Eleven years ago today, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, ensuring a better quality of life for Iowans. The uninsured rate has been cut in half, insurers can no longer deny, drop, or limit your care because of a pre-existing condition, out-of-pocket spending has dropped by double digits, millions of people benefit from tax credits to pay for coverage or no-cost preventive care, women can no longer be charged more than men, and millions of young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26.
Where U.S. Health Care Stands 11 Years After The Affordable Care Act:
- GAINED: Protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.
- GAINED: Medicaid expansion, which covers 15 million people.
- GAINED: Nearly 12 million seniors pay less for prescription drugs.
- GAINED: 2.3 million adult children are able to stay on their parents’ insurance.
- GAINED: Three million children nationwide gained coverage.
- GAINED: Insurance companies are banned from charging women 50 percent more than men.
- GAINED: Financial assistance that helps 9 million people purchase coverage.
- GAINED: Key support for rural hospitals.
- GAINED: Ban on insurance companies having annual and lifetime caps on coverage.
- GAINED: Requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care.
- GAINED: Improved access to care and financial security for families.
Despite the relentless threats from Republicans in recent years to repeal the ACA, it is now more popular than ever. Furthermore, thanks to Congressional Democrats and President Biden signing the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law, the ARP includes the largest health insurance coverage expansion since the enactment of the ACA in 2010. Healthcare access and affordability is necessary for all Americans at any time, but especially during a global pandemic.
“The importance of the Affordable Care Act becomes more evident every year,” said Mike McCarthy, President of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans. “For seniors with Medicare, the ACA means lower prescription drug costs and free preventive health care services. The ACA is also critical for more than 319,000 Iowans between the ages of 55 and 64 who have one or more pre-existing health conditions, ensuring they can get the affordable health care coverage they need.”
“This past year has taught us that the best way to protect everyone is to ensure that every person has access to quality affordable healthcare,” said Sue Dinsdale, Director of Iowa Citizen Action Network and leader of Health Care for America NOW in Iowa. “When everyone has access to healthcare, we can all do our part to keep each other safe and take care of our families. The Affordable Care Act has proved its value during the pandemic by covering more people and providing critical protections against discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. It should not have taken a public health crisis to make ACA coverage more affordable, but since it did, lawmakers need to make the improvements permanent so everyone will have healthcare–because we are going to continue to need it.”
“Eleven years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Iowans still believe that no matter where we come from or what color we are, we want to make sure that everyone has health care, and can go to the doctor without going bankrupt,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Unfortunately to this day there are politicians and lobbyists trying to undermine this landmark law in an attempt to sell off our health to the highest bidder, letting insurance corporations and big pharma lobbyists make billions while they deny us quality, affordable care. They try to divide us against each other based on what we look like or how much money we have, but we choose to stand together for the future we deserve. We organized and advocated for the health care and the future we believed in and the result was the Affordable Care Act. Despite their attacks it is still the law of the land, and we are still doing all we can to build on its success and make sure Iowa is a place where every family can get the care we need.”