Demonstrators protest changes to the Affordable Care Act on June 22, 2017. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Florida Democrats marked the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday by warning voters that the health care law also known as Obamacare would face threats if Republicans gain control over Congress in the November elections.
Republicans, including Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, have joined lawsuits seeking to dismantle the ACA, signed into law by former President Barack Obama in 2010.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida stressed the importance of electing Democrats in the 2022 midterms to protect the ACA, upon which many low-income families rely for affordable health care.
Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat, called the ACA “a health care security blanket” for many families and people with preexisting conditions.
“America’s families are under threat. And this next election could decide its fate,” Wasserman Schultz said during a virtual press event Wednesday.
“In the last 12 years, Democrats fought to secure the ACA and Democrats protected it from relentless Republican assault. Over the next 12 years, we will not only do that, but we will fight to expand it and lower health care costs even further. Americans deserve that type of security.”
Hosted by the Florida Democratic Party, the event featured health advocates and others who underscored the ACA’s importance.
Laurie Scop of Miami-Dade County said she relied on the ACA for treatment of a medical condition and felt “fortunate to be covered by a marketplace plan” under Obamacare.
“I have endured numerous surgeries and treatments and I ended up in a nursing home as a young woman unexpected to recover,” she said. “But I did recover, and since then I have had many forms of health insurance.”
“The ACA undoubtedly saves lives,” she added.
Meanwhile, data show that more residents in Florida have enrolled in health plans through the Affordable Care Act in 2022 than any other state.
According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2,723,094 Floridians signed up for health coverage through the ACA marketplace during open enrollment from Nov. 1, 2021, to Jan. 15, 2022.
Florida Dems also argued that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican, agrees with many other members of his party who are pushing to repeal Obamacare. Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings hopes to unseat Rubio this year.
Florida Democratic Party spokesman Grant Fox said in a written statement:
“For 12 years, the Affordable Care Act has saved lives and made it possible for millions of Floridians — including those with pre-existing conditions — to get affordable health care. With Senate Republicans vowing to repeal the ACA, Rubio is once again on board with a disastrous agenda to make health care more expensive for hardworking people across our state.”
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