Obamacare is the largest healthcare expansion in 50 years, and you are the reason why the ACA has been so successful.
The LA Times collected some numbers on the historic nature of the ACA:
• At least 6 million people have signed up for health coverage on the new marketplaces, about one-third of whom were previously uninsured.
• A February survey by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found 27% of new enrollees were previously uninsured, but newer survey data from the nonprofit Rand Corp. and reports from marketplace officials in several states suggest that share increased in March.
• At least 4.5 million previously uninsured adults have signed up for state Medicaid programs, according to Rand’s unpublished survey data, which were shared with The Times. That tracks with estimates from Avalere Health, a consulting firm that is closely following the law’s implementation.
• An additional 3 million young adults have gained coverage in recent years through a provision of the law that enables dependent children to remain on their parents’ health plans until they turn 26, according to national health insurance surveys from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
• About 9 million people have bought health plans directly from insurers, instead of using the marketplaces, Rand found. The vast majority of these people were previously insured.
• Fewer than a million people who had health plans in 2013 are now uninsured because their plans were canceled for not meeting new standards set by the law, the Rand survey indicates.
Rand also found that the percentage of Americans without health insurance has dropped from 20.9% last fall to 16.6% today.
None of this would have happened without you. Democrats in Congress passed a law, the president signed it, and the Supreme Court upheld it, but it was millions of Americans who made the law a success. Republicans and their allies have tried for years to convince people that they didn’t need healthcare. They did everything in their power to scare people into not going on the website. They tried to terrify people into not signing up.
It could have worked. The Republican tactics might have been successful if it wasn’t for the millions of people who decided that the GOP was wrong. You decided not to listen to the Republicans. You stuck it out when the website struggled through its initial rollout.
When you couldn’t sign up in October, you came back. You kept trying, because you wanted access to affordable healthcare. The status quo was unacceptable. You were the change that you could believe in. President Obama and the Democrats provided the vehicle, and the American people drove it home.
Today is a historic day that belongs to everyone who fought hard for affordable healthcare.
This victory belongs to you.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association