Dr. Ravi Kolli, President of the American Association of the Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States was invited to be part of the 13th-anniversary celebrations of the Affordable Care Act on March 13th, 2023, at the White House in Washington, DC.
“It was such a privilege and an honor to be at the White House representing AAPI, to commemorate 13th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. It was a memorable day to cherish,” Dr. Kolli described his experience joining with several other healthcare leaders at the White House to commemorate the Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama. Other AAPI team members attending the White House ceremony included, Drs. Rupak Parikh, Roshan Shah, Sameer Gupta and Jay Bhat
Surrounded by several healthcare professionals, industry leaders, and heads of federal agencies, President Joe Biden along with Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi marked the 13th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act in the same room where his predecessor, Obama signed into law the historic Act benefitting millions.
The landmark Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare was signed into law in 2010. The act aimed to provide affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans. The ACA was also designed to protect consumers from insurance company tactics that might drive up patient costs or restrict care. Millions of Americans have benefitted by receiving insurance coverage through the ACA. Many of these people were unemployed or had low-paying jobs. Some couldn’t work because of a disability or family obligations. Others could not get decent health insurance because of a preexisting medical condition, such as a chronic disease.
“Many of you joined us that day after fighting for decades to make it happen, and I remember three words I used at the time, I thought it was –” Biden said, smiling to invited guests in the White House East Room. “I thought it was a big deal. And I stand by the fact, it was a big deal.”
The president touted the progress his administration has made to advance health care policy through legislation, the Affordable Care Act. “Folks, look, we’re making health care more affordable in many other ways as well.” Biden also highlighted recent moves by several pharmaceutical companies to cap the price of insulin. “Well, I value everyone having a decent shot. It is about fairness. It is about dignity. My budget continues to build on the progress we made in the Affordable Care Act.”
Calling it historic, Dr. Kolli praised the current administration for the efforts to insure millions, providing them with affordable health benefits. Quoting statistics, Dr. Kolli pointed out, “During 2023 open enrollment a record high 16.4 million people signed up, with 4.4 million more people enrolled for health insurance since 2021. A new HHS report shows more than 40 million people are currently enrolled in Marketplace or Medicaid expansion coverage related to provisions of the Affordable Care Act — the highest total on record.”
Dr. Kolli thanked the Biden administration for the Open Enrollment outreach that was tailored to reach audiences that experience lower access to health care through cultural marketing experts to connect more people to resources including Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, African Americans, Spanish and English-speaking Latinos, and in multiple languages.
HHS released a report from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) that shows more than 40 million people are currently enrolled in Marketplace or Medicaid expansion coverage related to provisions of the ACA — the highest total on record.
Referring to studies, Dr. Kolli said, ACA has helped a total of 40.2 million Americans gain coverage related based on 2022 and early 2023 enrollment data, the highest total on record. This represents 9.3 million more people enrolled than in 2021 (a 30% increase) and 27.6 million more people enrolled than in 2014 (a 219% increase, or more than triple). Survey results indicate that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have experienced substantial reductions in the uninsured rate since 2013, the last year before the implementation of the ACA.
Among the many benefits, Dr. Kolli pointed out that ACA covers many screenings and preventive services, which has been a theme advocated by AAPI: Focus on Preventive Care. “These usually have low copays or deductibles. The hope is that if you are proactive in your healthcare, you can avoid or delay major health problems later. This will benefit healthier consumers having to pay lower costs over time. For example, a diabetes screening and early treatment may help prevent costly and debilitating treatment later,” he pointed out.
Serving 1 in every 7 patients in the US, AAPI members care for millions of patients every day, while several of them have risen to hold high-flying jobs, shaping the policies and programs, and inventions that shape the landscape of healthcare in the US and around the world. For more details, please visit: www.appiusa,org