Washington, DC – Today, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi joined Protect Our Care and health care storytellers for an intimate round table discussion to mark the 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). During the event, speakers reflected on the achievements of the ACA and how their lives have improved since its passage.
Speaker Pelosi was instrumental in getting the ACA over the finish line and giving millions peace of mind knowing they can afford the care they need. Not only was Nancy Pelosi central to its passage, but she thwarted Republican efforts to repeal the ACA and its protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. In the last year alone, she built on the ACA by passing the Inflation Reduction Act to deliver lower health care and prescription drug costs for millions of seniors and families across the nation. This past open enrollment period was the most successful in the history of the ACA with almost 16 million signing up for coverage, proving these policies have touched the lives of nearly every person in the nation, providing patients with lifesaving care.
“We are celebrating the great mobilization not just to pass the Affordable Care Act, but also to save it,” said U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-11), Speaker Emerita of the House. “This anniversary is the happiest day of my public life because of what it means for people. This legislation saved lives, but it would not have happened without our grassroots.”
“It is no exaggeration that my daughter Xiomara and countless children with complex medical needs and disabilities like her are alive today because of the ACA,” said Elena Hung, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Little Lobbyists. “So that is what the ACA means to me and to families like mine, that we give our children a chance for a childhood, a chance to grow up and that we get to celebrate more birthdays with them.”
“Without the ACA, I would have had to make choices over mortgage or health care. The ACA has become such an integral part of life that we take for granted. It’s not only saved lives, it’s saved bankruptcies, it’s saved the ability to change jobs,” said Amy Raslevich from Pittsburgh, PA, Storyteller.
“I was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 2007 – it was my third day of my freshman year of high school. Thankfully, my dad was in the Navy at the time so I had TRICARE but as I was creeping towards the end of high school, it was getting really scary for what my future was gonna look like once I could no longer be on my dad’s insurance. He was starting to put money to the side thinking that we were gonna have to pay out of pocket for a lot of not just my insulin, but all the supplies,” said Rhena Hicks from Norfolk, VA, Storyteller. “The ACA allowed me to stay on my dad’s insurance and to live an easier life with Type 1 Diabetes.”
“Our pregnancy with my son was completely normal. We didn’t find out till about 24 hours after he was born that he had a serious heart defect and he eventually needed a heart transplant. Our journey, our fight, and our benefits from the ACA are innumerable. He’s not going to have to worry about getting coverage in the future,” said Steve Gomez from Phoenix, AZ, Storyteller. “My wife and I had many sleepless nights during the repeal fight. If they repeal this, what’s going to happen to us?”
“Thirteen years later, the ACA is a pillar of our health care system,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Nearly every person in this country has been touched by the ACA, whether you’re someone with a pre-existing condition like diabetes or asthma protected from discrimination, a small business owner purchasing affordable coverage on your own, or someone who relies on free cancer screenings and other preventive care — that’s all thanks to the health care law. We would not be here today without the tireless efforts of Speaker Pelosi and health care advocates across the nation who ensured the law’s passage, defended it from repeal, and are now working to make the ACA even stronger.”
“We owe a great deal of thanks to the health care storytellers who continue to shine a bright light on what the law means to them and millions of other families across the country. Together, we’ve defended the health care law from Republican attacks, and we’ve worked to build on its success to make health care more affordable for millions of families. And this is just the beginning — we will continue to work to ensure everyone in this country has quality, affordable health care,” said Protect Our Care National Organizing Director Adam Hoyer.