Weekly Address: President Obama – Affordable Care Act is Making a Difference for Millions of Americans

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 discussed the progress we’ve made because of the Affordable Care Act. As the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect, 17.6 million Americans have gained coverage, and the nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever. The deadline to sign up for 2016 health coverage on the Marketplace is quickly approaching on January 31, and the President encouraged even more Americans to join the more than 11 million people who have already signed up so far this year – and who are enjoying the financial security and peace of mind that comes with knowing you have affordable, portable health coverage.

Transcript: Weekly Address: Affordable Care Act is Making a Difference for Millions of Americans

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address, The White House, January 23, 2016

Hi, everybody. When I took office seven years ago this week, more than 15% of Americans went without health insurance. For folks who did have coverage, insurance companies could deny you coverage or charge you more just because you’d been sick. And too many Americans gave up their dreams of changing jobs or going back to school because they couldn’t risk giving up their employer-based insurance plan.

We’ve changed that. As the Affordable Care Act has taken effect, nearly 18 million Americans have gained coverage. In fact, for the first time ever, more than 90 percent of Americans are covered. Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or be charged more just because they’ve been sick. 137 million Americans with private insurance are now guaranteed preventive care coverage. We’ve done all this while cutting our deficits and keeping health care inflation to its lowest levels in fifty years. And we’ve begun filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we change jobs, lose a job, go back to school, or start that new business, we can still get coverage.

If you want to know how important that is, just ask an American like Heather Bragg.

Heather’s a small business owner in Bluffton, South Carolina. Last year, she wrote me a letter and told me how, for years, her family had depended on her husband’s job for their insurance. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, her husband Mike had the freedom to switch jobs and join Heather at the small business she’d launched a few years ago.

Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they found better coverage that actually saved them hundreds of dollars a month. Today, Heather only pays about ten dollars for the asthma inhaler she needs. “For the first time,” Heather wrote, “we’re not living paycheck to paycheck; we’re able to pay our bills and put some money back into savings.” And because Mike doesn’t have to work nights or weekends anymore, he can coach their son’s soccer team and tuck the kids in at night. And you can’t put a price on something like that.

If you haven’t looked at your new coverage options, you’ve still got time to get covered on the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2016. You have until January 31 – next Sunday – to enroll. Just go to HealthCare.gov, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, or call 1-800-318-2596. Most folks buying a plan on the Marketplace can find an option that costs less than $75 a month. Even if you already have insurance, take a few minutes to shop around. In fact, consumers who switched to a new plan for 2016 ended up saving an average of more than $500.

That’s what the Affordable Care Act did. This is health care in America today. Affordable, portable security for you and your loved ones. It’s making a difference for millions of Americans every day. And it’s only going to get better. Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Bolding added.




  1. In case you need a reminder, THIS is a BHD:

    Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or be charged more just because they’ve been sick.

  2. In the News: Yesterday, the president issued a statement on the 43rd Anniversary of the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision:

    Today, we mark the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed a woman’s freedom to make her own choices about her body and her health. The decision supports the broader principle that the government should not intrude on private decisions made between a woman and her doctor. As we commemorate this day, we also redouble our commitment to protecting these constitutional rights, including protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her right to reproductive freedom from efforts to undermine or overturn them. In America, every single one of us deserves the rights, freedoms, and opportunities to fulfill our dreams.

  3. Speaking of health insurance, the Affordable Care Act “kicking people off coverage” makes a nice right-wing talking point but doesn’t rise to the level of “actual fact”.

    What’s The Real Reason Ted Cruz Doesn’t Have Health Insurance?

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) revealed Thursday that he and his family — including his two young daughters — are not currently covered by health insurance. His reason? The 2016 presidential candidate told his audience at a New Hampshire campaign stop that his provider, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, had dropped all of its individual policies and he was finding an alternative because “our premiums are going up 50 percent.” […]

    BCBS-Texas did not drop all of its individual plans, but rather just its PPO plans –a type of health insurance that tends to be more expensive but also more flexible, because it allows consumers to visit a variety of caregivers without first receiving a referral. The insurer continued to offer its HMO plans and said it dropped its PPO plans in order to keep the other plans affordable.

    “Last year we informed members that we would no longer offer PPO’s to individual policy holders, but would work to transition them to other available insurance plans for individuals so they would not experience a gap in coverage,” said BCBS-Texas spokeswoman Edna Pérez-Vega, via email to TPM. “Those who have been transitioned also have the option of choosing different plans for 2016. We worked with the members and their providers to minimize the impact of this change to their ongoing care, particularly if they needed to transfer their care to other providers.”

    BCBS-Texas announced it was dropping the PPOs in July, meaning Cruz had months to find a plan before his coverage lapsed Dec. 31. (The open enrollment deadline for coverage kicking in on Jan. 1 was December 17).

    Hey, Ted, your failure to read your notices and take care of your family is not a failure of the Affordable Care Act. But blaming President Obama is pretty much all that you and your ilk have to run on so I can see how it would find its way into your stump speech.

    • Turns out that Ted Cruz is a liar!! (I hope you were sitting down)

      In a reversal from claims made on the campaign trail, Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is now saying the senator and his family do have health insurance and never lost coverage. The late night Friday revelation came more than 24 hours after Cruz had told a New Hampshire audience that he and his family were without health insurance and were scrambling to obtain new coverage–and used the claim to slam Obamacare for the mess he was in.

      In statements to Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal, campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier blamed Cruz’s false assertion that his family had lost their health insurance on a misunderstanding. She said an insurance broker told Cruz that BlueCross BlueShield of Texas was dropping his PPO plan, but Frazier said that the broker did not tell Cruz his family was automatically being transferred to the carrier’s HMO plan.

  4. What a wonderful radio address about the Affordable Care Act! This is, of course, our president’s signature achievement. And ol’ Bernie wants to gut it and start over again? With a Rethug House and Senate? He’s so naive. For a senator, he’s really naive.

    Well, I don’t want to get started on The Bern. Thank you for posting the radio address, Jan, and the other posts as well.

    • Exactly! Single payer has no chance and in fact the implementation of single-payer in his own State of Vermont is in deep trouble. The numbers simply don’t work. Insurance companies, for all their flaws, can’t just be cut out of the process. The ACA included them in the process and leveraged their infrastructure to get products to the uninsured rather than toss them out completely which would have been both impractical and politically impossible.

      I think a better use of one’s time would be working towards adding a public option to the Exchanges to allow for a plan like Medicare to be offered by the federal government. That was left on the cutting room floor in 2009 when the ACA was being worked out.

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