Record 14.5 million people sign up for ObamaCare, Biden says
President Biden announced Thursday that a record 14.5 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for 2022.
“Health care should be a right, not a privilege, for all Americans,” Biden said in a statement. “And one year into my Administration, we are making that right a reality for a record number of people — bringing down costs and increasing access for families across the country.”
Biden attributed the numbers to increased financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan that Democrats in Congress passed last year. That law increased the subsidies that help people afford their premiums and also lifted the income cap to allow more people to be eligible for assistance.
“This did not happen by accident,” Biden said. “The American Rescue Plan did more to lower costs and expand access to health care than any action since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.”
The Biden administration also reversed cuts to outreach and advertising spending made under the Trump administration.
The enhanced financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan is currently scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Biden’s proposed Build Back Better plan would extend it through 2025, but that plan is currently stalled given concerns from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) about the package as a whole.
Many Democrats view finding a way to continue the enhanced subsidies as key to cementing the legacy of the Affordable Care Act.
The law as a whole, at the center of fierce political battles for years, has somewhat faded into the background, with Democrats in control of Washington and Republicans having failed in their efforts to repeal it in 2017.
Biden made a pitch for Congress to pass Build Back Better in his statement on Thursday.
“As long as any American lies awake at night, wondering how they’re going to pay their medical bills, my Administration will keep fighting to lower costs and expand health coverage even more — including through my Build Back Better agenda,” he said.