Affordable Health Care Act
The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” is the name given to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a landmark piece of legislation passed by Congress in 2010. The goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to increase the availability of health insurance and access to the health care system for millions of American citizens. Despite this goal, and the implementation of the ACA in 2014, Congressional Republicans have made numerous attempts to repeal it.
The Affordable Care Act was a major part of Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, an attempt to reform the expensive health care system that saw numerous Americans unable to afford insurance. The details of the ACA have two main ways in which insurance coverage is increased: expanding Medicaid eligibility to individuals at or below 138% of the poverty line, and creating a series of state-based insurance exchanges where people can purchase lower cost health insurance. Further, individuals with “preexisting conditions” cannot be denied health insurance coverage.
The term “Obamacare” was originally created as a pejorative term. Many opponents labeled the Affordable Care Act as similar to socialism. However, President Obama later co-opted the term, seeing the ACA as a major achievement of his administration. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate portion of the ACA was indeed constitutional, paving the way for its implementation in January 2014.