Health care is a right, not a privilege – and ensuring that every single American has access to the quality, affordable health care they need is a national imperative. Since it became law more than a decade ago, the Affordable Care Act has been a lifeline for millions of Americans. The pandemic has demonstrated how badly it is needed, and how critical it is that we continue to improve upon it.
On February 15, my Administration opened HealthCare.gov to provide all Americans the opportunity to sign up for health insurance through a special enrollment period. Less than three months later, I am pleased to announce that one million Americans have signed up. That’s one million more Americans who now have the peace of mind that comes from having health insurance. One million more Americans who don’t have to lie awake at night worrying about what happens if they or one of their family members gets sick. Through this opportunity for special enrollment, we have made enormous progress in expanding access to health insurance.
There is plenty of time left to sign up, and I encourage everyone who needs health insurance to go to HealthCare.gov by August 15. If you already have coverage, you can help family members and friends who are uninsured get themselves covered.
Getting more Americans covered is an important part of the equation – but we also need to lower health costs. My American Rescue Plan lowered premiums for nine million Americans who buy their coverage through the Affordable Care Act, saving families an average of $50 per person per month. Americans are also seeing lower out of pocket costs. Since April 1, the median deductible for Americans signing up for new coverage on HealthCare.gov has dropped by nearly 90 percent, to just $50.
The American Families Plan will build on this work to make health care more affordable – including by making the American Rescue Plan’s premium reductions permanent. Today’s milestone demonstrates that there is a need and a demand for high quality, affordable health insurance across this country. It is up to Congress to hear them, and act quickly to pass the American Families Plan.