The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, was passed by Congress in 2009. Its provisions include mandating individuals purchase health insurance or pay a penalty; reducing healthcare fraud costs and uncompensated care expenditure; creating state-based insurance exchanges and expanding Medicaid eligibility coverage to low-income people.
From its inception, the Affordable Care Act was contentious. A number of challenges to its constitutionality reached as far as the Supreme Court.
The ACA was passed on March 23, 2010
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known by its acronym Obamacare. The act expanded access to health insurance, improved quality care, reduced costs, and established new ways for people to pay for it all. Since its implementation has seen great strides forward for women and families with children, older adults, communities of color and LGBT individuals.
ACA established online marketplaces where individuals could shop for individual insurance policies and apply for subsidies to help cover premium costs; subsidies were made available to people earning up to 400% of poverty level, and lifetime benefits limits and insurers from revoking coverage in cases of fraud or misrepresentation were prohibited by the law.
RAND’s COMPARE model has been utilized since the ACA was passed in order to assess various aspects of its impact. We analyzed, for instance, what would happen without an individual mandate penalty that encourages people to sign up for health coverage; our analysis estimated that without such penalties an estimated 12 million Americans would remain uninsured, leading to substantially reduced coverage from ACA compared with prior. Eventually however, the Supreme Court upheld this provision, considering penalty as lawfully-imposed tax.
The ACA was repealed in 2017
Republicans had waged a fierce campaign to repeal and replace Obamacare for seven years prior to taking control of Congress and the White House in 2016, yet were unable to deliver on their promise to do so.
The Affordable Care Act subsidizes individual market insurance policies by mandating that all plans cover essential health benefits, capping how premiums can increase over time, and banning lifetime and annual limits of coverage. Furthermore, young adults can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 as long as preventive care coverage is included free of charge in all new policies issued to plan members.
Although these changes have taken place, many Americans still struggle with affording individual marketplace coverage. RAND researchers discovered that due to confusion regarding health law and gaps in health literacy knowledge among American’s, navigating individual marketplaces can be dauntingly complex for many individuals.
The Affordable Care Act’s protections for preexisting conditions help 135 million nonelderly Americans stay insured, including Black, Latinx and Native populations who would otherwise remain uninsured without these safeguards. With their increased exposure to COVID-19 complications making them especially susceptible to price increases or denial of coverage; any attempt at repeal would be morally abhorrent and could even lead to the deaths of many Americans.
The ACA is still in effect
The Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, altered federal programs and insurance laws to help more Americans access affordable health coverage. It also included several consumer protections to ensure individuals make care decisions together with their doctor rather than insurance companies alone.
The Affordable Care Act created individual and small business health insurance marketplaces, through which people could purchase plans from private insurers at competitive prices. It also provided tax credits for people with lower incomes so they could afford coverage; these subsidies have since come under legal challenge in King v Burwell – RAND researchers used COMPARE modeling software to predict what would happen if subsidies were slashed altogether.
An essential aspect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is its mandate for health plans to cover essential health benefits. This includes free preventive services like flu shots and cancer screenings; there are no annual or lifetime limits; health insurers must spend between 80%-85% of premiums on actual medical costs rather than administrative overhead costs; annual limits or lifetime limits must also not apply; coverage restrictions cannot exceed actual medical needs and coverage must exceed actual costs by at least 85% to 90%.
The Affordable Care Act allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26 and forbids health insurers from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions. Furthermore, New York was one of the first states to implement Medicaid expansion through this law.