While Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates used the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s landmark health care overhaul to mock and ridicule the law, Democratic Congress John Yarmuth celebrated the reform and touted its benefits.
Supporters are highlighting an analysis prepared by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which shows that the Affordable Care Act has allowed 2.5 million young adults to gain health insurance, saved 3.6 million seniors more than $2.1 billion on Medicare prescription drug costs and protected more than 100 million Americans against abuses of the insurance industry such as preexisting condition clauses.
Yarmuth says the vast majority of his constituents wanted to eliminate and lower the barriers to health care services and cost, adding the president’s overhaul is succeeding in doing that.
“Two years ago, we made history by enacting a health care law that guarantees affordable health care to every citizen, reins in costs, broadens consumer choice, lifts the burden from small businesses, and ultimately lowers the national debt,” Yarmuth said in a news release. “I was proud to vote for the law then, and I am even prouder now that we are seeing the results: Hundreds of thousands of Louisvillians have new access to essential care, seniors are paying far less for prescriptions, young people who couldn’t get insurance before have it now, and thousands of children are no longer being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.”
Mr. Obama’s critics, however, have said the law has added burdensome regulation and will increase premiums for the average family plan by $2,100, despite the president’s promise that it would lower costs.
In a Courier-Journal editorial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called for the repeal of “Obamacare” and said it is having disastrous affects on Kentuckians.
Political observers have questioned why during an election year the president decided against marking the anniversary of what many call the chief legislative accomplishment of his administration. In response, the White House has said Mr. Obama is “looking beyond past battles”, but GOP operatives have suggested he is ashamed of the legislation.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a legal challenge to the healthcare law beginning next Monday.