March 31, 2016

Celebrating the Sixth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Six years ago President Obama set us on a path to change the face of health care in our nation. What we have accomplished since then because of the Affordable Care Act is undeniable. 

The uninsured rate is the lowest on record and 20 million uninsured Americans have gained health care coverage, including more than 6 million young people, because of the ACA.

Across the nation, about 12.7 million people are enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplaces– including almost 5 million new consumers. 

Since the law was enacted, health care prices have been rising at the slowest rate in five decades. And Medicare spent $473 billion less through 2014 compared to spending growth trends before 2009. 

People who shopped on this year found affordable coverage and saved money by shopping. Nearly 7 in 10 people could get a plan for $75 or less per month with tax credits. And people who switched plans saved an average of $40 per month for similar coverage. 

Americans with insurance through the marketplaces or through their employers have benefited from better coverage, with no exclusions because of preexisting conditions, lifetime caps or out of pocket costs for recommended preventive care.

Looking forward: better care, smarter spending and healthier people

We have some of the best doctors in the world, and we are global leaders in medical research and technology. Yet this world-class medicine hasn’t translated into the best health. Many Americans aren’t satisfied with their health care experience, because of high costs, uncoordinated care and a complex and confusing system.

Thanks to the ACA we are transforming our system to put the patient at the center. We’re improving care, through coordination and encouraging best practices. We’re making our system smarter, by paying for what works and spending our health dollars more wisely. And we’re making it healthier, by focusing on prevention and keeping people healthy before they get sick.

New tools in the ACA like the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation are already demonstrating significant progress. 

Accountable Care Organizations, or “ACO’s,” which are an alternative payment model that prioritizes coordinated care, are now in 49 states and D.C. 

HHS recently announced the success of the Diabetes Prevention Program, the first preventive benefit to be officially certified as saving money for Medicare while improving health. 

And HHS recently met its ambitious goal to tie 30 percent of Medicare payments to quality through alternative payment models nearly one year ahead of schedule.

These and other quality improvement initiatives have contributed to $20 billion in costs savings and over 87,000 lives saved by reducing hospital acquired conditions, like ulcers and infections.
And in the five years since the law was passed, 565,000 fewer people were readmitted to hospitals for reasons that could have been avoided. 

Thanks to the help of our partners and the work of navigators, assisters, clinicians and community health advocates, we have seen progress in the last six years that the country has sought for generations. 

Progress isn’t easy, but we know that our efforts are more than worth it. Because what we have accomplished in six short years because of the ACA is undeniable: 20 million more Americans covered, billions of dollars saved, and changes that are making our system work better for everyone.

New Fact Sheets and Report Released: Progress on Coverage Cost and Quality

The White House released this week two resources that you might find useful:

Health Care Accomplishments: Six Years of Progress Under the ACA

The Affordable Care Act at Six: CEA Chart Book

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