Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Marking the Sixth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act
“Thank you very much, Kanisha, for your testimony and your courage to come forward with your story.
“Today is a historic day, indeed, because it celebrates the 6th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act. It sits right up there – March 23, 2010 – as it does with August 14, 1935, the day President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Bill, with July 30, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare Bill, and on March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama proudly signed the Affordable Care Act.
“These are three pillars of economic security for America’s families, and we are very, very proud of all of it.
“The stories that you have heard today – and we thank Stephanie Burton, Ken Pease and Kanisha Hans for coming forward with their stories – they are the most eloquent statements of the success of the Affordable Care Act. The stories, the facts and the progress we have heard about are why we are so proud of the Affordable Care Act’s success for the American people. We measure our success by the difference and progress that it makes for America’s families.
“That is why Democrats fought so hard to pass the Affordable Care Act six years ago – and you heard it from our distinguished Whip about access and affordability, from our distinguished Chairman of the Caucus, in terms of preexisting conditions and access – it makes a complete difference. Mr. Clyburn talked so much about what it means to seniors. Mr. [Crowley], 54 years old – young to me but maybe not to Kanisha – talked about what it means to young people – all of this very, very important.
“As I harken back in history to President Roosevelt, President Johnson and now, President Obama, in more recent history, I think about our Founders. And they, in our Declaration of Independence talked about ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ This is what the Affordable Care Act is about: a healthier life, the liberty to pursue our happiness – imagine that they had ‘happiness’ as part of the values and goals of our New Republic. The Affordable Care Act takes us to this place.
“Kanisha was speaking about what it means to young women, in terms of contraception access – and as we gather here today, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments to enable employers to deny women access to contraceptive care. But the law is on our side and on the side of Kanisha.
“We passed the Affordable Care Act because women’s rights to comprehensive health care, including contraception, is not up to employers or politicians. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, no longer will being a woman be a preexisting medical condition.
“And so for these and other reasons, March 23 is indeed a day of celebration for the American people. Thank you all for coming. I thank my colleagues, I thank our friends, Families USA and others, who not only helped us pass the bill but now, to implement it. We hope more Governors will join by expanding Medicaid, so our numbers will grow even further.
“But if there were no other reason to pass this bill than cost – that would have been reason enough. We have lowered the cost to individuals and families, to small businesses, to corporate America, to the federal government, and we have seen success in the slowing down of increasing cost in health care. Again, another reason to celebrate today. Thank you all for joining us and for your support.”