In March 2010, President Obama fulfilled a promise that Democrats have pursued for nearly a century: making quality, affordable health care available to all Americans. In all, seven presidents pushed for health reform over the years. We have finally made real the principle that every American should have access to quality health care, and no one should go bankrupt just because they get sick — and we’ll never stop fighting to protect that principle.
For decades Democrats have fought for the simple idea that everyone should have some basic security in health care. When President Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965, we were finally able to provide that security to America’s seniors. In 1997, Democrats passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which currently covers 8 million kids.
But it took nearly a century to extend that basic measure of security to all Americans.
In 2010, despite unanimous opposition from Republicans, Democrats were finally able to pass comprehensive health reform into law.
Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million Americans have gained health care coverage and the uninsured rate has been cut almost in half. Among the newly insured are more than 2.3 million young adults who are covered because the Affordable Care Act allows them to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions is now illegal, and nearly 8 in 10 Americans who recently shopped for health insurance in the marketplace could get it for less than $100 per month.
The Affordable Care Act has also allowed states to expand Medicaid to help even more Americans get covered. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid, and Medicaid and SCHIP enrollment has risen 26 percent.
The Affordable Care Act also provides tax credits to small businesses to help offset the costs of employee coverage and tax credits to help families pay for insurance. We are also experiencing health care spending growth at its lowest level in 50 years.
Democrats are committed to preserving and protecting the Affordable Care Act and the peace of mind it has brought to millions of Americans, and they will fight all attempts by the Trump administration to repeal the law and take health care away from tens of millions of Americans.
We are proud of this progress we have already made and are will work to extend and preserve it for generations to come.