More than three years ago, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act and President Obama signed it into law. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld it. Millions of Americans have already benefited from its provisions, and millions more are looking forward to benefits that will soon go into effect. And in November, the American people re-elected the president as an affirmation of the law's promise that no person should go broke if they get sick.
Yet today, for nearly the 40th time since it's been the law of the land, House Republicans staged yet another repeal vote in their latest attempt to turn back the clock on progress and deny Americans health insurance coverage they can count on.
- Repeal Decreases Access to Quality Care. The 6.6 million young people from South Carolina to Ohio to Utah who have gained coverage under their parents' health plans up to age 26 would lose that option. Insurance companies in many states could return to the days of refusing coverage to 17 million children living with a pre-existing condition like diabetes or asthma. For the 129 million Americans across the country living with a pre-existing condition, repeal would take away the security of knowing that, beginning next year, their health coverage can't be revoked or denied. Repeal would also eliminate the free, critical preventive vaccines, flu shots, contraception, mammograms, and other screenings that have already helped 71 million Americans stay healthy and active.
By refighting old battles and reopening old wounds, repeal efforts would take away the peace of mind that affordable health insurance provides for the millions of Americans who can't afford to go back to the way things were.
For the majority of Americans who already have insurance, the law makes it stronger. And for 25 million Americans who lack the security of health coverage, expanded Medicaid in many states and new Health Insurance Marketplaces opening for enrollment in every state this fall will finally give them access to coverage that fits their budget and meets their health needs.
Because of the law, we're increasing access to affordable care, slowing premium increases, and bringing down health spending growth to its slowest rate in half a century. We're making health insurance work for small businesses, and providing the strongest consumer protections in history.
We know our health care system's problems weren't created overnight, and they won't be solved overnight. But Americans are far better off today than they would be without the health care law. And while we work to implement and strengthen the law, it's clear we're moving our health care system in the right direction. We simply can't afford to turn back now.