WASHINGTON – On the 11th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) today, Main Street Alliance Government Affairs Director Didier Trinh had this to say:
“Small businesses are celebrating the significant achievements of the Affordable Care Act over the past 11 years, including the most recent affordability and access improvements under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that passed in early March.
The landmark healthcare bill made historic changes that brought the number of uninsured people to record lows, including millions of small business owners and their employees, ended insurers’ common practice of denying or charging more for pre-existing conditions and improved quality of coverage by establishing standard essential health benefits required by all policies, including basic services like mental health, maternity, pediatric care and prescription coverage.
Recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that despite massive job losses over the past year, there were not dramatic increases in uninsured people partially because of ACA coverage and Medicaid that provided some workers coverage. COVID has further shown the perils of tying health coverage to employment.
Health care continues to be a priority for small business owners, with over 92% saying in recent polls that it’s important for the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress to bring down health care costs. Making the improvements to the ACA and Medicaid under the relief plan permanent, and including them and a permanent paid leave program in the next stimulus package would be a first step to addressing this long standing small business priority.
Eleven years ago, Main Street Alliance members celebrated the Affordable Care Act as a tremendous step forward for our nation but now it’s time to take the next step. We can absolutely afford to create jobs, provide affordable quality healthcare for all and rebuild the economy to work better for everyone. It’s time for politicians to make the rich and corporations pay their fair share so that we can finally guarantee quality, affordable health care for everyone.
As the COVID pandemic continues to impact millions, the ACA and Medicaid will be even more critical resources for affordable coverage, to ensure that people who have COVID are not discriminated against for having a pre-existing condition, and to provide no cost preventive care like vaccines, testing, and check ups. The health and economic consequences of COVID are expected to persist over the coming years even as the rich continue to get richer, creating more urgency for Congressional action to level the playing field to ensure fair and equitable recovery.”
This post was originally published on Radio Free.