Obama joins Biden to tout record ObamaCare enrollment numbers
President Biden and former President Obama teamed up Saturday to tout a new record number of people enrolled in ObamaCare.
The two reunited on Zoom to announce that more than 31 million Americans have gained access to health care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Biden said that figure includes 1.2 million people who signed up for health coverage during his administration’s special enrollment period.
“Joe Biden, we did this together,” Obama said on the call.
“We always talked about how if we could get the principle of universal coverage established, we could then build on it. And I just want to say how proud I am of what you have done with the American Rescue Plan,” he added, referencing the stimulus package that opened a special enrollment period for people to register for the plan.
The 31 million total is split among several groups, including 11.3 million consumers who were enrolled in marketplace plans, 14.8 million people who were newly enrolled in Medicaid via ObamaCare’s expansion of eligibility, 1 million individuals who were enrolled in the ACA’s Basic Health Program option, and nearly 4 million previously-eligible adults who gained coverage under Medicaid expansion.
Biden on the campaign trail said he intended to introduce a public option for people to sign up for that would complement private plans, and the administration is looking for ways to further expand access to care.
“The historic numbers released today speak to the success of the Affordable Care Act and our country’s need for quality, affordable health care,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The President’s American Rescue Plan was a leap forward, and we at HHS will continue to advance the fight for health security.”
“The Biden- Harris Administration is working to strengthen these vital programs that have advanced health equity and improved health outcomes. With the implementation of the American Rescue Plan, which builds on the ACA, health coverage is more affordable and accessible than ever,” added Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
Both Biden and Obama urged people to sign up for coverage under the ACA before the special enrollment period’s end on Aug. 15.
“So anybody who’s watching us in this conversation and still hasn’t looked into it, go to healthcare.gov,” Obama said.