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Photo: Planned Parenthood staff, including ACA assisters — the unsung heroes of the ACA’s success

March 23 marked the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s 7th anniversary, and — despite the unparalleled benefits that the law has bestowed on the American people — the U.S. House is set to vote on its repeal very soon. The repeal bill also includes an outrageous provision to block patients from care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

While we’re fighting with all we’ve got against this bill, we didn’t want to let this important anniversary pass without honoring some unsung heroes behind the ACA’s success: ACA assisters.

About ACA Assisters

Photo: Planned Parenthood ACA assister helps a woman sign up for health care coverage.

Since the ACA passed in 2010, uninsured rates have shrunk to historic lows. The law has helped around 22 million Americans get affordable health insurance, and has particularly improved the uninsured rates among communities of color. So many people signed up for health insurance coverage thanks to, in large part, ACA in-person assisters — professionals who help people enroll in coverage by answering their questions and stepping them through the enrollment process.

Planned Parenthood affiliates across the nation have supported ACA in-person assisters since the first open enrollment opportunity in 2013. These Planned Parenthood ACA assisters went out into their communities to help enroll over 200,000 people, many from communities that never had access to health insurance before the ACA.

Today, we’re honoring them and the people they’ve helped by lifting up the stories of assister Tim W. and newly insured Planned Parenthood patient Sean K.

Tim W.: Assister & Organizer

Our ACA work has allowed us to work in a variety of communities including those that are mainly underserved. We ACA assisters were able to canvass rural communities that do not have access to large amounts of health services in order to give them information on the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood services. For many individuals, our contact was some of the only information they were receiving regarding health coverage, leading to large impacts in underserved communities. Furthermore, we worked in varying communities of color in order to foster relationships to spread the word on our enrollment work.

—Tim W.

Sean K.: In Praise of His ACA Assister, Jessica

Jessica was amazing in helping me to call the Marketplace to figure out what was going on. Jessica took charge again to make sure that I got on a solid plan for a price that was reasonable for me. It was such a relief to be able to go someplace that I knew would advocate for me in what I had known was going to be a complex and stressful situation.

—Sean K.

Join a #ProtectOurCare Event

On Thursday, March 23, Planned Parenthood and members of the Protect Our Care coalition hosted powerful ACA anniversary rallies to push back against a repeal. Find local #Resistance events at ResistanceNearMe.org!

Tags: ACA, AHCA, Planned Parenthood, Affordable Care Act

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