In conjunction with a political organization called “Protect Our Care,” which seeks to provide “outreach, rapid response, research and messaging center in the fight to protect health care,” former President Barack Obama released a video in which he celebrated and touted the reforms passed in the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA, commonly called Obamacare by critics and supporters alike, passed Congress and was signed into law 10 years ago on March23.
“It’s been 10 years since we passed the Affordable Care Act. With your help, it’s the closest we’ve ever come to universal coverage in America,” Obama said in the video.
The former president touted the law for helping millions of Americans, noting how people are “alive today” who might not have been had it not been for the act’s passage.
The ACA, according to Obama in the video message, helped to protect 135 million people in the United States from being denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. It also helped young people stay on their parents coverage plans longer, helped seniors with affording prescription medicines, and worked to ensure women weren’t charged more “just because they’re women,” Obama said.
In spite of all the positives that the law has produced, however, Obama warned that Republican lawmakers were still trying to dismantle his signature legislative accomplishment. The 2018 midterm elections were a rebuke to those efforts, he said.
“But even with a House of Representatives committed to building on the Affordable Care Act, Republicans will keep trying, both in Congress and in the courts, to rip away the care that millions of Americans rely on, and to raise costs for millions more,” Obama added.
President Donald Trump has been part of that effort. In the first few months of his presidency, he attempted to pass legislation in Congress that would have eliminated Obamacare completely — but a few Republicans in the Senate rejected the “repeal and replace” plan Trump pushed forward.
The Trump administration is also involved in a lawsuit that seeks to declare the ACA as unconstitutional — a move that has the potential to eliminate all protections within it, including pre-existing conditions.
Nevertheless, Trump earlier this year had the gall to say that he was the president who put those protections in place.
“I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now,” Trump wrote in a tweet in January.
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.