U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Welcomes President Obama to Milwaukee

Baldwin: “The Affordable Care Act is working for Wisconsin.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of the upcoming sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today welcomed President Barack Obama to Milwaukee as the city celebrates winning the White House “Healthy Communities Challenge.” Milwaukee finished first in the contest among 20 communities across the country competing to enroll the most uninsured residents during the ACA’s open enrollment period for health coverage in 2016.

“The Affordable Care Act is working for Wisconsin and I’m so proud to welcome President Obama to Milwaukee as the city celebrates our victory in the ‘Healthy Communities Challenge.’ This award is an example of the strong dedication from our community leaders and advocates, including Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele, who came together to make the Affordable Care Act work for Milwaukee and to help improve the health and economic security of Wisconsinites,” said Senator Baldwin. “Thanks to all of the hard work done in Milwaukee, more Wisconsin families now have the quality, affordable health coverage that they need and deserve.”

Milwaukee won the White House “Healthy Communities Challenge” with over 38,000 people in the Milwaukee area newly selecting a plan through the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace. In total, during the 2016 open enrollment period, over 89,000 people in the Milwaukee area and nearly 240,000 individuals across Wisconsin signed up for quality, affordable coverage through the ACA’s Marketplace – a 16 percent increase from one year ago.

On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the ACA into law, putting in place comprehensive reforms that improve access to affordable health coverage for everyone and protect consumers from abusive insurance company practices. Today, the ACA is working for Wisconsin and the country. Nationally, 17.6 million previously uninsured people had gained coverage prior to this year’s open enrollment period. The ACA also created tax credits that, as of September 2015, have helped 7.8 million Americans, who otherwise could not afford it, purchase health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. Health insurers are now required to provide consumers with rebates if the amount they spend on health benefits and quality of care, as opposed to advertising and marketing, is too low.  Just last year, 5.5 million consumers received nearly $470 million in rebates.  Since this requirement was put in place in 2011 through 2014, more than $2.4 billion in total refunds will have been paid to consumers.

Out-of-pocket costs have been eliminated for preventive services like immunizations, certain cancer screenings, contraception, reproductive counseling, obesity screening, and behavioral assessments for children. This coverage is guaranteed for more than 137 million Americans, including 55 million women.

In addition, out-of-pocket costs have been eliminated for 39 million Medicare beneficiaries for preventive services like cancer screenings, bone-mass measurements, annual physicals, and smoking cessation. The ACA also phases out the “donut hole” coverage gap for nearly 10.7 million Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries, who have saved an average of $1,945 per beneficiary. 

For more on the President’s overall record on providing quality, affordable health care for Americans, visit: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-record/health-care