As the GOP seeks to strip much of the Affordable Care Act, commonly called "Obamacare," down to a more Republican-friendly healthcare law, former President Barack Obama released a statement defending his signature policy.
"When I took office, millions of Americans were locked out of our healthcare system. So, just as leaders in both parties had tried to do since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, we took up the cause of health reform," Obama said in the statement, according to TIME.
He continued: "The result was the Affordable Care Act, which I signed into law seven years ago today. Thanks to this law, more than twenty million Americans have gained the security and peace of mind of health insurance. Thanks to this law, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured -- the highest rate in our history. Thanks to this law, the days when women could be charged more than men and Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage altogether are relics of the past. Seniors have bigger discounts on their prescription drugs. Young people can stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26 years old. And Americans who already had insurance received an upgrade as well -- from free preventive care, like mammograms and vaccines, to improvements in the quality of care in hospitals that has averted nearly 100,000 deaths so far."
Obama admitted that healthcare costs have been rising in the years that the ACA has been the law of the land, but he also argued that those prices have risen at a slower pace than before the law had taken effect.
"Families who get coverage through their employer are paying, on average, thousands of dollars less per year than if costs kept rising as fast as they were before the law," Obama said. "And reality continues to discredit the false claim that this law is in a 'death spiral,' because while it's true that some premiums have risen, the vast majority of Marketplace enrollees have experienced no average premium hike at all. And so long as the law is properly administered, this market will remain stable."
President Donald Trump has been working hard to get the votes to overturn the ACA, but has faces resistance from some members of his own party due to reports that millions of people could lose their health insurance.
In a Twitter video sent from the president's official account, Trump urged Americans to call their representatives and vote for the Affordable Health Care Act, the GOP alternative to Obama's policy.
"You were told you can keep your plan and keep your doctor. You were given many, many false stories. The fact is, you were given many lies," Trump said in the video. "Go with our plan. It's going to be terrific and you're gonna be very, very happy."