Last week, the Secretary of Health and Human Services was reported as claiming, in remarks to the American Legislative Exchange Council, that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has caused 28 million Americans to be uninsured. In light of this statement, we highlight the many ways the ACA has actually expanded access to insurance coverage and critical health services.
The Affordable Care Act:
- Increased access to health care for 20 million people.
- Expanded Medicaid access in expansion states to non-elderly adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level.
- Prohibited insurers from putting annual or lifetime limits on benefits for necessary health care.
- Prohibited insurers from charging consumers with pre-existing health conditions more, or denying them coverage simply because of their health status.
- Ensured women are no longer forced to pay higher insurance rates because of their gender.
- Required plans to cover “essential health benefits,” including ambulatory services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity care, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services, and pediatric services.
- Strengthened Medicare by providing beneficiaries with preventive services such as cancer screenings with no cost sharing, as well as relief from high prescription drug costs while in the “donut hole” coverage gap.
- Ensured that older consumers can’t be charged more than three times what younger people are charged for coverage.
It is clear that the ACA has done much to expand access to coverage for millions of American consumers. Statements to the contrary are unfortunate and only serve to erode public confidence in the ACA Marketplace. We continue to call on the Administration to end the attacks on health care and work to strengthen the Affordable Care Act.
See Protect Our Care’s fact check of the Secretary’s remarks at: https://www.protectourcare.org/factcheck-azars-lies-at-alec/