The President Joe Biden administration has announced an extended deadline to enroll in Obamacare made available through the Affordable Care Act.
Read More: Much at stake as Supreme Court weighs future of ‘Obamacare’
Biden announced the extension Tuesday evening on the anniversary of the health care law while in Columbus, Ohio.
“Eleven years ago today, President [Barack] Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act — historic achievement that would not have been possible but for the vision and determination of one of the most successful Presidents in recent American history: Barack Obama,” Biden remarked.
He continued, “But, look, on this anniversary, we should remember just how close we have come to losing that act we so fought so hard for. And we have a duty not just to protect it, but to make it better and keep becoming a nation where healthcare is a right for all and not a privilege for a few.”
Biden’s presidential predecessor Donald Trump shifted the Supreme Court and placed Obamacare in danger of being completely changed. theGrio reported the argument against the law from the Trump administration and conservative states is that the 10-year-old statute was rendered unconstitutional in its entirety when Congress dialed down to zero a penalty on those remaining uninsured.
Many Republicans, meanwhile, want to scale back the government’s support for health care. They would make deep cuts to Medicaid financing and leave the ACA’s insurance markets as a state option. Protections for people with pre-existing conditions could be eroded under these rules.
Trump once famously said, “nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” That was in 2017 when he and a Republican-controlled Congress harbored hopes they could “repeal and replace” the ACA.
Read More: Support for Obamacare back at record high, Gallup poll shows
Much of Joe Biden’s campaign focused on healthcare as the nation continues to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. During his Tuesday speech, Biden reflected on the promises made and the accomplishments thus far, less than 100 days into his presidency.
“When I ran for pro- — for President, I promised I would build on the foundation of the Affordable Care Act. And just 50 days into my administration, we’ve delivered on that promise with the American Rescue Plan. It does that by making healthcare more affordable. It means better coverage and lower premiums for millions of Americans,” he said.
theGrio reported in February, the website opened for a special three-month sign-up window, creating a May 15 deadline, a period about twice as long as annual open enrollment.
Under the new extension announced this week, the deadline to sign up was pushed to August 15, 2021. Biden also promised the process would be made easier. To sign up, Biden instructed those interested to visit HealthCare.gov or call the national hotline (1-800-318-2596) and have health coverage after a few clicks and a short conversation.
“I’ll close with this: With the American Rescue Plan and the Affordable Care Act, millions of families will be able to sleep a little more soundly at night because they don’t have to worry about losing everything if they get sick,” POTUS said.
“That’s the difference. And we’re going to keep building until every American has that peace of mind and to show that our government can fulfill its most essential purpose: to care for and protect the American people. When we work together, we can do big things, important things, necessary things.”
This article contains original reporting from theGrio’s Associated Press.
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