Democrats reinforce support of ACA on its 13th anniversary
The ACA was passed during the presidency of Barack Obama and has seen Republican attacks since.
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During the 13th anniversary celebration of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar and Vice President Ted Lieu held a press conference alongside fellow Reps. Glenn Ivey and Jill Tokuda to discuss their ongoing support for the transformational health care program.
At the press conference, the Democratic lawmakers highlighted how more than 16 million Americans have health insurance thanks to the ACA — a law that, in addition to enjoying wide public popularity, is now one of the longest-running and most impactful laws in a generation.
Our agenda lowered health care premiums by an average $800 yearly for nearly 15 million Americans.— President Biden (@POTUS) March 27, 2023
MAGA Republicans in Congress want to roll that back.
I won’t stand for proposals that make it harder for families to have peace of mind. pic.twitter.com/nUdZ7R4WaM
“Since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped cut the U.S. uninsured rate nearly in half while significantly reducing racial and ethnic disparities in both insurance coverage and access to care — particularly in states that expanded their Medicaid programs,” points out a Commonwealth Fund report published by CBS.
The report also notes that prior to the implementation of the Medicaid expansion in 2013 — an ACA provision that made more families eligible for Medicaid coverage — 40.2% of the Hispanic population, 24.4% of the Black population, and 14.5% of the white population were uninsured. By 2021, those numbers have dropped significantly to 24.5%, 13.5%, and 8.2%, respectively.
“With more than 5 million people gaining coverage between 2020 and 2022 over the course of the pandemic, the overall uninsured rate in the U.S. dropped to just 8%, a historic low,” reads the report.
Defending the ACA
The Democratic reps, who want the program to continue, also criticized the actions of Republican representatives, who continue to try to end programs such as ACA and Medicaid, arguing that they are inconsistent with the ‘debt ceiling,’ regardless of the benefits it provides in diverse communities.
“The Affordable Care Act is a statement of purpose; a statement about the nation we must be, where all people, no matter who they are, where they live or how much they earn, can access the health care they need,” wrote President Joe Biden on Twitter.
For the time being, positive trends continue to boost the ACA's efforts, including improved coverage rates for Black, Hispanic and white adults.
According to the study, the coverage gap between Black and white adults narrowed from 9.9% to 5.3%, while the gap between Hispanic and white adults narrowed from 25.7% to 16.3%.
“We made history when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. We took a big step forward in realizing a fundamental principle: That health care is a right, not a privilege,” said Biden.