Washington, DC – Today, President Biden celebrated the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the White House. President Biden was introduced by Teresa Acosta, whose family, including her son with Type 1 diabetes, relies on the ACA for affordable coverage. During the speech, President Biden emphasized his administration’s commitment to building on the ACA, a stark contrast to the GOP agenda of repealing the ACA and the Inflation Reduction Act and hiking costs for millions of seniors and families.
Thanks to the ACA, health outcomes have improved across all age groups, medical debt has decreased, and financial security is stronger for families. We’ve also seen stark inequities in care narrow – both for rural Americans and communities of color who have traditionally faced serious barriers to health care. When paired with policies to address other social and structural determinants of health, expanding access to care improves the health and well-being of every American. Read Protect Our Care’s ACA anniversary fact sheet here.
Thanks to the tireless work of President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the 2023 open enrollment period was the most successful in history — with almost 16 million Americans signing up for coverage. Coupled with the health law’s expansion of Medicaid, protections for people with preexisting conditions and cost-saving measures, the ACA has touched the lives of nearly every person in the nation.
Washington Post: President Biden Calls Out Republicans Seeking to Repeal the Affordable Care Act. “Today, before heading to Ottawa to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Biden used an event marking the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act to criticize congressional Republicans for wanting to repeal the now-popular program enacted under President Barack Obama — saying that would have ‘a devastating impact on the American people.’ Biden said the ACA moved the country in the direction of ‘the fundamental principle that we hold as Democrats and Americans that health care is a right, not a privilege.’” [Washington Post, 3/23/23]
Fox News: President Biden Says Saving Lives “Doesn’t Mean Much to Our Republican Friends.” “Biden criticized ‘MAGA Republicans’ for their opposition to the ACA at the White House event, which had former Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Vice President Kamala Harris and many other top-level Democrats in attendance. ‘The Affordable Care Act has been law for 13 years. It has developed deep roots in this country,’ Biden said. ‘It has become a critical part of our healthcare and saving lives.’ Biden added that ‘MAGA Republicans’ are intent on repealing the ACA, despite Biden’s claims that it would have a ‘devastating impact’ on Americans.” [Fox News, 3/23/23]
WSAZ: Biden Celebrates 13th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. “President Joe Biden on Thursday marked the 13th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Biden gave remarks from the White House on the key accomplishments of the landmark bill. He highlighted how the law has resulted in quality health care for more than 40 million Americans and lowered costs for families. Biden also mentioned steps he has taken as president to boost the legislation, including capping out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors on Medicare. The president slammed House Republican proposals the White House dubbed a ‘five-alarm fire.’ Biden called out the House Freedom Caucus’ proposed budget, which he says will increase health care costs and push the biggest cut to Medicare in decades.” [WSAZ, 3/23/23]
The Hill: What We Have Gained 13 Years Later From the Affordable Care Act. “A reported 13.6 million Americans got insurance in 2021 alone via that ACA marketplaces. Closing the prescription drug “donut hole” saved millions of Medicare recipients billions of dollars, and 2022 surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Morning Consult found that a majority of Americans approve of the ACA. Staunch Republican opposition is shrinking. It turns out that public opinion is even more striking when you ask folks about specific ACA provisions. For example: 90 percent of Americans support prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions; 89 percent support requiring health insurance companies to cover the cost for most preventive services; 88 percent support prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage to pregnant women; 87 percent support prohibiting health insurance companies from charging sick people more, and the same percentage support giving states the option to expand Medicaid; 85 percent support providing financial help to low- and moderate-income Americans to purchase coverage; and 78 percent support allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26. More than 35 million Americans have health insurance today because of the ACA — men, women and children who are benefiting from lower cost and higher quality health care coverage. They can thank the vision and courage of leaders such as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and former Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who socialized the issue and worked to secure the history-making votes in Congress.” [The Hill, 3/23/23]
MSNBC: The Affordable Care Act Has Never Been Stronger Than Today. “After the Affordable Care Act became law 13 years ago today, there were plenty of points at which its future appeared to be in doubt. Legal challenges put the ACA in jeopardy — including three separate cases that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. After Donald Trump’s 2016 election, the fate of Obamacare appeared sealed. All the while, Republicans made all kinds of predictions about the ACA’s imminent failure and disastrous consequences. Obamacare, the GOP insisted, would create ‘armageddon.’ Thirteen years later, it’s now obvious that Republicans were wrong and the ACA’s proponents were right. In fact, thanks entirely to the reform law, the nation’s uninsured rate has never been lower. Just as important is the fact that health insurance has never been more affordable than it is now: Democrats included generous new ACA subsidies in the party’s American Rescue Plan in 2021, with some consumers seeing their premiums fall to nearly or literally zero, thanks entirely to the investments in the Democrats’ relief package. Those benefits were extended last year — though many congressional Republicans are eager to roll back the benefits and force premiums higher. The ACA is working; it’s popular; it’s affordable; it’s advancing; it’s withstood far too many legal challenges; and it no longer has a Republican-imposed target on its back. Thirteen years ago today, this dynamic was hard to predict, but to the benefit of tens of millions of American families, it’s the truth.” [MSNBC, 3/23/23]