03.23.15

Baldwin and Senate Democrats Mark Affordable Care Act Anniversary, Decry Efforts to Roll Back Progress

More Than 16 Million Uninsured Americans Gained Affordable Health Coverage Because Of The Law; Number Of Americans Without Health Insurance Has Fallen 35%, The Most In About 40 Years; 9.4 Million Seniors Have Saved More Than $15 Billion On Prescription Drugs; Republican Budget Would Roll Back The Clock, Kick Over 11 Million To The Curb

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT)Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) marked the fifth anniversary of the day President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. At a time when the law’s successes are undeniable, Republicans are pushing radical budget proposals that would:

Invalidate health coverage for over 11 million Americans who signed up through open enrollment

  • Put up to 129 million Americans at risk of being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition
  • Allow insurance companies to reinstate lifetime benefit caps on 105 million people
  • Repeal coverage options that allowed 5.7 million young adults to gain health insurance since 2010
  • Permit insurance companies to charge women more than men for the exact same plan
  • Re-open the Medicare donut hole, raising prescription drug costs for millions of seniors
  • Let insurance companies off the hook for preventive care, annual checkups and cancer screenings

"Over 16 million uninsured people have gained affordable health coverage since passage of the Affordable Care Act," said Baldwin. "The Affordable Care Act is working and yet, Congressional Republicans continue to be obsessed with repealing the protections that prevent insurance companies from discriminating against children based on pre-existing medical conditions and charging women more than men for their insurance. Instead of working to rig the rules for special interests, Congressional Republicans should work to move the Affordable Care Act forward and work on bipartisan budget that creates economic growth and security for the middle class."

“Five years in, it’s clear the Affordable Care Act is doing exactly what it was intended to do,” said Murphy. “More people have access to care, the number of uninsured is plummeting, and health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. Yet rather than join in celebrating our undeniable progress, Republicans are turning their backs on millions of families by repealing our national progress and putting insurance companies back in the driver's seat. We cannot let that happen."

Schumer said, “Five years and dozens of Republican repeal votes later, it’s clear that the Affordable Care Act is working. It has bent the cost curve, provided millions of women with free preventive care, and saved seniors thousands and thousands on their prescription drugs. The Affordable Care Act works, and every day, more and more American families are experiencing its benefits.”

“The number of people who, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, now have the peace of mind that health insurance brings - 16 million,” Durbin said. “I supported that bill for a simple reason: no one should have to go a day in their life without health care coverage. Since people began enrolling in Illinois, we’ve had over 800,000 sign up for insurance plans through the marketplace or through the expansion of Medicaid. Nationally, healthcare costs are rising at the slowest rate in decades. The Affordable Care Act is working and has made a difference for so many across America.”

Brown said, “Because of the health care law, millions more Americans and Ohioans have health coverage, some for the first time in their lives. When elected leaders with health coverage try to take away coverage from working Americans, it represents an assault on public health.”

“Over the last five years, the Affordable Care Act has helped millions of Americans gain access to health insurance and has provided free preventive screenings and discounted prescription drugs,” said Whitehouse. “And yet, the Republican budget repeals the ACA’s protections and lets insurance companies go back to discriminating against consumers because of their health status, preexisting conditions, or gender.  It’s time for Senate Republicans to start listening to the ACA success stories from Rhode Island and elsewhere, and stop trying to undo a law that is working.”

"After five years, it's clear every Republican prediction about Obamacare was wrong," Boxer said. "Just ask the 16 million Americans who now have access to health care."

“The Affordable Care Act is working and it is here to stay. Five years ago, a majority in Congress took the decisive step to move our country closer to guaranteeing affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans while shifting our health system to a greater focus on preventive care than sick care. No issue is more important for bringing down our federal deficits and controlling the seemingly out-of-control cost of health care,” said Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “Health care reform has had a very real, positive impact on Maryland families, small businesses and seniors.”