Obama Hails Sixth Anniversary of Obamacare as Nuns Protest at Supreme Court

Obama Hails Sixth Anniversary of Obamacare as Nuns Protest at Supreme Court
Nuns with the Little Sisters of The Poor rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington on March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Today marks the sixth anniversary of Obamacare, a milestone praised by President Obama as something that made healthcare “no longer a privilege, but a right.”

“Thanks to this law, 20 million more Americans now know the security of having health insurance, and our uninsured rate is below ten percent for the first time on record. As many as 129 million people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or charged more as a result. Those with private insurance got an upgrade as well: now almost 140 million Americans are guaranteed free preventive care, like certain cancer screenings and vaccines, and improvements in the quality of care in hospitals have averted 87,000 deaths since 2010,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

“…Critics said this law would destroy jobs and cripple the economy, but in fact just the opposite has happened. Our businesses have added jobs every single month since I signed it into law. The unemployment rate has dropped from almost 10 percent to 4.9 percent. Thanks in part to this law, health care prices have risen at the lowest rate in 50 years.”

Obama said he’ll “keep working to get more Americans covered and help the millions of people who remain uninsured in states that rejected the Medicaid expansion option.”

“But the facts are clear: America is on a stronger footing because of the Affordable Care Act,” he proclaimed. “Six years later, this is no longer just about a law. It’s not about politics.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus countered that Obamacare “has failed to live up to virtually every single one of the promises it was sold on.”

“Instead of lowering costs, millions of Americans are facing higher premiums and skyrocketing deductibles. Democrats said ObamaCare would be a ‘jobs bill,’ but it’s causing Americans to have their work hours slashed while our economy remains perpetually stuck in low gear,” Priebus said. “And millions of Americans lost the doctors and insurance plans that President Obama repeatedly promised they could keep.”

Republican House and Senate committee leaders sent a letter today to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell l and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt probing for information about 316 security breaches on noted in a new Government Accountability Office report.

Lawmakers are seeking by April 6 “a list and description of every security incident involving since October 2013, including how many individuals’ records were compromised, whether the incident involved personally identifiable information, and whether the affected individuals were notified.”

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) stressed that “today, patients and their doctors are frustrated by a health care system that gives them fewer choices and higher costs—health insurance premiums are up 36 percent on average this year for plans offered by Tennessee’s most popular insurer.”

“Today, more than ever, Americans need Congress to go step-by-step to repeal and replace Obamacare with common sense, market-based reforms that provide states and families with access to the health care plans that meet their needs and their budgets,” Alexander said. “The next president of the United States should work with Republicans and Democrats to repeal Obamacare and work on bipartisan solutions that the American people deserve.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor and supporters protested outside the Supreme Court today against the contraceptive coverage mandate in Obamacare — as justices heard oral arguments in their case against HHS.

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