Affordable Care Act is Working

Learn about the Health Insurance Marketplace & your new coverage options. Get answers now

In 2010, President Obama and 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. Starting October 1, 2013, Americans will have access to the Affordable Care Act’s new Health Insurance Marketplaces, where individuals can comparison shop among a variety of quality health insurance plans and enroll in the plan that best suits their needs. These marketplaces will remain open through the end of March,  and coverage will begin on January 1st for those who sign up before December 15th.  I encourage you to watch my video below for more information about the benefits of the Health Insurance Marketplaces and visit for more information.

Health Insurance Marketplaces are just one example of how the Affordable Care Act will help ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. The law also includes a “Patients’ Bill of Rights,” which ends insurance company abuses and provides better private insurance protections. Today, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be discriminated against by insurance companies – a protection that extends to all Americans by January 2014. Parents can now keep their children on their insurance plans up to age 26. Insurance companies are no longer allowed to put lifetime limits on coverage or drop people when they get sick – and arbitrary limits on annual coverage will end next year. Insurance companies are also required to spend at least 80% of your premium dollars on health care benefits, as opposed to advertising, CEO salaries or shareholder dividends – and if they don’t, they have to send you a rebate. The law also provides $40 billion in tax credits to help small businesses provide insurance to their employees.

While Democrats have been hard at work implementing these new benefits for American families and small businesses, Republicans have voted – and failed – over 40 times to repeal these patient protections and put insurance companies back in control of your health care. Despite their promises to do so, they have never offered an alternate legislative plan to slow the growth of health care costs, stop insurance company abuses, ensure all Americans can access affordable health coverage, and reduce the deficit.

Today, 165 million Americans with private insurance and 48 million seniors and disabled Americans with Medicare are enjoying lower or slowed growth in health care costs and better coverage. In the years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, overall U.S. health care spending has grown by just 3.9% per year - the lowest rate of growth over the past fifty years.  Thanks to reforms and other cost containment measures, spending in our entitlement programs has slowed as well – and the Congressional Budget Office now estimates that Medicare and Medicaid are on track to spend $700 billion less through 2020 than originally projected.  And at the same time that spending growth is slowing, choice and access are increasing.

Democrats have also continued our efforts to defend and strengthen the Medicare program. Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, Medicare’s costs – from premiums and deductibles to overall program spending – have decreased or slowed. The law improves prevention benefits, providing seniors with access to a free annual wellness visit and ending co-insurance for preventive benefits. The law also makes prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. Today, for any senior in the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the “donut hole,” brand name drugs are discounted more than 50% and generic drugs are discounted more than 20% - and those discounts will grow until the donut hole is completely eliminated in 2020.  Beneficiaries also have more Medicare Advantage choices, with enrollment increasing by 17% and premiums decreasing by 10% since the Affordable Care Act was enacted.  This stands in stark contrast to the Republican record on Medicare, which is marked by repeated attempts to put forward a budget that ends the Medicare guarantee, eliminates the new benefits seniors are now seeing, and increases health care costs for seniors by more than $6,000.