News

Lawmakers and Advocates Join Protect Our Care Celebrate 12th Anniversary of the ACA in Events Across the Country

By March 25, 2022No Comments

President Obama, U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (WI-03), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), and Susan Wild (PA-07), State Officials, and Health Care Advocates Joined Protect Our Care for Anniversary Activities

This week, Protect Our Care hosted events across the country to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. During the events, lawmakers and advocates discussed the urgent need for Congress to pass provisions to build on the success of ACA and help bring down the cost of health care for American families. Protect Our Care also released a new video with NowThis featuring President Barack Obama thanking health care storytellers for their efforts to protect and strengthen the ACA. 

The anniversary comes after President Biden’s American Rescue Plan made health care more affordable than ever before, with a record 14.5 million Americans signing up for coverage during the 2022 open enrollment period. President Biden and the Democrats are continuing their work to build on the ACA by further lowering health care and prescription drug costs and expanding coverage to millions more.

NATIONAL

On Wednesday, March 23, Protect Our Care and NowThis released a new video featuring former President Barack Obama to celebrate the growing success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on its 12 year anniversary. During a FaceTime call, President Obama surprised health care storytellers Amy Raslevich, a breast cancer survivor and mother of two children with pre-existing conditions, Steve Gomez, the father of a son with pre-existing conditions, and DonnaMarie Woodson, a cancer survivor — all of whom rely on the ACA’s patient protections. In the video, DonnaMarie, Amy, and Steve described what affordable coverage means for their families and the importance of continuing to protect and build on the ACA so every American has access to quality health care. Watch the video here.

ARIZONA

On Wednesday, March 23, patients and advocates joined Protect Our Care Arizona and Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. “The ACA’s success in Arizona over the past twelve years is undeniable,” said Dora Vasquez, Executive Director of the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans. “Which is why in office Senator Mark Kelly has worked to improve and strengthen this law, while also taking additional steps to lower health care costs for Arizonans.” You can watch the event here

FLORIDA

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23) joined the Florida Democratic Party and Protect Our Care Florida to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being signed into law by calling out ongoing Republican efforts to strip healthcare coverage and raise premiums for seniors and working families in Florida. You can watch the event here

“The ACA is a healthcare security blanket for every American. Sure, Republicans have spent those 12 years trying to steal that blanket from Americans families, but Democrats beat them back,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said. “Yet as we speak, Republicans are still looking for ways to set this security blanket on fire. Just in the last few weeks, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson told the far-right outlet Brietbart that if Republicans take control of Congress, they will repeal the Affordable Care Act. What he didn’t say is that if Republicans succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act, more than 100 million Americans with preexisting conditions like me, a breast cancer survivor, will lose our insurance protections.” 

COVERAGE:

GEORGIA 

On Tuesday, March 22,  WUPA-TV – the CBS affiliate in Atlanta aired an interview with Himali Patel, a small business owner from Georgia who credits the Affordable Care Act with empowering her, and her business to thrive. “The Affordable Care Act was a blessing,” says Himali, who was paying upwards of $3000 for tests required to manage her auto-immune condition. “I probably wouldn’t be here without the ACA.” You can watch Himali’s interview here.

On Friday, March 25, ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to Georgia for a rally with his handpicked slate of Republican candidates in Georgia on Saturday, Georgia Democrats held a press conference calling out Republicans’ ‘Trump first, Georgians last’ agenda: repealing the Affordable Care Act, increasing health care premiums, and gutting protections for pre-existing conditions.“While Democrats are fighting to improve Georgians’ health care, the Republican agenda puts Trump first and Georgians last, and will keep people from accessing essential health care in communities all across the state. We can’t let that happen,” Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia.  Georgians need leaders who will ensure families can continue to access health care through the Affordable Care Act, who will work to lower costs on essential drugs, and who will take action to extend coverage to the over 500,000 people who stand to benefit from Medicaid expansion.” You can watch the event here

NEVADA

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Susie Lee (NV-03) shared recorded remarks and Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow, Allison Stephens, Jason Karsh, and Teresa Crawford joined a virtual panel with Protect Our Care Nevada to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. You can watch the event here

“Before the ACA, I saw babies who were born needing neonatal intensive care be released from the hospital having already hit their lifetime insurance caps. It just wasn’t right,” said Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow. “We know access to health care leads to better health outcomes and improves financial security. Here in the Silver State, we will continue to build upon the work of the ACA to make sure all Nevadans – from prenatal care and throughout their lives – are able to receive the care they need to be healthy.” 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

On Wednesday, March 23, public health experts joined Protect Our Care NH to mark the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. Speakers also discussed the urgent need for Congress to pass provisions that will build on the success of ACA and help bring down the cost of health care for all Granite Staters. Average premiums in New Hampshire’s individual market declined for three years in a row (2019 through 2021), and the state’s average benchmark rates are the seventh-lowest in the nation as of 2021. You can watch the full event here, and learn more about how the ACA has worked for Granite Staters here.

Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director, Granite State Progress, said: “Today over 30 million people, a record number, have coverage under the ACA provisions for either private health insurance or Medicaid. And here in New Hampshire we just went through our last open enrollment, which was incredibly successful. There’s so much going on in the world right now, and in the nation, but continuing to build on the historic landmark Affordable Care Act allows more families to get the coverage they need.” 

NEW JERSEY

On Wednesday, March 23, Assemblywoman Assemblywoman Shama Haider and health care advocates joined Protect Our Care New Jersey to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. Speakers also discussed the urgent need for Congress to pass provisions that will build on the success of ACA and help bring down the cost of health care for New Jerseyans. You can watch the event here, and learn more about how the Affordable Care Act has strengthened health care in New Jersey here.

