The reassurance that comes from having affordable, quality health insurance should be a right – not a privilege – for every American. For the past decade, the Affordable Care Act has enabled millions of Americans to sleep better at night knowing they are covered in the worst case scenario.

When I ran for president, I made a promise to protect and build on the historic foundation of the Affordable Care Act. For this reason, on February 15, my government opened for a special enrollment period to allow all Americans – especially those who lost their insurance coverage during the pandemic through no fault of their own – to find a quality, affordable health plan.

Six months later, I’m excited to announce that 2.8 million more Americans have gained access to reliable health insurance through and government marketplaces. That is 2.8 million families who, in the event of illness or an accident, have more security, more breathing space and more money in their pockets. A total of 12.2 million Americans are actively covered under the Affordable Care Act – an all-time high.

In addition to expanding access, we’re also reducing healthcare costs for millions of families thanks to the expanded premium grants in my American Rescue Plan. Americans who get their insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act have seen their premiums drop by an average of $ 67 a month – that’s more than $ 800 a year spent on groceries, childcare, or other essentials can be. More than four in ten Americans covered during the special enrollment period found a quality plan for $ 10 or less per month. In twenty states and the District of Columbia, premiums fell more than $ 75 a month. And out-of-pocket spending fell dramatically, with the average new entry deductible dropping more than 90 percent from $ 750 to $ 50.

Those numbers are encouraging, but we still have more work to do to bring down healthcare costs for all Americans. My Build Back Better Agenda would cut prescription drug costs for millions of Americans by letting Medicare negotiate drug prices; Providing Health Premium Tax Cuts to Nine Million Americans That Cut Costs by an Average of $ 600; and provide high quality, affordable care to millions of people. In fact, by closing the Medicaid coverage gap and expanding the Affordable Care Act’s expanded tax credits, we could secure health coverage for an additional seven million Americans.

I urge Congress to act quickly to help the American people – to continue the important work of expanding access and reducing health care costs in all areas, and continue to build on the strong foundation of the Affordable Care Act.