Washington, DC — Ahead of the 11th Anniversary 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. On the 11th anniversary week of the law, millions of Americans now have access to care, reduced costs, and protections for pre-existing conditions.
“The American Rescue Plan built on the success we had in 2009 and 2010. It’s consolidating, protecting, improving, and building upon the kind of health care that we need. But we’ve still got more work to do — even with the American Rescue Plan,” said President Barack Obama. “Our success in the past should not be a source of complacency, but rather an inspiration to keep going until every single person in America has the kind of coverage that they need. We are one of the few countries on Earth with this much wealth that does not provide health insurance as a just, basic right to its citizens. The Affordable Care Act, and now the America Rescue Plan, have closed that gap, but still folks are falling through cracks. It’s all of our jobs to make sure that we build on these previous successes.”
“I had the honor of serving in the Obama administration where I was responsible for helping manage the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. I saw firsthand that President Obama was deeply committed to health care. He didn’t just fight to pass the ACA, he also worked tirelessly to make it a success,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “President Biden is building on the success of the ACA with the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the biggest expansion of health care in over a decade. Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan without a single Republican vote even though the law enjoys overwhelmingly bipartisan support among voters. It contains historic provisions that will 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 significance of the Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan can’t be overstated.”
“I’m here today because Barack Obama saved my life. Four years ago, I walked into a doctor’s office with a nagging cough, and I walked out with a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Without the Affordable Care Act, I never could have afforded the six months of chemotherapy and a month of radiation it took for me to be in remission today,” said Laura Packard, stage four cancer survivor and health care advocate. “I used to have junk insurance. If I still had that insurance, today I would be bankrupt or dead. The day after my first chemotherapy session, Republicans in the U.S. House voted to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and strip away the care that was keeping me alive. Not only did I have to fight cancer, but also the President and Congress just to stay alive. Thankfully, we won.”