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March 23 was the 11th anniversary of the day that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama. In the eleven years since, more than 20 million people have gained health coverage because of the ACA and over 130 million people now have protections from discrimination against preexisting conditions.

The Affordable Care Act is an American success story. Because of the ACA 125,000 Montanans including 13,000 Montana kids have health insurance coverage. Nearly 15,000 eligible Indigenous Montanans have increased access to a comprehensive range of health care services, helping close the staggering Native American health disparities gap.

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP), which just passed Congress, is another success story that will build on the ACA and make health care more affordable for millions of people. The ARP provides subsidies that will decrease premiums. If someone is getting unemployment, they will now qualify for a $0 premium Silver Plan on the ACA marketplace. The plan also pays 100% of COBRA premiums for people who lost their coverage because they were laid off or had their hours reduced.

The ARP made big improvements, but we’re not done. These changes will expire unless Congress takes future action to make them permanent in the next package.

Thank you, Sen. Tester, for voting for the American Rescue Plan. Now let’s get to work and make sure that we lock in the progress toward affordable, quality health care for everyone permanently.

Lane McGill and Holly Hale 

Bozeman

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