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Weekly Address: Enrolling in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace

Weekly Address: Enrolling in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace


The President:
Hi, everybody. A few weeks ago, we launched
an important new part of the Affordable Care Act. It’s called the Marketplace. And for Americans
without health insurance, and 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 of 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 have actually helped bring prices down. Ultimately, the easiest
way to buy insurance in this Marketplace will be
a new website, HealthCare.gov. But as you may have heard,
the site isn’t working the way it’s supposed to yet. That’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’ve been trying
to get covered. The site has been visited more
than 20 million times so far. Nearly 700,000 people have
applied for coverage already. 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 it’s supposed to. We’ve got people
working overtime, 24/7, 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 HealthCare.gov
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 or
visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov. 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
more 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’ve spent the
last few years so obsessed with denying those 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, on any idea,
who’s actually willing to make this law perform better. But it’s well past the time
for folks to stop rooting for its failure. Because hardworking,
middle-class families are rooting for its success. The Affordable Care Act gives
people who’ve been stuck with sky-high premiums because
of preexisting conditions the chance to get affordable
insurance for the first time. This law 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 has already put in place. Three million more young
adults have health insurance on their parents’ plans because
of the Affordable Care Act. More than six million
people on Medicare have saved an average of $1,000
on their prescription medicine because of
the Affordable Care Act. Last year, more than 8 million
Americans received half a billion
dollars in refunds from their insurers because
of the Affordable Care Act. And 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’d 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 a fortunate few, but a right for
every one of us to enjoy. We have already delivered
on part of that promise, and we will not rest
until the work is done. Thanks,
and have a great weekend.

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