Senator Gary Peters has been fighting to protect and expand access to health care for more than a decade. In 2009, Senator Peters (then a Representative from Michigan’s 9th District) cast a crucial vote to pass the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in the House, he then spent years fighting back against repeated attacks on health care access, and in 2017 he held the line against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The vote also preserved nearly a decade of progress in health care access, particularly for women and people of color.
Before the ACA, people of color were significantly more likely to be without health coverage, facing uninsured rates of 20% among Black Americans, 33% among Hispanic Americans, and 17% among Asian Americans.
Women also faced a multitude of barriers to accessing care before the ACA. In the years before Obamacare became law, millions of women were denied health care coverage because of so-called “pre-existing conditions” like breast cancer, pregnancy, or domestic abuse.
Many patients also had to pay out-of-pocket for basic preventive health care like breast cancer screenings, Pap tests, and birth control — costing them hundreds of dollars a year or more. In fact, before the ACA’s birth control benefit went into effect, contraception accounted for more than a third of women’s out-of-pocket health care costs.
We cannot afford to go back to the state of health care before the ACA. We must fight forward to protect the gains we’ve made and expand access to high quality health care even further.
We are proud to have Senator Gary Peters leading the fight for health care access on behalf of Michiganders.