**Shaheen included portions of her legislation to lower costs and expand access to health care for millions of Americans in the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law last year and is the most significant improvement to the Affordable Care Act since 2010**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement ahead of the twelve-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010. In the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law last year, Shaheen successfully included portions of her legislation to lower costs and expand access to health care for millions of Americans, which is the most significant improvement to the ACA since President Obama signed it into law.
“The day the Affordable Care Act was signed into law was a watershed moment in our country. Finally, health care was viewed as a right, not a privilege,” said Shaheen. “Fundamentally, access to care, medication and assistance should never be off limits simply because someone cannot afford it. Our policies should reflect our nation’s values, and because of the Affordable Care Act, the United States took a historic step forward to uphold that standard. Increasing access to affordable health insurance, breaking down barriers for preventative care, closing the donut hole so vulnerable seniors wouldn’t be priced out of care and so much more improved health and wellness for millions of Americans. In New Hampshire, Medicaid expansion – which was made possible by the ACA – helped thousands of Granite Staters struggling with substance use disorders access the assistance they needed to fight for their long-term recovery. As we look back on the last twelve years, we do so with a commitment to finish what we started. Too many New Hampshire families and more throughout the U.S. are still priced out of prescription drugs or care – that is unacceptable. Whether it is lifesaving medication like insulin or cancer treatments, no one should forego the medical attention they need to maintain their health or the health of those they love. As we celebrate this milestone for the Affordable Care Act, we should channel our energy toward continued efforts to make health care more affordable and accessible to every Granite Stater and all Americans.”
Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to protect and improve the ACA. Shaheen successfully included in the American Rescue Plan premium tax credit enhancement provisions from her legislation, the Improving Health Insurance Affordability Act, to expand coverage to millions of Americans who are currently uninsured and reduce health care costs for millions of additional individuals who already have coverage. She has also consistently pushed for efforts to limit the sale and availability of short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) plans, also known as “junk plans” because of their failure to provide adequate, comprehensive health insurance coverage. Shaheen previously led all 47 Senate Democrats on a Senate resolution that would reverse the Department of Justice’s decision to side with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling that would strike down the health care law. Striking down the ACA could result in 133 million Americans losing protections for pre-existing conditions, millions more Americans without health insurance, soaring prescription drug costs for seniors and nearly 90,000 Granite Staters losing health care coverage.
Shaheen is also a leader in the Senate on efforts to reduce the costs of prescription drugs. As Co-Chair of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, Shaheen works to improve access to treatment options. Shaheen has led legislation to roll back more than a decade of insulin prices hikes and held insulin manufacturers, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers accountable for the skyrocketing cost of life-saving insulin. Currently, Shaheen is helping to lead the effort to cap insulin costs at $35 per month. In 2020, Shaheen’s legislation to help increase competition in the insulin market and reduce costs for diabetes patients was signed into law as part of the fiscal year 2021 appropriations package.