In 2010, President Obama and Congressional Democrats put American families in control of their own health care and ended a system that put profits ahead of patients with the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Since then, 20 million more Americans have gained access to quality, affordable health coverage. Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be discriminated against by insurance companies. Parents can now keep their children on their insurance plans up to age 26. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to put annual or lifetime limits on coverage or drop people when they get sick. And, thanks to the law, Medicare costs – from premiums and deductibles to overall program spending – have slowed to well below the levels projected before the law passed.
While Democrats are committed to building on the success of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and Congressional Republicans wasted months in a failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They jammed their flawed TrumpCare legislation through the House of Representatives without a single hearing, without hearing from a single witness, and without knowing the full consequences of the bill until after it passed the House. Following House passage, Republicans in the Senate attempted to pass a number of versions of their own TrumpCare bill, but ultimately failed to secure votes to pass the legislation.
While Republicans had multiple versions of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the main points were always the same: tens of millions of Americans would be kicked off their covereage, premiums would increase for millions of Americans, annual and lifetime limits on coverage would effectively be brought back, and insurance companies would be allowed to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions by pricing them out of the market.
After their failure to repeal and replace the ACA, President Trump and Republicans are now taking steps to sabotage the law. Their actions are injecting uncertainty into health insurance markets, such as threatening to end cost-sharing reduction payments that reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income working families. Already, consumers are seeing the impact of these actions with health insurers making plans to raise premiums or exit marketplaces. With control of all levers of government, Republicans are fully in charge of the health care system. Democrats will continue to urge Republicans to work with us to improve health care access and affordability and to strengthen the ACA and ensure all Americans can access affordable health coverage.