President Barack Obama speaks at an event highlighting the five year anniversary of the passing of the Affordable Care Act, in the Eisenhower Executive Building in Washington, D.C. on March 5, 2015. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama spoke on Wednesday, celebrating the 5-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which has insured more than 16 million Americans.
Obama said the health care law is "working better than many of us -- including me -- anticipated." The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.
"The bottom line is this for the American people: this law is saving money for families and for businesses," he said. "This law is also saving lives, lives that touch all of us. It's working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund and defame this law."
The health care law was a major reason there have been 50,000 fewer preventable patient deaths in hospitals, according to Obama.
Statistics provided by the White House find that about 30 million young adults can no longer be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition and about 105 million Americans no longer have a lifetime limit on health coverage.
About 76 million are benefiting from preventive care coverage.
On Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., published an op-ed through Fox News criticizing the Affordable Care Act and offering an alternative.
"Over the last five years, Obamacare has revealed the painful consequences of placing our faith in big government," Rubio wrote. "Government's ambitions may be limitless, but its abilities are not. The free market, when allowed to function as intended, has no such limitations. It has an inexhaustible ability to empower our people and meet their needs. We need leaders in Congress -- and in the White House -- who will recognize that fact."
Rubio suggested a system that uses an "advanceable, refundable tax credit" and proposed reforming insurance regulations to "encourage innovation."
He also suggested Medicare and Medicaid be placed on "fiscally sustainable paths," such as a premium support system and per-capita cap system, respectively.