WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden along with former President Barack Obama announced Tuesday plans to expand access to health care by proposing changes to the Affordable Care Act that would allow more people eligible for premium tax credits to buy ACA marketplace plans.
“Starting next year, working families in America will get the help they need to afford full family coverage, everyone in the family,” Biden said. “As a result, families will be saving hundreds of dollars a month.”
According to a facts sheet released by the White House Tuesday morning, the proposal would see 200,000 uninsured people gain coverage, and nearly 1 million Americans would see their coverage become more affordable, the most significant administrative action to improve the implementation of the ACA since its enactment.
Obama returned to the White House for the first time since he left office and the first joint appearance with Biden since they appeared in New York together for the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The former President began his remarks by jokingly referring to Biden as vice president.
He also remembered the struggles of passing the ACA and how it nearly cost him his job.
“I intended to get health care passed, even if it cost me re-election, which for a while it looked like it might,” he said.
With Democrats worrying about their prospects later this year in the midterms after Biden’s first year in office, Obama said his party went through something similar during his time in office.
“Everybody feels frustrated sometimes about what takes place in this town. Progress feels way too slow sometimes, victories are often incomplete, and in a country as big and as diverse as ours, consensus never comes easily,” Obama said.
“But what the Affordable Care Act shows is if you are driven by that core idea that together we can improve the lives of this generation and the next, if you’re persistent, if you stay with it, and work through the obstacles and the criticism and continually improve where you fall short, you can make America better,” he added.
Currently, the costs for single people on coverage plans do not go beyond 10 percent of their incomes, but that doesn’t apply to spouses or children who are offered insurance through family members’ jobs. This means family members are using 25 percent or 30 percent of their incomes to pay health insurance, the official said.
Enrollment for Obamacare has been its highest since Biden took office in January 2021. The White House said over the winter season, 14.5 million people bought ACA marketplace plans, including 6 million newly insured people. The coronavirus pandemic also saw an uptick in Americans being newly insured with hospitalizations rising over the past two years.