Against all odds, the Affordable Care Act turned 5 today. In its short lifetime, they've tried to repeal it over 50 times, it survived a Supreme Court challenge, and faces yet another.
But while they try to kill it, people all over the country are thriving because of it.
In the words of Joe Biden, it was and is a Big F*cking Deal. So much of one, in fact, that I'm wearing the t-shirt with BFD splashed across it that OFA put out after Biden said that.
From the White House:
The cynics said this law would kill jobs and cripple our economy. Despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly 12 million new jobs since this law was passed, some still insist it’s a threat. But a growing body of evidence – actual facts – shows that the Affordable Care Act is good for our economy. In stark contrast to predictions that this law would cause premiums to skyrocket, last year the growth in health care premium costs for businesses matched its lowest level on record. If premiums had kept growing over the last four years at the rate they had in the last decade, the average family premium would be $1,800 higher than it is today. That’s $1,800 that stays in your pocket or doesn’t come out of your paycheck. And in part because health care prices have grown at their slowest rate in nearly 50 years since this law was passed, we’ve been able to cut our deficits by two-thirds. Health care costs that have long been the biggest factor driving our projected long-term up deficits up are now the single biggest factor driving those deficits down.
The Affordable Care Act has been the subject of more scrutiny, more rumor, more attempts to dismantle and undermine it than just about any law in recent history. But five years later, it is succeeding – in fact, it’s working better than even many of its supporters expected. It’s time to embrace reality. Instead of trying yet again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and allowing special interests to write their own rules, we should work together to keep improving our healthcare system for everybody. Instead of kicking millions off their insurance and doubling the number of uninsured Americans, as the House Republican budget would do, we should work together to make sure every American has a chance to get covered.
Five years ago, we declared that in America, quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, it is a right. And I’ll never stop working to protect that right for those who already have it, and extend it to those who don’t, so that all of us can experience the blessings of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in this country we love.
Yes, the ACA could use some tuning up. It's not perfect. But it's not something I or my family could live without, and I mean that literally.
May it, and those who benefit from it, live a long, happy, healthy productive life.
Bonus: Steve Benen's excellent piece on 10 ways Obamacare's critics were absolutely 100 percent wrong.