to expand access to quality, affordable health care and build upon the foundation of the Affordable Care Act 11 years after the law was passed by Congress. The American Rescue Plan is the boldest expansion of health care in a decade in order to lower health care costs, expand coverage, and address inequities in care, and will have profound impacts across Maine, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate Mainers. You can listen to the call recording here.

NORTH CAROLINA

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 — ACA at 11 Anniversary and ARP Event with Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Little Lobbyists, and North Carolinians: Congressman G.K. Butterfield and North Carolina health care advocates joined Protect Our Care North Carolina for a virtual press conference to highlight the impacts of the American Rescue Plan, including its historic measures to expand access to quality, affordable health care and build upon the foundation of the Affordable Care Act 11 years after the law was passed by Congress. The new law includes over $1 billion in funding for North Carolina to expand Medicaid. You can watch the event here.

OHIO

Thursday, March 18, 2021 — American Rescue Plan and ACA at 11 Event with Hamilton County Leaders: Law enforcement, teachers, and officials in Hamilton County, Ohio joined Protect Our Care Ohio for a virtual event to highlight the impacts of the American Rescue Plan. Speakers discussed the law’s benefits for Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio, including details of state and local aid and the law’s historic measures to expand access to quality, affordable health care and build upon the foundation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 11 years after it was signed into law. Neil Stewart, a Cincinnati public school teacher and member of Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, applauded the Democrats who voted for the rescue plan and spoke out against Republicans who rejected funding for local Ohio communities. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

WLWT (NBC Cincinnati): Spending the Stimulus Money 

WLWT (NBC Cincinnati): Boosting Local Economy 

WKRC (CBS Cincinnati): Hamilton County Getting Nearly $160 Million From Stimulus; Leaders Creating Wish Lists

PENNSYLVANIA

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 — ACA at 11 Anniversary and American Rescue Plan Event with Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Chair Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Pennsylvania Health Access Network, and Health Care Advocates: Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and Pennsylvania Health Access Network Director Antoinette Kraus joined Protect Our Care Pennsylvania and storytellers for a virtual roundtable to highlight the impacts of the American Rescue Plan, including its historic measures to expand access to quality, affordable health care and build upon the foundation of the Affordable Care Act 11 years after the law was passed by Congress. You can watch the event here.

WISCONSIN

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 — ACA at 11 Anniversary and American Rescue Plan Event with Governor Evers and Health Care Advocates Across Wisconsin: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin for a virtual conversation highlighting the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the 11 years since its passage. The Governor heard from residents from across the state who have benefited from the ACA. Gov. Evers also addressed the health care related provisions of his proposed budget – including the Badgercare expansion that would result in more than $1 billion in new savings to the state over the next biennium. You can watch the event here.

Coverage:

WEAU (NBC Eau Claire): Gov. Evers Touts BadgerCare Expansion, Health Care Access As Part of State Budget Proposal

WKOW (ABC Madison): Democrats Mark 11 Years Since Affordable Care Act Became Law

WLUK (FOX Green Bay): Gov. Evers on Affordable Care Act’s 11th Anniversary: ‘We Can’t Go Back’

WLAX Fox 25/48 (FOX La Crosse): Gov. Evers Marks 11 Years of Affordable Care Act

WisPolitics: Protect Our Care: Gov. Evers and Wisconsinites Who Benefit From the Affordable Care Act Highlighted the Impacts of the Landmark Legislation 11 Years After Passage

WFRV (CBS Green Bay): 11th Anniversary Of Affordable Care Act Passing

WSAW (CBS Wausau): Gov. Evers Discusses ACA

WLUK (FOX Green Bay): 11 Years Since ACA Signed Into Law

WISC (CBS Madison): Gov. Evers Calls to Expand Medicaid

WMSN (FOX Madison): Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

WISC (CBS Madison): 11th Anniversary of ACA Being Signed Into Law

WFRV (CBS Green Bay): 11th Anniversary of Affordable Care Act Passing

WLUK (FOX Green Bay): Gov. Evers Virtual Discussion

WLAX (FOX La Crosse): Evers Marks 11 Years of Affordable Care Act

WFRV (CBS Green Bay): 11th Anniversary of Affordable Care Act Passing

WKBT (CBS La Crosse): ACA 11th Anniversary

WEAU (NBC Eau Claire): Evers Marks 11 Years of Affordable Care Act

WSAW (CBS Wausau): Gov. Evers Discusses ACA

WLUK (FOX Green Bay): 11th Anniversary of Affordable Care Act

WISC (CBS Madison): 11th Anniversary of ACA Being Signed Into Law

WEAU (NBC Eau Claire): Gov. Evers Celebrates ACA’s 11 Year Anniversary

WFRV (CBS Green Bay): 11th Anniversary of ACA

WFRV (CBS Green Bay): 11 Years of the Affordable Care Act

WEAU (NBC Eau Claire): Gov Evers Celebrates ACA’s 11 Year Anniversary

ACA At 11: Marketplace Signups & Financial Assistance

Protect Our Care Is Marking the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act With 11 Days Celebrating the Success of the Health Care Law

Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, and millions of people gained coverage and critical protections as a result. Among the many benefits of the health care law, the ACA introduced financial assistance to help people purchase comprehensive coverage on the individual marketplaces. The ACA marketplaces, along with the expansion of Medicaid, helped more than 20 million Americans gain coverage.

After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are now working to build on the strong foundation of the law to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, historic legislation that includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade. The American Rescue Plan lowers premiums for people purchasing coverage through the marketplaces and expands access to financial assistance for more middle-class families. 

Thanks To The ACA:

More than 11 million people have coverage through the individual market — and this number is growing. In 2020, 11.4 million people were covered by marketplace plans. This number is growing after President Biden opened a special enrollment period (SEP) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; in just the first two weeks of the SEP, more than 206,000 Americans signed up for coverage. 

Tax credits are available to help people afford coverage. Because of the ACA, most people getting coverage on the marketplace qualify for tax credits to help pay for coverage. 9.6 million of the ACA’s 11.4 million marketplace enrollees receive premium tax credits. 

Enrollees are guaranteed comprehensive coverage. Because of the ACA, insurers have to cover what are known as “essential health benefits,” such as maternity care, prescription drugs, and substance and mental health. Additionally, these plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. People who purchase ACA plans are also protected from annual and lifetime limits, and they cannot be charged more for having a pre-existing condition. 

How The American Rescue Plan Will Further Expand Coverage, Lower Costs On The ACA Marketplaces: 

Increasing financial assistance on the ACA marketplaces means more people will be able to get the affordable coverage they need during the pandemic. In addition to lowering costs for the nine million people currently receiving financial assistance on the marketplace, the American Rescue plan makes generous subsidies available to 14.9 million uninsured people, according to estimates from the Biden administration. Per the New York Times: “For someone earning over $51,000, new subsidies could lower premiums by as much as $1,000 a month in the country’s most expensive markets.” Experts have confirmed that as many as 25 million Americans stand to benefit from these changes.  

  • Guarantee coverage that costs less than 8.5 percent of income. This legislation lowers the cost of premiums for Americans purchasing coverage through the ACA marketplaces, ensuring enrollees have the option to purchase health care for less than 8.5 percent of their income for the next two years. Under current law, families earning just above 400 percent of the federal poverty level spend an average of 15 percent of their incomes on health insurance. 
  • Make coverage more affordable by temporarily expanding the eligibility for premium tax credits above 400 percent of the federal poverty level — roughly $51,000 for a single person or $105,000 for a family of four. An estimated 3.4 million people earn too much to qualify for subsidies and remain uninsured. According to estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, under the American Rescue Plan: 
    • The average 45-year-old earning $60,000 will save $86 in monthly premiums. 
    • A 60-year-old couple with a household income of $75,000 will save $1,389 in monthly premiums. 
    • A family of four with a household income of $120,000 will save $595 in monthly premiums. 
  • Improve affordability for low- and middle-income Americans by increasing the size of the tax credits for all income brackets for the next two years. This means a typical family of four with a household income of $75,000 will save $248 on monthly premiums, while a single adult earning $30,000 will save $110 per month. The Biden administration estimates that four out of five enrollees will be able find a plan for $10 or less per month after tax credits.
  • Eliminate premiums in the exchanges for people earning up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $19,000 for a single person and $39,000 for a family of four) and for those receiving unemployment insurance in 2021. Families USA estimates that more than four million uninsured workers relying on unemployment insurance stand to benefit from this extension of premium subsidies. 

NEW VIDEO: President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, and HHS Secretary Becerra Marking 11th Anniversary of the ACA with Protect Our Care

Video Features Democratic Leaders Celebrating the ACA and the Historic Improvements in the American Rescue Plan

Watch the Video Here

Washington, DC — As the celebration of the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act wraps up, Protect Our Care released a new video featuring President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra talking about the achievements of the ACA and the latest expansions of the ACA included in American Rescue Plan. Because of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans gained health coverage. After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the law, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are delivering on their health care promises by passing the American Rescue Plan, which builds on the strong foundation of the ACA to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. 

