The President's Weekly Address
Hi, everybody. For decades, too many working Americans went without the security of health insurance, and their financial well-being suffered because of it. We've begun to change that. As the Affordable Care Act has taken effect, we've covered 17.6 million Americans. Since 2010, the uninsured rate has decreased by 45 percent. And for the first time, more than 90 percent of Americans are covered.
If you haven't gotten covered yet, or if you care about someone who hasn't gotten covered yet, now's your chance. It's open enrollment season for the health insurance marketplace. What that means is, with a few clicks on healthcare.gov, you'll find private insurance companies competing for your business. You can compare plans and choose the one that's right for your family. In fact, most Americans will find an option that costs less than $75 a month. Even if you already have insurance through the marketplace, check it out. Shopping around can save you a lot of money. Last year, consumers who shopped saved almost $400.
Take the story of a man named Phil Viso, who e-mailed me earlier this year. Phil's a software developer from my hometown of Chicago. Last winter, he had an idea for a new app and decided to start his own company. And that can be scary when you need to get your own insurance. But Phil logged on to healthcare.gov, answered a few questions, picked a plan, and even found out he was eligible for a tax credit that saved him money.
And here's what he wrote: "I'm still sort of in shock about how great the experience of signing up for health care was. . . . I will have a lot to worry about over the course of the year as I try to get my app released, but thankfully, good health care will not be one of those worries."
After he sent me that e-mail, Phil ended up getting a new and better job anyway. But that's the whole point of health insurance. Peace of mind. And under the Affordable Care Act, if you want to change jobs, go back to school, or chase that new idea, you can do it without worrying about going broke if you get sick. If you've got a preexisting condition—diabetes or cancer or heartburn or a heart attack—you can no longer be charged more or denied coverage. You can no longer be charged more just for being a woman. And preventive care like checkups and immunizations now come with no additional out-of-pocket costs.
What we're talking about is no longer just a law, and it's certainly not the myths and scare tactics that the cynics have peddled our way for years. This is reality. This is health care in America. And the bottom line is, Americans like it. They're happy with their plans, and they're happy with their premiums.
So join them. Give it a shot. Check out healthcare.gov, cuidadodesalud.gov, or call 1-800-318-2596 to find a plan that's right for you or someone you care about.
And by the way, if you live in one of the 20 cities participating in our Healthy Communities Challenge, I want to see how many of your neighbors you can get to sign up. I'll come visit the city that enrolls the highest percentage of folks who aren't covered right now. That's a promise.
After all, this country is at its best when we look out for each other. And together, we can help more Americans get the security that they and their families deserve. Thanks, everybody. Have a great weekend.
NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 4:05 p.m. on November 6 in The Map Room at the White House for broadcast on November 7. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 6, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on November 7.
Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/311350