Obama says health-reform law working better than expected

President Obama made this statement on the fifth anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

On
the five-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, one thing couldn’t be
clearer:  This law is working, and in many ways, it’s working even better
than anticipated.

After
five years of the Affordable Care Act, more than 16 million uninsured Americans
have gained the security of health insurance – an achievement that has cut the
ranks of the uninsured by nearly one third.  These aren’t just
numbers.  Because of this law, there are parents who can finally afford to
take their kids to the doctor.  There are families who no longer risk
losing their home or savings just because someone gets sick.  There are
young people free to pursue their dreams and start their own business without
worrying about losing access to healthcare.  There are Americans who,
without this law, would not be alive today.
For
Americans who already had insurance before this law was passed, the Affordable
Care Act has meant new savings and new protections.  Today, tens of
millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions are no longer at risk of
being denied coverage.  Women no longer have to worry about being charged
more just for being women.  Millions of young people have been able to
stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26.  More than 9 million
seniors and people with disabilities have saved an average of $1,600 per person
on their prescription medicine, over $15 billion in all since the Affordable
Care Act became law.  More than 70 million Americans have gained access to
preventive care, including contraceptive services, with no additional
out-of-pocket costs.  And the law has helped improve the quality of health
care: it’s a major reason we saw 50,000 fewer preventable patient deaths in
hospitals over the last three years of data. 
The
cynics said this law would kill jobs and cripple our economy.  Despite the
fact that our businesses have created nearly 12 million new jobs since this law
was passed, some still insist it’s a threat.  But a growing body of
evidence – actual facts – shows that the Affordable Care Act is good for our
economy.  In stark contrast to predictions
that this law would cause premiums to skyrocket, last year the growth in health
care premium costs for businesses matched its lowest level on record.  If
premiums had kept growing over the last four years at the rate they had in the
last decade, the average family premium would be $1,800 higher than it is
today.  That’s $1,800 that stays in your pocket or doesn’t come out of
your paycheck.  And in part because health care prices have grown
at their slowest rate in nearly 50 years since this law was passed, we’ve been
able to cut our deficits by two-thirds.  Health care costs that have long
been the biggest factor driving our projected long-term up deficits up are now
the single biggest factor driving those deficits down. 
The
Affordable Care Act has been the subject of more scrutiny, more rumor, more
attempts to dismantle and undermine it than just about any law in recent
history.  But five years later, it is succeeding – in fact, it’s working
better than even many of its supporters expected.  It’s time to embrace
reality.  Instead of trying yet again to repeal the Affordable Care Act
and allowing special interests to write their own rules, we should work
together to keep improving our healthcare system for everybody.  Instead
of kicking millions off their insurance and doubling the number of uninsured
Americans, as the House Republican budget would do, we should work together to
make sure every American has a chance to get covered.

Five
years ago, we declared that in America, quality, affordable health care is not
a privilege, it is a right.  And I’ll never stop working to protect that
right for those who already have it, and extend it to those who don’t, so that
all of us can experience the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness in this country we love.  

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