Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, which is tomorrow, March 23:
"One year ago, President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act; with the power of his pen, we made history for our country and progress for the American people. We enacted legislation that extends health care coverage to 32 million more Americans and lowers health care costs, while creating jobs, strengthening the middle class and reducing the deficit. This law is about innovation and patient safety, Americans' economic security and our entrepreneurial spirit. With this legislation health care will be a right, not a privilege, for all Americans.
"Americans are already benefitting from this law, with a strong Patients' Bill of Rights that puts an end to the worst of the insurance industry's abuses. Young people can now stay on their parents' plan until they are 26 years old; no longer can insurers place a lifetime cap on health coverage or deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions; seniors are getting help paying for prescription drugs; small businesses get tax credits to provide coverage to their employees. What a difference a year makes.
"The benefits of health care reform will continue to grow for the American people: in a couple of years, insurers will not be able to discriminate against any of the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, and there will be state-based competitive marketplaces where millions of Americans without access to job-based health coverage will have access to affordable, quality coverage.
"Others before us gave our nation Social Security and Medicare. With the Affordable Care Act, we built on that same tradition -- adding access to health coverage for all Americans."