ACA At 11: Health Care For LGBTQ Americans

Protect Our Care Is Marking the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act With 11 Days Celebrating the Success of the Health Care Law

Eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, and millions of people gained coverage and critical protections as a result. The LGBTQ community has unique health care needs and has historically experienced high rates of uninsurance and barriers to coverage and care, such as discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The ACA’s consumer protections, along with the expansion of Medicaid and creation of financial assistance to help people purchase marketplace coverage, made affordable health care a reality for many LGBTQ Americans. 

After four long years of Republican efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA, President Biden and Democrats in Congress are now working to build on the strong foundation of the law to expand coverage, lower costs, and reduce racial disparities in health care. On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, historic legislation that includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade. Making coverage more affordable and accessible is especially important for LGBTQ people, who are significantly more likely than non-LGBTQ people to live in poverty and to face barriers to accessing care. The health care measures in the American Rescue Plan will have profound impacts on disparities in health care access and outcomes, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has hit LGTBQ Americans much harder than others. 

Thanks To The ACA:

The ACA Prohibits Discrimination Of LGBTQ Americans, Women, And Individuals With Disabilities In Health Care Settings. Section 1557 of the ACA prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any health program or activity receiving federal assistance. It also prohibits these types of discrimination in health programs and activities administered by HHS as well as the ACA marketplaces. 

LGBTQ Americans Cannot Be Denied Coverage Or Charged More For Pre-Existing Conditions. Because of the ACA, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to individuals or charge them more because of pre-existing conditions. This includes transgender-related medical history as well as substance use disorders, HIV, depression, and other conditions disproportiately affecting LGBTQ Americans. According to the Center for American Progress, 65 percent of LGBTQ adults had a pre-existing condition in 2017, compared to 51 percent of all U.S. adults. 

A Closer Look At How The ACA Is Working For LGBTQ Americans:

The ACA Dramatically Reduced Uninsured Rates For LGBTQ Americans. Before the ACA came into effect, one in three (34 percent) LGBTQ people making less than $45,000 per year were uninsured. Just one year after the health care law was implemented, in 2014, the rate of uninsurance for this group dropped to 26 percent and by June 2020, it was 16 percent. The Center for American Progress estimates that nearly 900,000 LGBTQ adults are covered through the ACA marketplaces. 

Medicaid Expansion Played A Key Role In Expanding Coverage To LGBTQ Americans. The ACA expanded Medicaid to childless adults and increased income eligibility levels nationwide, helping many LGBTQ Americans gain coverage. A June 2020 survey from the Center for American Progress found that in states that adopted Medicaid expansion, just 8 percent of LGBTQ adults were uninsured. By comparison, in states that have rejected expansion, the rate of uninsured LGBTQ adults was 20 percent. CAP estimates that nearly 2 million LGTBQ people are covered by Medicaid nationwide.

Protect Our Care Praises the Biden Administration’s Extension of the ACA Special Enrollment Period

Three Month Extension Will Allow More Americans To Get Covered

Washington, DC — The Biden administration announced today it will extend the Affordable Care Act special enrollment period it opened to allow Americans to get coverage as they continue to face the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The news comes as millions of families will be able to access the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced financial assistance beginning on April 1. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement: 

“The American Rescue Plan makes health care more affordable for millions of people. Extending this special enrollment period will allow many more Americans to learn they can access low or zero premium coverage. Keeping the Affordable Care Act Marketplace open for enrollment will save people money and make Americans healthier — both especially important as we continue to battle this pandemic.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Protect Our Care Mark the 11th Anniversary of ACA

ACA Provides Critical Health Care Protections, Is Invaluable Lifeline for Americans During the Pandemic

Watch the Event Here

Washington, DC — On the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Protect Our Care and a health care storyteller from Georgia for an online event about how the health care law has benefitted millions of Americans since its passage, and the work still needed to ensure all Americans have access to affordable, quality health care. During the event, speakers covered the historic nature of the ACA, its impact on Americans’ lives, and how the law is stronger than ever after the enhancements passed in the American Rescue Plan, which further expand coverage and lower costs.

“For eleven years, the landmark Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage, lowered costs and secured lifesaving protections for hard-working families,” said House Speaker Pelosi. “Today, the ACA stands as a great pillar of economic and health security for the American people, alongside Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats will continue to work For The People to build on the Affordable Care Act to lower health costs and prescription drug prices for all Americans. On this anniversary, Democrats renew our commitment to strengthen and expand the ACA’s lifesaving protections – because quality, affordable health care must be a right, not a privilege, for all.”

