You may know my affection for numbers. They help us focus on impact. They help us learn and improve. And often they tell a story.
The story of this Open Enrollment was written by millions of Americans who came to the Marketplace, evaluated their choices, signed-up for or re-enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage.
As of Sunday at midnight, about 11.4 million Americans selected Marketplace plans or were automatically re-enrolled in quality, affordable health coverage. In the final day alone, more new consumers signed up for health coverage than on any day this Open Enrollment or last.
So it’s worth putting this all in perspective. We’ve achieved an historic reduction in the uninsured – the largest over any period since the early 1970s. Today’s numbers add to that progress.
The Affordable Care Act is now an important part of the everyday lives of millions of Americans – and it’s not just the people in the Marketplaces counting on it. It’s the relief we see in the eyes of millions of parents who can cover their young adult children on their own health plan – and the security these young Americans have as they begin their careers. It’s our mothers, sisters and daughters who are no longer paying more for coverage just because they’re female. It’s the people with preexisting conditions who can no longer be locked out of health insurance.
Now, I want to invite every American to join us in the work ahead: Helping educate both newly and already insured Americans on how to use their coverage to keep their families healthy and get the best possible care when they are sick. And building a better, smarter, and healthier system of health care delivery.
As I’ve traveled throughout the country, I’ve heard so many moving stories about how affordable health coverage is impacting people’s lives. One refrain I heard time and again from the folks I met was that they’re tired of the back-and-forth. They want those of us in Washington to work together so we can move forward, together.
Expanding access to quality, affordable health coverage is about making progress for the hardworking families that rely upon the financial security and peace-of-mind that comes with it. It’s about access, affordability, and quality. And one thing is for sure: Americans don’t want the progress we’ve made taken away from them.
When I was in Jacksonville, I met a young woman named Laura Gonzalez. She’s a 26-year-old mother of two who is studying to be an ultrasound tech. Her husband is a truck driver and he does not receive insurance through his work. Thanks to the Marketplace, they’ve been able to get covered for only $41 a month.
People like Laura were helped in the last few months by assisters and call center employees, as well as navigators and volunteers, across the country. So I want to take a moment, on behalf of many, to acknowledge and personally thank all of them for their work to get folks covered. The work we’ve accomplished together is changing lives.
For Laura and the about 11.4 million of her fellow Americans, it’s a new day. And I look forward to what we can continue to achieve together in the work ahead.