The president held a conference at the White House on Wednesday, March 23, 2015 for the Affordable Healthcare Act’s (ACA) fifth anniversary to detail the achievements of the law, and to criticize those who would otherwise repeal it.
During his speech, he discussed several features that are available to those enrolled. Features include that individuals under the ACA can no longer be charged more or denied coverage for any preexisting conditions, women can no longer be charged more for health insurance because of their gender, people under the age of 26 can remain on their parents’ coverage, preventive care now comes with no additional out-of-pocket expenses, and that portable health insurance options that are available.
President Obama also discussed the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP), a portion of the law that penalizes hospitals if patients are readmitted after being discharged within a 30-day period.
The president said that the HRRP is a major reason why there have been 50,000 fewer preventable patient deaths as a result of hospitals being pushed to improve the quality of patient visits rather than the quantity of them.
He continued to discuss the accomplishments of Obamacare within the 29 (including Washington D.C.) states that it affects.
President Obama said, “After five years of the ACA, more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained healthcare coverage.”
He stated how the ACA has been able to succeed despite the opposition it faces from republicans looking to repeal the law, and criticized them for doing so.
“It’s not the job killer that critics have warned about for five years. When the law was passed, businesses began the longest streak of private section growth on record. 60 straight months, five years, 12 million new jobs. Nor is it the fiscal disaster critics warned about for five years. Healthcare prices are rising at the slowest rate in nearly 30 years.”He stated that this has helped cut the deficit by two-thirds since he took office.
Additionally he stated, “for folks who are basing their entire political agenda on repealing the law, they have to explain how kicking millions of families off their insurance is somehow going to make us more free, or why forcing families to pay thousands of dollars more will make us more secure, or why we should go back to the days when women payed more for coverage than men.”
View the entire speech below.