"America is stronger because of the Affordable Care Act": Obama defends signature law on seventh anniversary

In what may be the Affordable Care Act's last anniversary, Obama stresses what the bill has done


Rachel Leah
March 23, 2017 7:52PM (UTC)

It's been seven years since President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act was signed into law, changing the landscape of healthcare in the United States. On Thursday morning, Obama released a statement commemorating the anniversary.

"After a century of talk, decades of trying, and a year of bipartisan debate, our generation was the one that succeeded. We finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few, but a right for everybody," he wrote.

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Obama's statement came as House Republicans were deciding whether the Affordable Care Act will be dismantled in favor of the President Donald Trump-backed American Health Care Act, which could strip millions of Americans of health insurance.

In his statement, Obama affirmed the bill's success in bridging the gap of uninsured Americans. "Thanks to this law, more than twenty million Americans have gained the security and peace of mind of health insurance. Thanks to this law, more than ninety percent of Americans are insured - the highest rate in our history," Obama wrote.

Obama also took the liberty of countering what he described as "false claims":

And reality continues to dispel this false claim that this law is in a "death spiral," because while it's true that some premiums have risen, the vast majority of Marketplace enrollees have experienced no average premium hike at all. And so long as the law is properly administered, this market will remain stable. Likewise, this law is no "job-killer," because America's businesses went on a record-breaking streak of job growth in seven years since I signed it.

The fate of the Affordable Care Act remains uncertain, but Obama is making a clear case for its legacy. "America is stronger because of the Affordable Care Act," he wrote.

Read the full statement below.


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

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