President Biden Announced Measures to Strengthen the ACA and Lower Costs for Millions of Americans
Washington, DC — Today, former President Obama joined President Biden and Vice President Harris at the White House to celebrate the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ongoing efforts to strengthen the health care law and cut costs for families. During the event, President Biden announced new measures to strengthen the ACA, including a proposed fix to the “family glitch,” which will lower health care costs for more than one million Americans. The President is also directing his administration to improve access to health care providers, protect people from low-quality coverage and continue lowering health care costs.
The event comes on the heels of the ACA’s 12-year anniversary and as enrollment is at a record high and premium costs are lower than ever before. Since taking office, President Biden has taken bold steps to lower health care costs, improve care, and increase coverage. As a result, more than 30 million Americans have affordable health care through the Marketplace and Medicaid expansion. Democrats are continuing their work to strengthen the ACA by fighting to lower drug prices, reduce premiums, and expand coverage to even more families.
“The Affordable Care Act is the gift that keeps on giving,” said Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care. “Despite years of attacks by Republican lawmakers, the law is stronger than ever and a record number of Americans have enrolled in affordable coverage. Democrats have proven time and again that the ACA lowers health costs and improves care. President Biden has reduced insurance premiums, expanded coverage, tackled racial equity and is now closing ‘the family glitch’ — all by building on the Affordable Care Act.”
“There has never been a more urgent time to lower health care costs, and President Biden is delivering again,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “Americans are sick and tired of choosing between paying the bills and getting the health care they need. The Biden administration understands the needs of working families, and today’s announcement made clear that Democrats are committed to building on the strong foundation of the ACA to lower costs and give families the health care they deserve. What have Republicans proposed to lower health care costs and fight inflation? Not a damn thing.”
President Biden Is Working To Close The Family Glitch. Millions of Americans qualify for affordable employer health coverage and are therefore not eligible for ACA premium savings on the Marketplace. This arrangement works well for millions, however, as workers add dependents onto their health coverage, premiums rise, pushing the total cost of health coverage far beyond the percentage of income stipulated by the ACA. Despite this increase, workers are still not eligible to receive premium subsidies through a Marketplace plan. This is the family glitch and it is estimated to impact more than five million Americans. A Health Affairs study estimated Americans in the family glitch pay an average of 15.8 percent of their income towards health premiums, nearly double what is permitted under the ACA. Of the estimated 5.1 million Americans in the family glitch, the vast majority are relatively low-income and 2.8 million are children who are not eligible for CHIP. This puts families in the terrible situation of having to choose between health insurance for their children and other necessities. President Biden has proposed a rule that would eliminate the family glitch and allow families to purchase affordable coverage on the Marketplace with premium tax credits. Under this rule, 200,000 uninsured Americans would gain coverage and many families would save hundreds of dollars each much on health premiums.