At 11 Years, the Affordable Care Act Is More Important than Ever
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2021
CONTACT: Kathy Melley, (617) 791-0708
(BOSTON, MA) – Tomorrow, March 23, 2021, marks 11 years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. The ACA is now a fundamental part of the fabric of the American health care system, providing millions with access to coverage, care and critical consumer protections. The law has been a driving force behind the drop in adult uninsured rates for Black, brown and Indigenous people and in expanding access to care for millions of LGBTQ+ individuals. In the face of unrelenting partisan efforts to end it, including a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, the ACA has emerged more popular and vital than ever. It has played a crucial role during the pandemic, delivering health security to millions, especially those who have lost their jobs, income and health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan builds on the ACA to make health coverage more affordable, available and equitable.
Statement of Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding tomorrow’s 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.
“The ACA has created the biggest advancement in health care expansion and consumer protection in this country since Medicare and Medicaid, and it has transformed and saved countless lives. Essential workers keeping us safe during the pandemic now have affordable health coverage in states that expanded Medicaid. People with disabilities have greater economic independence because they don’t have to worry about losing coverage if they change jobs. Tens of millions of people with pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes and COVID-19, can no longer be denied or charged more for coverage. It would be a travesty for these people, and for the country, if the Supreme Court overturned the law.
“Yet, despite the many gains of the ACA, too many people across the country still can’t afford to go to the doctor when they get sick. It is unconscionable that 12 states have refused to expand Medicaid, disproportionately harming Black and brown people due to unfair and discriminatory barriers to economic security. The American Rescue Plan’s Medicaid expansion incentives and temporary premium relief are significant steps forward in building on the ACA to make coverage more affordable and available, but Congress needs to make them permanent.
“As we continue to confront the impact of the pandemic and the stark inequities it has exposed in our health system, it is more important than ever that policymakers protect and build on the ACA and expand Medicaid to make health coverage more affordable, accessible and equitable for all people across the nation. Community Catalyst will keep pushing to finish the job the ACA started, advance equity and improve our health system so it works for everyone.”
Click here for more background information on how the ACA has transformed and saved lives.
About Community Catalyst: Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. We partner with local, state, and national advocates to leverage community power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth.