Statement on the 12th Anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Twelve years ago, I proudly stood beside President Barack Obama as he signed into law the most consequential expansion of health care in generations: the Affordable Care Act. With the stroke of a pen—after decades of tireless efforts—millions of Americans gained peace of mind. And because of my administration's efforts, including passing the landmark American Rescue Plan, we have lowered health care costs and made coverage more accessible than ever before, even amid a global pandemic.
The ACA delivered quality, affordable health coverage to more than 30 million Americans, giving families the freedom and confidence to pursue their dreams without the fear that one accident or illness would bankrupt them. This law is the reason we have protections for preexisting conditions in America. It is why women can no longer be charged more simply because they are women. It reduced prescription drug costs for nearly 12 million seniors. It allows millions of Americans to get free preventive screenings so they can catch cancer or heart disease early, saving countless lives. And it is the reason why parents can keep children on their insurance plans until they turn 26.
When I ran for President, I promised I would protect and build on Obamacare—and that's exactly what my administration has done. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, ACA premiums are at an alltime low, while enrollment is at an alltime high. Four out of five Americans can find quality coverage for under $10 a month, and families are saving an average of $2,400 on their annual premiums; that's $200 in savings every month that families can spend on gas, groceries, and other necessities. We lowered costs and increased enrollment to a record high 14.5 million Americans gaining quality health coverage last year—including nearly 6 million who enrolled for the first time—with an additional 18.7 million low-income Americans now covered by Medicaid expansion. We've also reached communities that have historically been left behind, with the healthcare.gov enrollment rate increasing by 26 percent for Hispanic Americans and 35 percent for Black Americans.
We've made tremendous progress, but our work is far from over. Over the last 12 years, Republicans in Congress have voted more than 70 times to repeal the ACA, with no real plan to replace it. Just this year, a Republican Senator shared his plan to repeal the ACA, strip protections from the 100 million Americans with preexisting conditions, and jack up premiums. As Republicans try to raise health care costs for the middle class, Congressional Democrats and I will do everything in our power to protect and build on Obamacare's landmark achievements.
NOTE: The statement referred to Sen. Richard L. Scott.
Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the 12th Anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/355042