Quality, accessible, affordable healthcare should be a right, not just a privilege reserved for the wealthy few. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we've made this fundamental right a reality. I am proud of the work I did in the Ways and Means Committee to prohibit health insurance companies from charging women higher health insurance premiums than men.
The numbers speak for themselves – tens of millions of uninsured Americans have gained health insurance coverage since enactment of the ACA. Millions more got health coverage through the ACA Marketplaces, including young adults who were able to obtain or continue coverage on their parents’ policies, and those who are newly covered by Medicaid.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, working families have more security, and many of those who already had health insurance now have better coverage. In the private market, millions more now have access to expanded coverage for preventive health care services, such as a mammogram or flu shot, without cost sharing. Benefits in other plans (e.g., job-based coverage) are more reliable than ever before. As an added benefit, the ACA reduced the rate of healthcare cost growth by spending our health care dollars more wisely.
While the ACA is not perfect, efforts at wholesale destruction of the law and erosion of the coverage and consumer protections are unproductive. I will continue work across the aisle with Republican colleagues to make this law more effective but I will not vote for any law that will deny healthcare for millions of Americans.
I am proud to have helped pass the Affordable Care Act and the improvements it made to Medicare. The ACA makes Medicare stronger by adding new benefits, fighting fraud, and improving care for patients. And we’re already seeing results: So far, 8.2 million seniors have saved more than $11.5 billion on their prescription drugs since 2010, an average of $1,407 per senior. And over the next ten years, the law will save the average person in Medicare $4,200.
Today, more than 37 million seniors in Medicare have also received free preventive services with no co-pay under the Affordable Care Act, and Medicare Part B premiums have held steady for the last three years. The ACA also managed to control medical costs and extend the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund until at least 2030. These are remarkable accomplishments and I’m proud to support healthcare reform that provides better care and better results for our seniors.