ACA Anniversary Comes As Republicans Reignite War on Health Care
Washington DC — Thirteen years ago today, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law, and millions of Americans gained quality health care as a result. In the years since, Democrats have stopped Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, and they have built on the health care law by passing the Inflation Reduction Act to deliver lower health care and prescription drug costs for millions of seniors and families across the nation.
Over the past 13 years, we’ve seen health outcomes improve across all age groups, medical debt decrease, and stronger financial security 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 coupled with policies to address other social and structural determinants of health, expanding access to care improves the health and well-being of every American.
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. Read Protect Our Care’s ACA anniversary fact sheet here.
“The ACA is a pillar of our health care system,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Thanks to the ACA, millions of people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or asthma are protected, people who buy insurance on their own can afford their premiums, more than 21 million people are covered through Medicaid expansion, and over 150 millions patients have access to free cancer screenings and other preventive care. Thirteen years in, the law is now built into the fabric of America and is only getting stronger.”
“On the ACA’s 13th anniversary, it’s important not to lose sight of Republicans’ war on health care,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “They want to raise costs on families, they want to go back to a time where people with pre-existing conditions paid more, and they want to keep siding with Big Pharma and insurance companies. While President Biden and Democrats in Congress have worked tirelessly to build on the ACA and ensure affordable, quality health care for every American, the GOP is still fighting to cut the ACA, reject Medicaid expansion, and undermine the law’s protections in the courts. Some things never change: Republicans want to raise health costs, ditch critical protections, and put profits over patients.”
Republicans Want To Gut The ACA
Thirteen years after the passage of the ACA, Republicans’ threat of repeal is as real as ever. Republicans are consulting with Russ Vought, Trump’s former Office of Management and Budget Chief, to navigate debt ceiling negotiations. Vought’s plan would cut $2 trillion from Medicaid alone, disproportionately impacting children, rural Americans, and people of color. Vought is also advocating for $600 billion in cuts to the ACA, which would rip coverage from 20 million Americans and raise premiums for nearly 15 million more. Meanwhile the House Freedom Caucus has proposed draconian budget cuts and onerous work requirements designed to strip Medicaid coverage from millions of Americans who rely on it.
If Republicans get their way and the Affordable Care Act is repealed:
- GONE: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, including 54 million people with a pre-existing condition that would make them completely uninsurable.
- GONE: Medicaid expansion, which covers more than 21 million people.
- GONE: 49 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.
- GONE: 2.3 million adult children will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
- GONE: Insurance companies will be able to charge women more than men.
- GONE: Premium tax credits that help 80 percent of people who purchase health care on the marketplace.
- GONE: Key support for rural hospitals.
- GONE: Ban on insurance companies having lifetime caps on coverage.
- GONE: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.
- GONE: 61.5 million Medicare beneficiaries will face higher costs and disruptions to their medical care.