It has been eight years since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. March 23, 2010 is a significant day in United States history. It is a day when our country told the world all Americans are entitled to health care.
Now, eight years later, and despite assaults made on the law by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, the act is alive and well. However, our work is not done. We must be diligent and protective of the law and fight each day to strengthen and keep it in place.
Senate Democrats fought hard to expand traditional Medicaid and we succeeded. Not only did we combat attempts by former Gov. Tom Corbett to water down the law, but we strongly supported Gov. Tom Wolf when he expanded traditional Medicaid so that more of our citizens would be covered by healthcare insurance.
Here are some of our advocacy efforts:
Senator Hughes hosts an ACA Enrollment Event in November 2017
Sen. Hughes Remarks on the Impact of Trump Affordable Care Act Actions on October 18, 2017
Senator Vincent Hughes Holds a Press Conference to Discuss the Impact of ACA Repeal on March 13, 2017
The ACA has truly has changed lives. Consider its impact on Pennsylvania and our nation:
- 711,000 people were enrolled in the state’s expanded Medicaid program by September 2017, a number that has remained steady through early 2018. source
- 63,000 of those people received treatment for substance abuse in 2015 alone, helping to avert the opioid crisis that has hit Pennsylvania hard
- Gov. Tom Wolf announced in September 2017 that the uninsured rate in Pennsylvania had fallen to 5.6 percent as of 2016 — the lowest it had ever been, and down from nearly 10 percent before the ACA was implemented. source
- During the open enrollment period for 2018 coverage, 389,081 people enrolled in private plans through the Pennsylvania exchange. source
- HHS reported that 479,000 people gained health insurance coverage in Pennsylvania from 2010 to 2016 as a result of the ACA. That includes people who became newly insured in the individual market, as well as people who obtained coverage under expanded Medicaid (Pennsylvania was a year behind many other states, expanding coverage as of 2015 rather than 2014). source
- The newly insured total also includes 89,000 young adults who remained on their parents’ health insurance as a result of the ACA
- 78 percent of consumers on marketplace plans received financial assistance– an average of $248 per month – to offset premium costs. source
- 1 in 10 Pennsylvanians under the age of 65 have health coverage because of the ACA source
- An end to annual and lifetime limits: Under the ACA, insurers cannot set annual or lifetime limits on benefits. This consumer protection has impacted 4.5 million Pennsylvanians. source
- No discrimination based on pre-existing conditions: Up to 5.4 million people in Pennsylvania have a pre-existing health condition. Now, health insurance companies cannot refuse coverage or charge people more because of pre-existing conditions. source
- Prescription savings for seniors: In 2015, about 297,000 Medicare beneficiaries each saved an average of about $1,000 on their prescription drugs thanks to ACA provisions closing the Medicare donut hole – that’s a total of $313 million in savings for senior Pennsylvanians. source
- Despite the shortened enrollment period brought on by the Trump administration, there were 16 states that ended up with higher enrollment for 2018 than they had in 2017. source
- For 2018 coverage, 11.8 million people selected plans on the federal and state-based exchanges source
- Just over 8.7 million people signed up on the federal exchange, while a little over 3 million picked plans in the 11 states and District of Columbia, which run their own marketplaces.
- In 2016, there were 28.6 million Americans without health insurance, down from more than 48 million in 2010. source
- Some 20 million people have gained coverage under Obamacare. The nation’s uninsured rate dropped to a record low 8.6% [in 2016]. source
- [ACA] has meant lower premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing for the 57 million senior citizens and disabled Americans enrolled in the program source
- Obamacare requires that companies with at least 50 employees provide affordable insurance to their staffers who work more than 30 hours a week. source
- setting the bar at 30 hours a week prompted some employers to extend coverage to more of their staff since many companies had considered that threshold to be part-time
- The health reform law opened the program to low-income adults with incomes of up to 138 percent of the poverty line — $16,400 for a single person — in states that opted to expand their Medicaid programs. So far, 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, have done so. Some 11 million Americans have gained coverage under this provision. source