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Statement by Secretary Burwell on the National Health Interview Survey

Sylvia Mathews Burwell - cropped May 19

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Today’s report [PDF 664 KB] is further proof that our country has made undeniable and historic strides thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The uninsured rate fell to 9.1 percent in 2015, making it the first year in our nation’s history that fewer than 1 in 10 Americans lacked health insurance, and the report documents the progress we’ve made expanding coverage across the country. Meanwhile, premiums for employer coverage, Medicare spending, and health care prices have risen at exceptionally slow rates. Our country ought to be proud of how far we’ve come and where we’re going.

The Affordable Care Act made everyone’s insurance better, not just the people who have coverage through the Marketplace or even the 20 million people who have coverage because of the law. Today in America, there’s a father who can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition; a mother who can no longer be charged more because she’s a women; and a child who can stay on their parent’s plan up to age 26. Those rules benefit millions of people, and thankfully, they’re now part of the fabric of America.

There’s still more work to do as we build a health care system that works for everyone and results in better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. But our country is unequivocally on stronger footing today because of the Affordable Care Act. That’s progress to celebrate.