Weekly Address: President Obama – The Affordable Care Act is here to stay

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President called the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act a victory for hardworking Americans across the country, whose lives are more secure because of this law. The Affordable Care Act is working, and it is here to stay. 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. With this case behind us, the President reaffirmed his commitment to getting more people covered and making health care in America even better and more affordable.

Transcript: WEEKLY ADDRESS: The Affordable Care Act is Here to Stay

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.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Bolding added.

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  5 comments for “Weekly Address: President Obama – The Affordable Care Act is here to stay

  1. JanF
    June 27, 2015 at 7:17 am

    From Vox: Barack Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history:

    After Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, there’s no longer any doubt: Barack Obama is one of the most consequential presidents in American history — and he will be a particularly towering figure in the history of American progressivism.

    National health insurance has been the single defining goal of American progressivism for more than a century. There have been other struggles, of course: for equality for women, African-Americans, and LGBT people; for environmental protection; against militarism in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. But ever since its inclusion in Teddy Roosevelt’s 1912 Bull Moose platform, a federally guaranteed right to health coverage has been the one economic and social policy demand that loomed over all others. It was the big gap between our welfare state and those of our peers in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

    … on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. It wasn’t perfect by any means. It wasn’t single-payer; it lacked a public option, or all-payer rate-setting. And it still left many uninsured. But it established, for the first time in history, that it was the responsibility of the United States government to provide health insurance to nearly all Americans, and it expanded Medicaid and offered hundreds of billions of dollars in insurance subsidies to fulfill that responsibility.

    When you consider the law in the context of 100 years of progressive activism, and in the grand scheme of American history, it starts to look less like a moderate reform and more like an epochal achievement, on the order of FDR’s passage of Social Security, or LBJ’s Great Society programs. It is, to quote Harvard political scientist Theda Skocpol, “a century-defining accomplishment in the last industrial democracy to resist using national government to ensure access to health coverage for most citizens.” FDR failed, Truman failed, Nixon failed, Carter failed, Clinton failed — and Obama succeeded.

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  2. June 27, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Yes, indeed, it is our president’s signature achievement, and I’m deeply thankful for it.

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  3. princesspat
    June 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Danny Westneat, at the Seattle Times…..

    A pathological refusal to see any shred of good in Obamacare

    Suddenly our state is in sight of reaching a goal that has eluded health reformers for decades: universal coverage. But Congress doesn’t want to hear about it.

    This got drowned out by the roar of the U.S. Supreme Court’s thunderbolts. But our state’s insurance commissioner just went to Congress and told them some news that, had they been anybody but members of Congress, they might have found really interesting.

    One: The share of people in Washington State with no health coverage now is the lowest ever recorded, Mike Kreidler testified.

    Two: The rates insurers have requested to charge for policies in the individual insurance market next year are the lowest price increases in the 14 years Kreidler has been in office.

    Good news, right?

    The committee didn’t think so. Many members of the U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee either didn’t believe Kreidler or just appeared to ignore what he was saying.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/a-pathological-refusal-to-see-any-shred-of-good-in-obamacare/

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    • JanF
      June 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

      The Republican House has their ears closed to good news because to admit that it is good is to admit that their 50+ votes to repeal were immoral. History will not be kind to them.

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  4. JanF
    June 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    In the News: Good Government Election Laws from Montana:

    Montana, a state that has long prided itself on strict campaign finance laws, is giving up on barring corporations from political spending and is instead attempting to expose every penny spent by them in elections.

    Proposed rules released Wednesday to guide the state’s expansive election law approved earlier this year would increase disclosure requirements for corporations and committees granted free-speech rights by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2010 Citizens United ruling.

    “This is an embracing of Citizens United,” Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl said Thursday about the new law. “They can speak, they can spend their money. They simply have to tell Montanans how much they’re spending, who they spent it against or for, when they spent it and where they got that money from.”

    Montana, which had some of the toughest dark money laws in the country until Citizens United invalidated them, has been working on crafting a challenge-proof law since 2012. The Supreme Court explicitly gave permission to require disclosure rules (with the exception of Justice Clarence Thomas who dissented and said there should be no rules whatsoever).

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