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Fifth Anniversary of ACA Is Cause for Celebration

Today, March 23, is the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a law that helped 16.4 million people obtain or keep health insurance. That’s cause for celebration.
By Pablo Ros ·
Fifth Anniversary of ACA Is Cause for Celebration
March 23 is the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a law that helped 16.4 million people obtain or keep health insurance.

Today, March 23, is the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a law that helped 16.4 million people obtain or keep health insurance. That’s cause for celebration.

AFSCME supported passage of the ACA from its inception and played an important role in promoting its benefits. Thanks to the ACA, lives have been saved. In addition:

And yet the last five years have been more controversial than celebratory. Many opponents of the ACA plotted against it, looking for ways to overturn it, from the moment President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010. Since then, the ACA survived attacks on multiple fronts, including more than 50 votes by the Republican-led Congress to repeal, undo or modify it.

The attacks continue. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in King v. Burwell, a case in which the federal tax credits that help millions afford health insurance are at risk. Perhaps the law’s closest brush with death came in 2012, inside the same courtroom, where by a 5-to-4 vote the justices upheld the law’s constitutionality.

As Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, put it last month, the ACA is now “an important part of the everyday lives of millions of Americans.”

“It’s the relief we see in the eyes of millions of parents who can cover their young adult children on their own health plan,” she said. “It’s our mothers, sisters and daughters who are no longer paying more for coverage just because they’re female. It’s the people with preexisting conditions who can no longer be locked out of health insurance.”

In the years ahead, the ACA will continue to benefit millions of people. Today, we celebrate the positive change it has already brought. 

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