Full press call audio here

Washington, DC – On a press call this afternoon, Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ 3rd District), Protect Our Care, and health care advocates marked the 9th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and discussed the real-life impact the law has had for millions of Americans and the specific actions Democrats in Congress can take to move forward on their agenda for lower costs and better care.

“The people I hear from every day simply cannot afford to have their health care put at risk,” said U.S. Representative Andy Kim (NJ-3). “Millions of families in New Jersey rely on protections from the Affordable Care Act to ensure they get the coverage they need. Congress should put partisan politics aside and work together to deliver the American people the health care they need and deserve.”

“My daughter has a pre-existing condition, and thanks to the ACA she’s been able to get the care that she needed,” said Angela Eilers, a health care advocate from Yorba Linda, California and a member of Little Lobbyists. “It’s extremely worrisome that our health care laws still remain in jeopardy and it’s critical that we continue fighting to protect and strengthen our health care laws so that people like my daughter are able to receive the care that they need.”

“Because of my son’s rare disease, he doesn’t just have one pre-existing condition, he probably has ten,” said Laurel Smith, a resident of Medford, New Jersey and a constituent of Rep. Kim’s. “My son’s condition catapulted me into this fight to protect the ACA, and I will continue to make sure that Congress and the president doesn’t rip away these essential health benefits.”

“Last November the American people rejected the Republican war on health care and demanded an agenda that would lower costs, improve care and end sabotage,” said Protect Our Care founder and chair Leslie Dach. “As we head into the 9th Anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Democrats like Rep. Kim are moving forward with an aggressive agenda to address those concerns while President Trump and his allies in Congress continue to sabotage our health care laws and advocate for repeal.”

Full press call audio here

BACKGROUND:

The ACA Has Expanded Access To Affordable Care

On the ninth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act as the Trump administration and its Republican allies continue to try to repeal and sabotage the law, more people are learning that the ACA is working for them. This may be why the law is now more popular than it was for years.

Here is how the Affordable Care Act is working across the country:

More than 20 million Americans gained health coverage. Because of the ACA, more than 20 million Americans gained health coverage.

13 million people have coverage through the individual market. 13.3 million people are covered by marketplace or non-marketplace plans subject to ACA consumer protections. 82 percent of those enrolled through the marketplace are satisfied with their plans.

Insurers can no longer deny or drop coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Because of the ACA, insurers in the individual market can no longer drop or deny coverage, or charge you more because of a pre-existing condition. More than 130 million Americans have a pre-existing health condition.

Women no longer charged more than men. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer charge women more than men for the same care, and insurers are now required to cover important health benefits like maternity care. Before the ACA, 75 percent of non-group plans refused to cover maternity care.

Ended annual and lifetime limits. Because of the ACA, insurers can no longer put annual or lifetime limits on the care you receive.

Young adults can stay on their parents plan until age 26. Because of the ACA, roughly 2.3 million young adults have coverage because they can stay on their parents coverage until age 26.

Allowed states to expand Medicaid. Because of the ACA, states can get additional federal money to expand Medicaid. 17 million Americans have coverage through Medicaid expansion.

Free preventive care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 137 million Americans, most of whom have employer coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage. Because of the ACA, insurers have to cover what are known as “essential health benefits,” such as maternity care, prescription drugs, and substance and mental health.

Tax credits are available to help people afford coverage. Because of the ACA, most people getting coverage on the marketplace qualify for tax credits to help pay for coverage. 8.9 million  of the ACA’s 11.8 million marketplace enrollees receive premium tax credits.

Improved Access To Care And Financial Security. Between 2010 and 2018, the share of non-elderly adults with a problem paying a medical bill fell by 17 percent, the share who didn’t fill a prescription fell by 27 percent, the share who skipped a test or treatment fell by 24 percent, and the share who didn’t visit a provider when needing care fell by 19 percent.

Helping seniors afford prescription drugs. Because of the ACA, the Medicare prescription drug donut hole is closed. As a result, 4.9 million U.S. seniors are saving $5.7 billion on drugs in 2017, an average of $1,149 per beneficiary.

Helping increase access to employer-sponsored coverage. The Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandates are credited with helping increase rates of employer-sponsored health insurance. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that between 2013 and 2017, seven million more people gained employer coverage, nearly as many as gained coverage through the ACA marketplaces.

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