When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more than a decade ago, the door was opened for millions of Americans to access affordable health care. But the benefits to our health-care system created by the ACA are not guaranteed to last forever.

Efforts have repeatedly been made to “repeal and replace” the legislation. Fortunately, those efforts were thwarted by bold leadership from people like N.H. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen. Now there’s another fight, and we need Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Hassan to continue their bold leadership by shoring up the ACA’s significant progress in the fight for equitable care.

At the end of next year, lifesaving health coverage subsidies are set to expire. The ACA created these vital subsidies, and they were enhanced by this year’s American Rescue Plan. Congress cannot allow them to expire. The time is now to secure these expanded subsidies — and everything they do to improve access to care — by making them permanent in this year’s budget.

In New Hampshire alone, nearly 23,000 people were made newly eligible for the tax credits because of ARPA. If this relief was to disappear, many would be forced to pay more or lose their insurance entirely.

New Hampshire is counting on Sens. Hassan and Shaheen to remain steadfast in their commitment to affordable health care. I urge them to protect these critical tax credits now.

JIM CALLAHAN

Hancock