-- The Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, will continue after a measure to repeal parts of the health care law was rejected on Friday in the Senate.
Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Obama, said in a statement Friday, “[The Affordable Care Act] is about the dreams protected, and the untold misery and ruin prevented. Today, it remains that way because of everyone who mobilized, organized and made their voices heard. The Affordable Care Act has made America stronger and healthier, but there will always be more work to do.”
The ACA helped to insure 20 million Americans and gave “tens of millions more” preventive care, such as mammograms and vaccines, the statement said.
But it also acknowledged the work ahead to guarantee the law's existence.
“President Obama has always said we should build on this law, just as members of both parties worked together to improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over the years,” the statement said. “President Obama still believes that it is possible for Congress to demonstrate the necessary bipartisanship and political courage to keep delivering on the promise of quality, affordable health insurance for every American.”
Obama spoke out on Facebook after Senate Republicans released their health care bill in late June.
“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm,” he wrote.
Obama has repeatedly warned against taking away health care for millions of Americans now covered under the ACA and urged Republicans and Democrats to work together.
It might “take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans,” Obama said in June. “But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines.”
The ACA, also known as Obamacare, was signed into law on March 30, 2017. The bill passed without any Republican support and thus was largely criticized by Republicans. High premiums and deductibles along with arguments of government overreach stoked opposition to the law.
But protests erupted when plans to repeal and replace were first announced in March as the House of Representatives unveiled the American Health Care Act, and millions of Americans began to fear losing their health care coverage.
For now, Obamacare remains.