On March 25, 2016, I visited The White House as it recognized ten individuals from across the country as “White House Champions of Change for the Affordable Care Act,” in concert with the 6th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.
The event itself was not full of hoopla. Opening remarks were made by Denis McDonough (@Denis44), White House Chief of Staff, a last minute substitution for HHS Secretary Mathews Burwell. McDonough’s most emphatic point was that the ACA has been an individual gift to the 20 million Americans who are now covered.
The audience at the event (see photos) was extremely diverse, as were the perspectives shared on the two panels. They included a 4th year medical student who’s also an Executive Director of an organization mobilizing student community health workers and a leader of HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health coalitions. What was impressive for me was that all seemed to recognize the significance of coverage as a stepping stone to (a) better care and (b) improving the broader determinants of health. Panelists went beyond the walls of doctors offices and hospitals in their thinking, a sign of what happens when people visualize health care beyond coverage. You can read about the 10 champions here.
The White House separately distributed a list of accomplishments and a chart book of major milestones related to the ACA. It’s impressive for me to note that in my lifetime, I have never lived in the United States when more than 90 percent of our population had health insurance coverage, until now. It’s why in one of my tweets, I used the hashtag #HoorayACA.
My photos are above, enjoy.