By Kyle Balluck - 03/22/15 07:07 PM EDT
President Obama late Sunday marked the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act while slamming the proposed House GOP budget and calling on critics to “embrace reality.”
“Instead of trying yet again to repeal the Affordable Care Act and allowing special interests to write their own rules, we should work together to keep improving our healthcare system for everybody,” he added. “Instead of kicking millions off their insurance and doubling the number of uninsured Americans, as the House Republican budget would do, we should work together to make sure every American has a chance to get covered.”
Obama said his signature healthcare reform law in many ways is “working even better than anticipated.”
He said that more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained health insurance after five years of the Affordable Care Act, cutting the ranks of the uninsured by nearly one third.
“These aren’t just numbers,” Obama said. ‘There are Americans who, without this law, would not be alive today,’ he added.
Obama also said his signature healthcare reform law has meant “new savings and new protections” for Americans who already had insurance before it was passed, citing those with pre-existing conditions, women, young Americans who have been able to stay on their parents’ plans, seniors and people with disabilities..
“And the law has helped improve the quality of health care: it’s a major reason we saw 50,000 fewer preventable patient deaths in hospitals over the last three years of data,” Obama said.
Obama also fired back against “cynics [who] said this law would kill jobs and cripple our economy.”
“[A] growing body of evidence – actual facts – shows that the Affordable Care Act is good for our economy,” he said. “In stark contrast to predictions that this law would cause premiums to skyrocket, last year the growth in health care premium costs for businesses matched its lowest level on record.
“If premiums had kept growing over the last four years at the rate they had in the last decade, the average family premium would be $1,800 higher than it is today,” Obama said, adding that healthcare costs are now the single biggest factor in diving down deficits.