Affordable Care Act, healthcare, Obamacare — March 23, 2015 at 10:59 am

For the Affordable Care Act’s 5th birthday, 5 of its 16 million success stories


These are only five of the millions of Americans whose lives have been changed for the better thanks to the ACA.

Call it Obamacare, call it the Affordable Care Act or the ACA. Whatever you call it, you have to call it a success — because it is. March 23, 2015, marks the fifth anniversary of President Obama signing the ACA into law, and the positive news just keeps coming.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s been accomplished in the last five years, courtesy of the White House:

  • More than 16 million Americans have gained health coverage
  • 9.4 million people with Medicare saved a total of more than $15 billion on prescription medications
  • 76 million people are benefiting from preventive care coverage
  • 105 million people no longer have a lifetime limit on their health coverage
  • Up to 129 million people with pre-existing conditions are no longer at risk of being denied coverage
  • Zero death panels were created

That last point is well worth mentioning, because the “horror stories” of the ACA have failed to materialize. Yet the myths persist.

To celebrate the successful first five years of the ACA — and remind Americans just how well it’s working — here’s a look back at five Obamacare success stories from the many we’ve shared at Eclectablog.

My Obamacare success story: One year in, it’s even better than I expected

The first ACA success story I told at Eclectablog was my own, and I wrote this update at the beginning of the second open enrollment period. I’m saving $900 a month on the same plan I had before the ACA, because I’m no longer penalized for being a self-employed woman with diabetes.

Having faced a medical bankruptcy, Republican has a change of heart about the ACA

The only reason Theresa opposed the ACA is because, like so many Americans, she mostly saw the negative stories that overpowered the positive in the early days of the health insurance Marketplace. But once she read how the ACA was working for others, she saw all the good it could do — and she now has insurance for the first time in 10 years.

Why is the ACA so important? Just ask a doctor who treated the uninsured for free

The positive impact on people who need health insurance is undeniable. But there’s even more to it than that. As a doctor, Judy has seen the tragedy of what happens to the uninsured — and knows from personal experience that anyone could find themselves struggling to buy insurance before the ACA.

The Affordable Care Act gives Virginia woman the freedom to pursue her dream

The ACA’s opponents have repeatedly said that the law is an affront to personal liberty, but for Americans like Lisa, it means the freedom to pursue any job — without the fear of being denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Thanks to the ACA, entrepreneurs can follow their bliss instead of staying in a job just for the health insurance.

Why a Supreme Court Ruling against Obamacare would be bad for America’s health

The next big challenge to the ACA, absent another repeal attempt by Congress, is the King v. Burwell case the Supreme Court is expected to rule on in June. Dawn and Leonard simply couldn’t afford health insurance without the help of tax credits, and they’re grateful for the coverage that’s keeping them healthy. Their story exemplifies everything Americans stand to lose if the Supreme Court strikes down the tax credits.

Five years after the ACA became law, there’s still work to do. No one ever said the Affordable Care Act would fix everything that’s wrong with America’s healthcare system — but it’s gone a long way to resolve a lot of problems. The sooner Obamacare’s opponents accept that the law is here to stay, the more advocates can focus on furthering the cause of health reform and making even more improvements.

For more reasons to celebrate, check out the video below from the White House about all the good the ACA has done in the last five years.

[Photo by Amy Lynn Smith]