As Congress takes aim at the Affordable Care Act, we are sharing stories showing the positive difference the ACA is making in people’s lives across America. Here we focus on 5 different features of the law that have been important to improving Americans’ health and financial security:

As you share stories of people all across America who have been helped by the ACA, remember that it’s up to you to #ProtectOurCare.

Learn more about how you can take action

Affordable Care Act Helps People with Pre-Existing Conditions

The Affordable Care Act protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health insurance.

The ACA gave everyone a lifelong guarantee that health insurers cannot, under any circumstances, discriminate against them based on pre-existing health conditions. This includes cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Based on their past proposals to replace the ACA, the Republican replacement plan would drastically weaken these protections. 

Repeal of the ACA threatens against the 133 million people with pre-existing conditions. Share Kimberley's story.

None of the proposals Republicans have put forth comes close to offering all of the protections provided by the ACA. In fact, all of them would essentially pull the rug out from under people with pre-existing conditions. 

More about why Republican promises to protect people with pre-existing conditions don’t equal the ACA protections

The Affordable Care Act Allows Kids up to 26 to Stay on Their Parents’ Plans

Thanks to the ACA, young people are currently guaranteed coverage on their parents’ health plans until they are 26, whether their parents purchase their health coverage on their own or receive it through a job. 

Young adults are eligible even if they are married or if they live in a different state than their parents. Share Erin's story.

Finally, young adults staying on their parents’ plans, whether their parents purchase them on their own or get them through an employer, can’t be charged any more for coverage than other dependents (such as younger children).

The Affordable Care Act Expanded Medicaid

One of the most important provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the expansion of health coverage to low-income families through the Medicaid program. Before the ACA, most states did not give health coverage to adults without children, no matter how poor they were. And most states only covered parents if they had extremely low incomes.

Repealing the ACA means that millions of Americans in the 32 states (including D.C.) that chose to expand Medicaid will lose their health coverage. Most of them are hard-working people in low-wage jobs—like waiters and waitresses, sales clerks, cooks, and home health aides. Share Emanuel's story.

The Affordable Care Act Requires Most Plans to Cover Preventive Care

The ACA required that most health plans cover preventive care—like cancer screenings, vaccines, birth control, blood pressure tests and more—at no additional cost. Share Helen's preventive care story.

Repeal of the ACA threatens the access to preventive care of nearly 138 million people with private health coverage (including nearly 29 million children) and 55 million seniors on Medicare. Nearly 56 million women will lose the guarantee of free preventive services, including contraception coverage. Under the ACA, women have saved an average of $255 per year on oral contraceptives. More about the ACA’s preventive care provision

The Affordable Care Act Improved Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Coverage

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions more people have coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services. Share Melanie's story.

Coverage of these services is now a required benefit in plans sold to individuals, families, and small businesses. Before the ACA people enrolled in private plans often found they did not have coverage for the services they needed: 18 percent of people enrolled in private plans did not have any coverage for mental health services, and 34 percent did not have any coverage for substance use disorder services. 

The ACA required, for the first time, that small employer and individual market plans treat mental health care as equal to general medical care. Coverage for mental health and substance use disorder is considered part of the ACA’s “essential health benefits,” bringing parity protections to consumers regardless of how they buy their coverage or where they live.

Learn more about how the ACA has improved mental health coverage.