White House celebrates 12 years since signing of Affordable Care Act

The White House on Wednesday marked the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, highlighting both the ways in which it has helped expand access to health care and efforts to strengthen coverage.

“Twelve years ago, I proudly stood beside President Barack Obama as he signed into law the most consequential expansion of health care in generations: the Affordable Care Act,” President BidenJoe BidenBiden administration to sanction hundreds of Russian lawmakers: report On The Money — White House previews new sanctions on Russia Energy & Environment — Republicans take voter campaign to gas stations MORE said in a statement released by the White House.

“With the stroke of a pen — after decades of tireless efforts — millions of Americans gained peace of mind. And because of my Administration’s efforts, including passing the landmark American Rescue Plan, we have lowered health care costs and made coverage more accessible than ever before — even amid a global pandemic.”

Biden cited investments from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which increased the subsidies that help people afford their premiums and also lifted the income cap to allow more people to be eligible for assistance. He also pointed to outreach efforts to Hispanic and Black communities that have led to increases in enrollment.

“As Republicans try to raise health care costs for the middle class, Congressional Democrats and I will do everything in our power to protect and build on Obamacare’s landmark achievements,” Biden said.

Vice President Harris also spoke by phone with two women, from Pennsylvania and Ohio, on how the Affordable Care Act enhanced coverage for them and their families, according to a video released by the White House.

“It has meant everything for my family. This is the first time in so many years that I don’t even think about my health care,” one of the women told Harris on the call.

“The president and I, we believe that health care is a right and should not just be a privilege for those who can afford it,” Harris says in the video.

The Department of Health and Human Services also promoted the anniversary on Wednesday with an event with health care providers and patients to highlight the benefits of the legislation.

And former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBlack women deserve and need more than representation Biden’s Ukraine policy must evolve: Defending freedom requires risks Feehery: Time for Republicans to channel the revolutionary spirit of the class of 1994 MORE, who signed the Affordable Care Act into law, marked the occasion on Twitter by noting that more than 30 million Americans have health care coverage because of the legislation.

“During the pandemic, the Affordable Care Act helped make vaccines and COVID-19 tests available for free, covered emergency hospitalizations, and prevented insurance companies from denying anyone coverage based on a pre-existing condition,” Obama tweeted.

The law was at risk in the early months of the Trump administration, with Republicans controlling each level of government, but attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act — often referred to as ObamaCare — failed in Congress. 

The enhanced financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan is currently scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Biden’s proposed Build Back Better plan would extend it through 2025, but that plan stalled amid concerns from Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSchumer says he supports bipartisan talks on bill to lower insulin costs Energy & Environment — SEC issues climate-risk rule UN secretary general: World is ‘sleepwalking to climate catastrophe’ MORE (D-W.Va.) about the package as a whole.

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