Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, October 26, 2013

President Obama Says It All In Five Minutes

A few weeks ago, we launched an important new part Affordable Care Act. It's called the marketplace. And for Americans without health insurance and for Americans who buy insurance on their own because they can't get it at work, it's a very big deal. If you're one of those people, the Affordable Care Act makes you part a big group plan for the first time. The marketplace is where you can apply and shop for affordable new health insurance choices. It gathers insurers under one system to compete for your business. And that choice and competition has actually helped bring prices down.

Ultimately, the easiest way to buy insurance in this marketplace will be the website But as you may have heard, the site isn't working the way it's supposed to be yet. It's frustrating for all of us who have worked so hard to make sure everyone who needs it gets health care. And it's especially frustrating for the Americans who have been trying to get covered. The site's been visited more than twenty million times so far. Nearly 700,000 people have applied for coverage already. And that proves just how much demand there is for these new quality affordable health care choices, and that's why in the coming weeks we are going to get it working as smoothly as possible. We've got people working overtime twenty four seven to boost capacity and address these problems every single day.

But even as we improve the website, remember that the website isn't the only way to apply for coverage under these new plans. We've updated to offer more information about enrolling over the phone, by mail, or in person with a specially trained Navigator who can help answer your questions.

Just call 1-800-318-2596.

And don't worry, these plans will not sell out we're only a few weeks into a six-month open enrollment period, and everyone who wants insurance through the marketplace will get it.

Some people have poked fun at me this week for sounding like an insurance salesman. And that's okay. I'd still be out there championing this law even if the website were perfect. I'll never stop fighting to help hardworking Americans know the economic security of health care.

That's something we should all want. That's why it's also interesting to see Republicans in Congress expressing so much concern that people are having trouble buying health insurance through the new website; especially considering they spent the last few years so obsessed with denying both same people access to health insurance that they just shut down the government and threatened default over it.

As I've said many times before, I'm willing to work with anyone or any idea who's actually willing to make this law perform better. It's well past the time for folks to stop rooting for it's failure, because hard-working middle-class families are rooting for its success.

The Affordable Care Act gives people who've been stuck with sky-high premiums because of pre-existing conditions the chance to get affordable insurance for the first time. It also means that women can finally buy coverage that doesn't charge them higher premiums than men for the same care. And everyone who already has health insurance, whether through your employer, Medicare, or Medicaid, will keep the benefits and protections this law already has put into place. Three million more young adults have health insurance on their parent's plans. Because of the Affordable Care Act more than six million people on Medicare have saved on average over a thousand dollars on their prescription medicine. Because of the Affordable Care Act last year more than eight million Americans received half a billion dollars in refunds from their insurers. Because of the Affordable Care Act for tens of millions of women, preventive care like mammograms and birth control are free.

Because of the Affordable Care Act. That's all part of this law and it's here to stay. We did not fight so hard for this reform for so many years just to build a website. We did it to free millions of American families from the awful fear that one illness or injury to yourself or your child might cost you everything you've worked so hard to build. We did it to cement the principle that in this country the security of health care is not a privilege for fortunate few but a right for everyone of us to enjoy. We've already delivered a part of that promise and we will not rest until the work is done. Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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