MILWAUKEE, March 3 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday announced that his signature health care law has signed up 20 million Americans since its inception six years ago.
Obama traveled to Milwaukee Thursday to commemorate the city's improved health record. Milwaukee beat 19 other major U.S. cities in a nationwide initiative called the Healthy Communities Challenge by enrolling more than 38,000 people in health coverage under the president's program.
The competition was intended to see which city could sign up the most people during the most recent ACA enrollment period.
"Today I can announce that thanks to the law, 20 million more Americans now know the security of health insurance. Twenty million, 20 million people" Obama said. "That includes 6 million young people who were less likely to be insured before the ACA.
20 million Americans have gained health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 3, 2016
That's what change looks like. https://t.co/E0OrIFVDZu
"In America, health care is not a privilege reserved for the few, but should be a right."
The White House cited a specific example -- a letter written by citizen Brent Brown, a Republican voter, last June -- of the ACA helping Americans who otherwise would not have health coverage.
Brown told Obama that he had a life-threatening pre-existing condition that prevented him from buying health care coverage before the administration's systematic overhaul in 2010 finally allowed him to seek treatment.
"I did not vote for you. Either time. I have voted Republican for the entirety of my life," he wrote. "I am so very sorry. ... My level of conviction has me in tears as I write this. I was so very wrong. So very very wrong.
"You saved my life. I want that to sink into your ears and mind. My president, you saved my life, and I am eternally grateful."
"Your insurance is better than it was -- even if you don't know it. Even if you didn't vote for me," Obama told the Milwaukee crowd. "Thanks, Obama."
The White House stated on its website that more than 90 percent of Americans now have health coverage for the first time in American history -- and that the number of uninsured black males in the United States has been cut in half.