I am proud that I was a part of the first time in American history we passed a comprehensive health care reform bill to ensure all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care, while having the added benefit of significantly reducing long-term health care costs.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law on March 23, 2010. This law was a critical step toward ensuring that all Americans, including millions of Floridians, have access to quality, affordable health care.

Nationwide, data from the CDC shows that well over 20 million previously uninsured Americans have gained health coverage since the ACA became law.

The ACA greatly reduced the rate of uninsured in our state by making health care more affordable for Floridians through health care subsidies and reduced costs. An estimated 1.3 million Floridians qualify for financial assistance to purchase health insurance through the ACA and, according to HHS, 84 percent of Floridians with a marketplace plan could select a plan for $100 or less per month, with 75 percent being able to choose plans under $50 per month. The percentage of uninsured Floridians has dropped from 21% in 2010 to 13% in 2017.

Overall, in 2019, nearly 1.8 million Floridians chose a marketplace plan according to the Kaiser Family Foundation – the highest total of any state in the country, a number that has steadily increased as the ACA expanded access to and affordability of health care for everyday Floridians. In 2018, 94% of Floridians enrolled in the marketplace received advanced premium tax credits.

The ACA is also providing more expansive and affordable coverage for the people who often need it the most which ultimately benefits all of us. Women can no longer be charged higher premiums just for being a woman, Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be dropped from insurance plans, and the Medicare Part D "donut hole" is closing, providing immediate relief to South Floridian seniors who were at risk of falling into this coverage gap.

The numbers speak for themselves — there is demand for affordable health care and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more and more Floridians are finding that they now have access to quality coverage. That is why efforts to repeal or defund the ACA are not productive in working toward quality, more affordable healthcare for all Americans. I am committed to working in a bipartisan fashion to continue making meaningful improvements to our health care system based on facts and real-life impact, not political rhetoric.