The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare“, is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, it represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.
Goals of the ACA
The ACA was enacted with the goals of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance, lowering the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reducing the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government. It introduced a number of mechanisms — including mandates, subsidies, and insurance exchanges — meant to increase coverage and affordability. The law also requires insurance companies to cover all applicants within new minimum standards and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex. Additional reforms aimed to reduce costs and improve healthcare outcomes by shifting the system towards quality over quantity through increased competition, regulation, and incentives to streamline the delivery of healthcare. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the ACA will lower both future deficits and Medicare spending.
Health Insurance Exchange Links
- Oregon’s Health Insurance Exchange
- Washington’s Health Insurance Exchange
- Alaska’s Health Insurance Exchange
- California’s Health Insurance Exchange
- See key features of the ACA
- More about the Affordable Care Act
- The Federal Health Insurance Exchange
- Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions from the IRS
- Employers Guide to Understanding the ACA
- Should I Just Quit Providing Health Insurance To My Employees?
- ACA Implementation: Determining Common Ownership For the Employer Mandate
- ACA Dictionary / Terms
- The Unintended Consequences of the Affordable Care Act