About 31 million Americans now have health-care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, the White House announced Saturday, setting a record since the law, colloquially known as “Obamacare,” was enacted in 2010 under President Barack Obama.
The report also said 1 million people were enrolled in the Affordable Care Act’s Basic Health Program option, which covers people whose incomes are just slightly too high to qualify them for Medicaid, as well as for some immigrants.
In addition, this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, President Biden ordered an extended three-month enrollment period for people to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplaces at HealthCare.gov. More than 1.2 million additional Americans enrolled in health-care plans through Obamacare during that special enrollment period, the report said.
To commemorate the milestone, Biden spoke with Obama in a taped Zoom conversation that was released by the White House on Saturday.
“Really good news, folks. Great news: 31 million people are now covered by the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said. “And I know someone who’s going to really want to know that number is up as high as it is. I got to call this fella.”
Obama credited Biden for continuing to build on the health-care law they had established during their administration and also praised him for extending the special enrollment period at HealthCare.gov because of the pandemic.
“Joe Biden, we did this together. We always talked about how if we could get the principle of universal coverage established, we could then build on it,” Obama said.
Biden also made passing reference to the number of times Republicans have tried to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court, which has so far upheld the law in two challenges to Obamacare, will soon consider a third challenge.
“The effort was worth it. The families that have been able to care for their loved ones, be cured, have access to care, that all makes it worthwhile,” Obama said.
In March, Biden announced that his administration was once again extending the special enrollment period for HealthCare.gov, this time until Aug. 15. On Saturday, both he and Obama encouraged those who still needed insurance coverage to visit HealthCare.gov.
“HealthCare.gov works like a charm these days,” Obama quipped, a nod at the federal website’s problem-riddled launch in 2013.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that HealthCare.gov launched in 2010. It launched in 2013. This article has been corrected.