On Wednesday in Boston, Mass. U.S President Barack Obama again discussed the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) benefits, urging patience as the technical kinks are worked out of the healthcare marketplace website and reminding the audience that the highly successful Massachusetts healthcare system upon which the ACA was based has worked well despite its own difficulties upon initial startup.
President Obama noted that the bipartisan Massachusetts health care plan had its share of problems in the beginning, and some adjustments were needed as a result. He said that initial signup was also slow but now the healthcare system provides “nearly universal coverage in Massachusetts and the vast majority of its citizens are happy with their coverage.”
Obama then remarked, “By the way, all the parade of horribles, the worst predictions about health care reform in Massachusetts never came true. They’re the same arguments that you’re hearing now. Businesses didn’t stop covering workers; the share of employers who offered insurance increased. People didn’t get left behind; racial disparities decreased. Care didn’t become unaffordable.
“It’s because you guys had a proven model that we built the Affordable Care Act on this template of proven, bipartisan success,” he added. “Your law was the model for the nation’s law.”
The President continued championing many of the patient benefits and protections of the ACA included in the Patient’s Bill of Rights most of which consumers already receive:
- protecting children with pre-existing conditions from being denied health insurance coverage;
- protecting customers who become ill from being dropped by their insurance companies;
- removing lifetime limits of health care costs paid by insurance companies;
- providing free preventive care on most insurance plans; and
- allowing young adults to remain on their parent’s health insurance plans until age 26.
However, admitting the technical problems with the health insurance marketplace website he said, “as a consequence, a lot of people haven’t had a chance to see just how good the prices for quality health insurance through these marketplaces really are.”
Taking responsibility for the lapse in management which caused the problems with the site, the President assured, “We are working overtime to improve it every day.”
However, in many states which set up their own marketplace exchanges like Kentucky, Arkansas and Oregon, Obama reported greater success. He even gave a positive shout out to Ohio Republican Governor of John Kasich who has committed to the ACA expansion of Medicaid in his state, in opposition to the GOP agenda.