“There is no doubt that we are in a better place today than we were 12 years ago thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Because of the ACA, more New Jerseyans have access to quality, affordable health care than ever before,” said Brittany Holom-Trundy, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective. “There is so much to be thankful for because of the ACA, and our elected officials must continue to build on that progress by expanding coverage and improving health equity to further drive down health care costs.” 

COVERAGE:

  • Insider NJ: Assemblywoman Haider, Health Care Advocates Call on Congress to Build on Success of the Affordable Care Act and Lower Health Care Costs

OHIO

On Wednesday, March 23, Ohioans with Little Lobbyists and Nurses for America joined Protect Our Care Ohio to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how they and millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. You can watch the event here.

“I am grateful that my son now lives in a world where he can truly be anything he wants to be when he grows up because he isn’t going to have to worry whether his job will provide him with health insurance. I am grateful that if Mark lost his job, we would not have to worry about going bankrupt from medical bills,” said Maya Brown-Zimmerman, an Ohio member of Little Lobbyists with a family story on the impact of the ACA. “Much of my life had been spent thinking about health care coverage. So when the ACA passed, I cried because not only now did I now have financial protection, but my future children would not have to stress like I had.” 

PENNSYLVANIA

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) was joined by local partners and Protect Our Care Pennsylvania to celebrate the twelve-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and to continue discussions on lowering prescription drug costs. 

“For twelve years, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the key to health coverage for millions of working families, seniors and people with pre-existing conditions,” said Rep. Cartwright. “Over the next several months, I will be working with my Congressional colleagues to see to it that these ACA enhancements are made permanent.” 

On Tuesday, March 22, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (PA-07), State Rep. Bridget Kosierowski and three Pennsylvania health advocates whose lives, families and finances have been positively impacted by the Affordable Care Act joined the DNC to demand Republicans stop their attacks on the health care law. “After reducing premiums by 40% through the American Rescue Plan, Democrats have continued our focus on reducing health care costs, like lowering the price of prescription drugs for Americans across the country and capping insulin costs,” said Rep. Susan Wild. “Meanwhile, the Republican party has spent the last few weeks doubling down on their agenda of eliminating coverage, raising premiums and also hiking taxes.” You can watch the event here

On Wednesday, March 23, Philadelphia Councilmember Helen Gym joined For Our Future PA, Protect Our Care PA, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and Family Friendly Pennsylvania to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. You can watch the event here

COVERAGE:

WEST VIRGINIA

On Thursday, March 24, West Virginia health care advocates and storytellers joined Protect Our Care West Virginia to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and highlight how millions of people have benefited from the law’s provisions that lowered costs and expanded access to care. “The ACA saved my life,” said Rusty Williams, a Kanawha County resident and cancer survivor. “I was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and denied health insurance coverage three times due to my illness. Thankfully, West Virginia was one of the first states to expand Medicaid, so after spending six weeks fighting bureaucrats, I was finally able to receive coverage and begin my life saving treatments. I am forever grateful for the ACA and Medicaid expansion.” You can watch the event here

WISCONSIN

On Wednesday, March 23, U.S. Representative Ron Kind (WI-03), Wisconsin State Senator Brad Pfaff, and Sarah B., resident of Eau Claire living with Type 1 diabetes, joined Protect Our Care Wisconsin and Citizen Action of Wisconsin to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while calling for action to reduce the cost of insulin. You can learn more about how the Affordable Care Act has strengthened health care in Wisconsin here

“Twelve years ago today, the Affordable Care Act became law. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites – including those with pre-existing conditions – have been able to gain access to quality, affordable health care,” said U.S. Representative Ron Kind (WI-03). “We need to keep building on this progress and continue working to lower health care costs, including the price of insulin. I’m proud to have voted for legislation to do that and I’ll keep fighting to defend the access to care and patient protections so many hardworking Wisconsin families rely on.”

On Wednesday, March 23, Wisconsin Democrats rallied outside of Ron Johnson’s office to protest his repeated, self-serving efforts to rip away key protections from Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions and increase health care costs for Wisconsin families. “When the ACA passed we were celebrating … we were given a second chance at life,” said Julie Buckolt, a Wisconsinite who relies on the ACA. “We’ve watched for too long as Johnson has prioritized his self-serving agenda. He doesn’t care that his actions make us live in fear every day – and I’ll tell you, we live in fear. We know what that tear Is. I don’t want to go back to that fear and I don’t want my children to feel that fear – we try to shelter them from that fear. I don’t want that to happen to them. I don’t want my children to feel like they have to go bankrupt at the beginning or their adult lives, and that’s what he’s doing to them.” You can watch the event here

On Wednesday, March 23, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) was joined by the Committee to Protect Health Care, For Our Future Wisconsin, and patient advocates from across Wisconsin on a press call to mark the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Thomas Hunt, a  family physician and member of Committee to Protect Health Care, Lynn Carey, a Germantown resident and lung transplant recipient Dustin Klein, a Milwaukee resident with Hemophilia joined the call to share how the Affordable Care Act’s patient protections have ensured that Wisconsinites like them are able to access the care they need. 

COVERAGE:

  • Public News Service: On 12-Year Anniversary of ACA, Wisconsinites Discuss its Impacts
  • WIZM News: Area Democrats join call to protect Affordable Care Act, approved 12 years ago
  • News 8000: U.S. Senate to vote on limiting prescription drug costs, insulin prices in Build Back Better bill
  • Up North News (Opinion): Wisconsin’s Republican Senator Still Wants to Take Away Health Insurance
  • La Crosse Tribune: ​​Pfaff, Kind urge action to lower health care costs