Login Register Subscribe
Current Issue

Obama praises health reform law's track record as future clouds

Reprints

Six years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama is lauding the law's accomplishments in the face of potential changes after his administration ends.

Thanks to the ACA, which he signed on March 23, 2010, “20 million more Americans now know the security of having health insurance, and our uninsured rate is below 10% for the first time on record,” President Obama said Tuesday in a statement.

That expansion of coverage is largely credited to ACA provisions that extended federal subsidies to the lower-income uninsured to fully or partially offset premiums for coverage obtained in public exchanges; boosted federal payments to states that boost incomes individuals can earn and still be eligible for coverage in their Medicaid programs; and required employers to extend group coverage to employees' adult children up to age 26.

“The facts are clear: America is on a stronger footing because of the law,” President Obama said.

Still, the future of the law is far from certain. The three remaining contenders for the Republican presidential nomination — Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Ohio Gov. Kasich — all strongly back repealing the ACA.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is seeking the Democratic party's presidential nomination, also backs repealing the ACA and replacing it with a federal government single-payer system.

The other Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, backs the ACA while also endorsing several changes to the law, including repeal of its 40% excise tax on the portion of health insurance premiums that exceed certain amounts and lowering the maximum amount of out-of-pocket health care expenses employers can require employees to pick up.