More bad news for Republicans. President Obama announced today that he planned to go on offense and continue working to expand the reach of Obamacare to cover more Americans.
The President said:
Five years ago, we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for all. And this week, after more than fifty votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law; after a Presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law; after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, we can now say this for certain: the Affordable Care Act still stands, it is working, and it is here to stay.
On Thursday, when the Court upheld a critical part of the Affordable Care Act, it was a victory for hardworking Americans all across this country whose lives are more secure because of this law. This law means that if you’re a parent, you can keep your kids on your plan until they turn 26. If you’re a senior, or an American with a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions. You can’t be charged more just because you’re a woman. And you can’t be discriminated against just for having a pre-existing condition.
This law is working exactly as it’s supposed to – and in some ways, better than we expected it to. So far more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage. Nearly one in three Americans who was uninsured a few years ago is insured today. The uninsured rate in America is the lowest since we began to keep such records.
The law has helped hold the price of health care to its slowest growth in 50 years. If your family gets insurance through the workplace, not through the Affordable Care Act, you’re paying about $1,800 less per year on average than you would be if trends before this law had continued – which is good for workers and it’s good for the economy.
The point is, this is not some abstract political debate. For all the misinformation campaigns, and doomsday predictions; for all the talk of death panels and job destruction; for all the repeal attempts – this law is helping tens of millions of Americans. This isn’t just about Obamacare. This is health care in America.
With this case behind us, we’re going to keep working to make health care in America even better and more affordable, and to get more people covered. But it is time to stop refighting battles that have been settled again and again. It’s time to move on.
Because as Americans, we don’t go backwards, we move forwards. We take care of each other. We root for one another’s success. We strive to do better, to be better, than the generation before us, and we try to build something better for the generation coming behind us. With this behind us, let’s come together and keep building something better right now.
President Obama isn’t going to sit back and enjoy his administration’s victory. Obama is looking to expand the reach of the law by getting more people covered. The President can do this by aggressively promoting the law. He doesn’t need Congress, or a new piece of legislation.
The administration has been quietly at work trying to persuade those states that haven’t expanded Medicaid to do so. The President can use the platform of the presidency to aggressively promote the law.
The political battlefield has shifted from President Obama and Democrats defending the law to Republicans being knocked back on their heels as healthcare in the United States is changing forever.
President Obama is moving forward, and the Republican Party’s bad week just got a whole lot worse.
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