DNC chair says Obamacare reduced Arizona uninsured rate 36 percent
PHOENIX — The chair of the Democratic National Committee said Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, did some good in Arizona.
“In Arizona, we saw a 36 percent reduction in the uninsured rate since the ACA,” Tom Perez told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
Perez also said the health law helped more than 14,000 people get on Medicaid and 300,000 people who had a pre-existing condition.
Despite the immense rate hike Arizonans had to deal with, Perez said insurers had set prices too low and had to correct that.
“When the Affordable Care Act first went into effect, there were a lot of insurers who priced their product too low and so they had to raise their premiums,” he said, adding that 80 to 90 percent of people on Obamacare received subsidies.
While he played up the benefits Obamacare has had in Arizona, Perez said his party recognized the law needs to be adapted and changed to improve it.
“We should be mending the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “We shouldn’t end the Affordable Care Act.”
Perez was critical of the way Republicans have handled a possible repeal of the law, saying the Affordable Care Act was discussed at length before being passed. He said ideas need to be debated instead of just proposed after being agreed to behind closed doors.
“These are ideas that ought to be heard in a deliberate fashion and what happened [Tuesday] is anything but deliberate,” he said. “Now we’re in this process where they’re just throwing anything against the wall in the Senate hoping that something sticks. That’s not how you reform health care.”
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