Obama Expected To Tout ACA in State of the Union Address
President Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday is expected to tout the Affordable Care Act's success so far, Modern Healthcare reports.
Harvard University political science professor Theda Skocpol said she is "sure" Obama will "crow about the health care law," adding that he has "a very good story to tell" about its success. For example, between eight million and 10 million U.S. residents have gained health coverage under the law, either through its exchanges or through its Medicaid expansions. In addition, the Obama administration has reported that about 6.8 million individuals have enrolled in health plans during the ACA's second open enrollment period so far.
In addition, experts have suggested that Obama could address Republicans' attempts to dismantle the ACA. Specifically, Obama might reiterate that he will veto any bills that would significantly change or impede the law.
However, American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Thomas Miller said he does not expect Obama to focus on the ACA. Instead, he said Obama likely will highlight reauthorizing Children's Health Insurance Program, which is set to expire at the end of October.
Ernst To Give GOP Response
Meanwhile, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will deliver the Republican response and is expected to highlight premium increases and canceled health plans under the ACA. In addition, Ernst is expected to lay out the GOP's plans to change the law, potentially including repealing the ACA's medical device tax and getting rid of its employer mandate (Demko, Modern Healthcare, 1/17).
Cancer Survivors With ACA Coverage To Attend
In related news, first lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said they have invited two cancer survivors who have obtained coverage through the ACA's exchanges to attend the State of the Union address, The Hill reports.
According to The Hill, Astrid Muhammad, a North Carolina resident who recently had surgery to treat a brain tumor, will attend the address with Obama. Muhammad was first diagnosed with the tumor in 2013 but had not received treatment until she became insured under the ACA last year. Muhammad wrote a letter to President Obama in October 2014 "thanking him for passing the" ACA, according to a statement from the White House.
In addition, Murphy on Friday announced that Susie Clayton, a two-time breast cancer survivor, also will attend the address. According to The Hill, Clayton credits her "entire survivorship" to the coverage she received under the ACA (Ferris/Viebeck, The Hill, 1/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.