Yesterday marked the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and news coverage makes clear that more Americans are benefiting from the historic legislation than ever before. Thanks to the ACA, more than 30 million Americans have health coverage through the Marketplaces and Medicaid expansion, and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions are protected from discrimination by insurance companies. The ACA has survived years of attacks by Republican lawmakers, but under the leadership of President Biden and Democrats, it is only getting stronger.
Last year, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, which drove down premium costs for millions of families. Now, a record 14.5 million Americans are enrolled in affordable coverage through the ACA. Democrats are not stopping there: they are continuing their work to strengthen the ACA by lowering premiums and prescription drug costs, expanding coverage, and reducing inequities in care. Throughout the week of the anniversary, Protect Our Care has hosted events across the country and released a new video with NowThis featuring President Obama. Watch the video here.
The Washington Post: The Law Biden Once Called A BFD Turns 12. “On the Affordable Care Act’s 12th anniversary, President Biden will call out Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), though not by name, and tout his administration’s efforts to build on Obamacare. In a forthcoming statement shared with The Health 202, Biden will pledge that Democrats will protect the health law, particularly after ‘a Republican senator shared his plan to repeal the ACA.’ Since Biden took office, Democrats have taken a number of steps they say are aimed at strengthening the health law, like expanding Obamacare’s financial aid and opening a lengthy special enrollment period.” [The Washington Post, 3/23/22]
MSNBC: Twelve Years Later, The ACA Is Getting The Last Laugh. “For those of us who covered the political fight over the Affordable Care Act, this day seemed implausible. Before Obama signed the reform package into law, Republicans condemned it as an economy destroying attack on free enterprise and the American way of life. After the ACA became law, Republicans spent years, not only denouncing the reforms, but voting several dozen times to repeal it… The ACA is working; it’s popular; it’s affordable; it’s withstood far too many legal challenges; and it no longer has a Republican-imposed target on its back.” [MSNBC, 3/23/22]
CNN: Obamacare Is Gradually Becoming A Fact Of American Life. “Today, more Americans than ever have health care coverage under the ACA. That includes 14.5 million people purchasing plans for 2022 coverage from Obamacare insurance exchanges, well over the peak during President Barack Obama’s last year in office. A comparable number gained coverage from provisions of the ACA that expanded the Medicaid program to low-income adults. The proportion of Americans without health insurance has fallen by about half, to below 10%.” [CNN, 3/20/22]
Reuters: US Signs Up More Than 14.5 Million People For Obamacare Health Plans. “More than 14.5 million Americans signed up for Obamacare health insurance for 2022, a 21% jump over last year and the highest since the Affordable Care Act was signed 12 years ago, the U.S. government said on Wednesday… U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement the Affordable Care Act had helped improve healthcare for millions of Americans and that his administration had recorded an increase in enrollment for Hispanic Americans by 26% and for Black Americans by 35%.” [Reuters, 3/23/22]
HuffPost: The Affordable Care Act Turns 12 Today, And It Could Look Pretty Different By Year 13. “The American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 relief bill that Democrats passed and President Joe Biden signed in March 2021, ramped up the financial assistance available to people buying coverage on their own through HealthCare.gov or state-run exchanges such as Covered California… Another way to bolster the Affordable Care Act is through executive action. The Biden administration has already begun that process in order to address what’s come to be known as the ‘family glitch.’” [HuffPost, 3/23/22]
Bloomberg: Opinion: Obamacare Is Boosting Economic Health. “States that have fully embraced the Affordable Care Act are enjoying healthier labor markets and stronger income growth than those that haven’t. The evidence comes from the experience of the 12 states that have refused to accept a key element of Obamacare: federal money covering the cost of expanding Medicaid to cover millions of people who otherwise couldn’t afford health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion optional in its 2012 decision upholding the other parts of the law.” [Bloomberg, 3/21/22]
Common Dreams: Op Ed: Twelve Years Later, Surviving Cancer, And Attacks On The Affordable Care Act. “There was a whole generation of Americans that wouldn’t have been alive prior to the ACA. We refused to be quiet, we refused to be ignored; we protested, we rallied, we attended town halls, we bared our private wounds in public in order to be finally seen. At last in a late night vote that summer, I watched John McCain answer our cry and put a stop to repeal in the Senate… So we cautiously celebrate the ACA’s 12th birthday. With the understanding that we all are more fragile than we look, and nothing in this life is guaranteed. Not freedom from pandemics, not one more birthday or anniversary is promised. We are bone-tired of battling for every inch of progress. And we still don’t live in a country where everyone can get the health care they need and deserve. But on this day, I’m glad to still be here and glad the ACA is too.” [Common Dreams, 3/23/22]
The Hill: White House Celebrates 12 Years Since Signing Of Affordable Care Act. “The White House on Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, highlighting both the ways in which it has helped expand access to health care and efforts to strengthen coverage.” [The Hill, 3/22/22]