“Today, on the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we can proudly say our health care law is better and stronger than ever!” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The ACA has meant the difference between life and death for millions of people across the country. Because Democrats fought for this law, Americans can’t be denied coverage or dropped by their insurance company if they have a pre-existing condition. Democrats are building on the strong foundation of the ACA with the American Rescue Plan, which includes the most significant health care expansion in a decade, and we will continue working to ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health care.”

“Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer worked tirelessly to pass and protect the Affordable Care Act — and now the American Rescue Plan. Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan without a single Republican vote even though the law enjoys overwhelmingly bipartisan support among voters,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The American Rescue Plan is the boldest expansion of health care in a decade and has historic provisions to reduce premiums for millions of Americans, including those who lost their jobs during the pandemic, and invest in addressing racial disparities in our health care system. The Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan are changing people’s lives by making sure they can get the health care they need, and Protect Our Care looks forward to working with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer to pass legislation that reduces prescription drug costs and further expands coverage.” 

“For the past 11 years, the ACA has been a tremendous lifeline for me because I’ve lived the last decade and then some with several pre-existing medical conditions that range across the spectrum of autoimmune illnesses, and President Biden signing the American Rescue Plan has given me new hope,” said Himali Patel, a Georgia small business owner negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “With the American Rescue Plan, getting the coverage I need through the Affordable Care Act is going to be even less expensive than it was before. My premiums are going down to almost zero.”

NEW VIDEO: Protect Our Care Releases New Video Featuring President Obama to Recognize 11th Anniversary of the ACA

Watch Video Here.

Washington, DC — As part of celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, Protect Our Care released a new video featuring President Obama praising the latest steps to improve the health care law included in American Rescue Plan and thanking President Biden and Democrats in Congress for their leadership. The American Rescue Plan is the boldest expansion of health care in a decade and includes provisions to lower costs, expand coverage, and address racial disparities in care. 

President Biden is in Ohio today highlighting how the American Rescue Plan builds on the Affordable Care Act to lower costs for middle class families. 

“The Affordable Care Act has made a huge difference in people’s lives. Because of the ACA, 20 million more people have health care coverage and 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are protected. President Biden and Democrats in Congress are now building on the strong foundation of the ACA with the passage of the American Rescue Plan, which further expands coverage, lowers health care costs, and invests in reducing racial disparities in our health care system,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “The American Rescue Plan passed without a single Republican vote, despite its overwhelming popularity with voters in both red and blue states. Democrats are delivering real pandemic relief and giving Americans access to the health care they need. We salute President Obama and President Biden for their historic leadership.”

TODAY: HHS Secretary Becerra, Governor Evers, Members of Congress, Local Elected Officials and Health Care Advocates to Mark the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and Hold Republicans Accountable for Voting Against the American Rescue Plan

***MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2021***

TODAY: HHS Secretary Becerra, Governor Evers, Members of Congress, Local Elected Officials and Health Care Advocates to Mark the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and Hold Republicans Accountable for Voting Against the American Rescue Plan

Washington, DC — On Tuesday, March 23, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Governor Tony Evers (D-WI), U.S. Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) and Ted Deutch (D-FL-22) along with other local elected officials and health care advocates will join Protect Our Care for events nationwide to highlight the impacts of the American Rescue Plan, including its historic measures to lower costs, expand access to quality health care, and build on the foundation of the Affordable Care Act 11 years after the law was passed by Congress.

FLORIDA

WHO:
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra
U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL-22)
State Senator Annette Taddeo
Scott Darius, Executive Director for Florida Voices for Health
Anne Packham, Marketplace Project Director at Primary Care Access Network
Veronica Salsman, Obtained affordable coverage through the ACA
Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Tuesday, March 23 at 11:00 AM ET

NORTH CAROLINA

WHO:
U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-1)
Stacy Staggs, Director of Community Engagement, Little Lobbyists
Bethany Reeves, Health Care Advocate

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference to Discuss ACA At 11 and ARP

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Tuesday, March 23 at 10:00 AM ET

WISCONSIN

WHO:
Governor Tony Evers (D-WI)
Tina P., Resident of La Crosse
Alex T., Resident of Green Bay
Julie B., Resident of Milwaukee

WHAT: Virtual Press Conference on Health Care

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Tuesday, March 23 at 11:00 AM CT

PENNSYLVANIA

WHO:
Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners
Antoinette Kraus, Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Judy Kisner, Health Care Advocate
Michael Berman, Director Protect Our Care PA

WHAT: Virtual Discussion on American Rescue Plan and Affordable Care Act

WHERE: Register for the Event Here

WHEN: Tuesday, March 23 at 1:00 PM ET