The Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. It has put into motion comprehensive health insurance reforms that will roll out over four years and beyond, with most changes taking place by 2014.
The law is in place, implementation is moving forward, and hundreds of complicated provisions are in effect. Discuss the current state of the law considering the ruling of the Supreme Court.
The Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or simply as Obamacare, was enacted on March 23, 2010. The objective of enacting it was to give more Americans access to quality and affordable public and private health insurance and to lower the country’s health expenditure. With the new law came a number of advantageous reforms including one that enabled the stay of young adults on their parents’ protection plan until the age of 26.
Despite its achievements, there was a move challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in the country’s courts. Meanwhile, on 25 June 2015, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling in favor of the continued implementation of Obamacare in a 6-3 decision (Steinbrook, 2015). While reading the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the goal of the healthcare law was to improve the operations of health insurance markets and not the opposite.
Having survived that constitutional challenge, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will survive other future affronts even after the end of Barrack Obama’s presidential term. Its continued survival is solely hinged on positive difference it has made to the society in terms of access to health insurance. Like every other Act, the ACA has its pros and cons. In this case, though, the former outweigh the latter. The law introduces new benefits, protection and rights through new medical plans that were previously beyond the reach of millions of Americans. The most crucial benefit is the universality of healthcare access, such that every citizen is guaranteed to access all major medical insurance schemes, whereby access cannot be denied for any reason including preexisting conditions and age.
Steinbrook, R. (2015). US Supreme Court’s exoneration of the Affordable Care Act. BMJ, 5, 350-357.