Making health care accessible and affordable

Increasing access for young adults

The Affordable Care Act has helped give more young adults access to the coverage they need. Here’s more on how the President’s health care law is making a difference for young people:

  • 14.1 million: Children who received expanded coverage of preventive services, like well-child visits and flu shots, under the Affordable Care Act in 2011

  • Up to 17 million: Children with pre-existing conditions who cannot be denied health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to kids with medical conditions

Making health care affordable

President Obama’s health care law is making health care more affordable for millions of Americans—from offering savings on prescription drugs and preventive care to cracking down on insurance company abuses.

  • Today, your insurance company has to justify any rate hike of 10 percent or more in front of a state or federal rate review program.

  • 54 million Americans received expanded access to free preventive services, like checkups, vaccines, and cancer screenings.

  • Over half of all insurance plans used to put lifetime limits on coverage. Now, 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime caps on their insurance policies.

Providing security to working families

  • Working families are protected from losing their health care or being forced into bankruptcy when a family member gets sick or is in an accident. Families have the security of knowing their health insurance will be there when they need it most.

  • Insurance companies are now required to justify rate hikes, and consumers have the ability to appeal to an independent third party when insurance companies refuse to cover services or care.

  • Starting in 2014, all Americans will have access to affordable health insurance no matter their circumstances—whether they change jobs, lose their job, decide to start a business, or retire early. Purchasing private insurance in the new state-based health insurance exchanges could save middle-class families who can’t get employer-provided insurance thousands of dollars.

  • Once fully implemented, the law will slow health care premium growth rates, adding another $2,000 to family savings by 2019.

  • The law is expected to reduce the deficit by $127 billion from 2012 to 2021.


Before health reform, insurance premiums were skyrocketing, and the shared cost of caring for the uninsured added $1,000 to the typical family’s policy. The Affordable Care Act promotes better value through preventive and coordinated care, and eliminates waste and abuses.

The Affordable Care Act also helps keep insurance premiums down. Insurance companies must publicly justify excessive rate hikes and provide rebates if they don’t spend at least 80 percent of premiums on care instead of overhead, marketing, and profits. As many as 9 million consumers are expected to get up to $1.4 billion in rebates because the President passed the Affordable Care Act.

Ending discrimination for pre-existing conditions

Fact: The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) provides insurance to people with health conditions who have been uninsured for six months, helping those with cancer or other serious conditions to get the treatment they need.

Young People and Health Reform

Young adults are now eligible to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans as they enter the workforce, until they turn 26. Since the health care law passed, 3.1 million young adults—traditionally the group least likely to be insured—gained insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.

Children and Health Reform

Fact: Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could deny coverage to children with medical conditions. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, as many as 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance.

Preventive Care

Fact: All new insurance plans are required to cover certain preventive services without charging a co-pay or deductible.

Small Business and Health Reform

Millions of small businesses are now eligible for a tax credit to help pay for their health care premiums. The credit will increase to cover 50 percent of premium costs in 2014.

Under the Affordable Care Act, help for small businesses—including the new insurance exchanges—will reduce small business health care spending by nearly 9 percent, according to independent estimates.

Strengthening women’s health care

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act:

  • Insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against women, who previously had to pay as much as 150% more for health insurance than men
  • New health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, mammograms, birth control pills, and screenings without copays or deductibles
  • More than 1.1 million young women now have the security of health coverage under a provision that allows Americans to stay on their parents’ insurance plan up to age 26
  • Women will receive insurance rebates if their provider doesn’t use at least 80% of their premiums for patient care

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won’t stand up for women’s health. They would repeal Obamacare and go back to letting insurance companies play by their own rules.

Protecting health choices

The President has repeatedly stood behind a woman’s right to choose:

  • Reversed the global gag rule, ending the ban on government aid for international groups that provide abortion information
  • Fought against Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, one of the largest providers of women’s health services in the country

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would turn over some of women’s most personal health care decisions, like birth control coverage, to their bosses, defund Planned Parenthood, and let government intrude on women’s health rights and freedoms. The Republican Party platform includes a human life amendment to ban abortion nationwide, without exceptions for rape and incest.