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Many states refuse to implement its core parts. President Donald Trump has wished for it to explode. A central provision has been declared unconstitutional. The bill, totaling more than pages, aimed to curb swelling health-care costs , increase the quality of that care and flip more than 30 million Americans from uninsured to insured. Recently, a federal court decided the central provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring all Americans to be insured or face a tax penalty is unconstitutional.
Now, the entire law may be in limbo. Congress just repealed three taxes meant to raise revenue for the ACA. In , the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had exceeded its constitutional power by requiring states to expand Medicaid ó one of the main ways the law aimed to increase coverage rates. At least 14 states have refused to expand their Medicaid program since. Indeed, some 28 million Americans are still uninsured.
Even so, the Affordable Care Act has made our health-care system unrecognizable from a decade ago. The Affordable Care Act established health insurance marketplaces, including Healthcare. Despite initial spikes in prices on the marketplace, premiums have grown more affordable over the last couple of years.
More than 20 million Americans gained health insurance under the ACA. Black Americans , children and small-business owners have especially benefited.
As a result of the increased access to health care, it's estimated that more than 19, lives have been saved. The Medicaid expansion is popular with voters. After Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, won reelection in November, his lead pollster told The Washington Post that "no single issue was more important than the Medicaid expansion.
That math has led even red states that criticized the Affordable Care Act to eventually adopt it, Stevens said. There are other parts of the ACA with bipartisan support, including prohibiting insurers from denying coverage or charging more to people with preexisting conditions.
More than 1 in 4 Americans report having a preexisting condition such as asthma or high blood pressure. The law prohibited health insurers from including lifetime and annual caps in their plans.
In the past, the government estimates that more than 20, people hit those limits each year. The Affordable Care Act also banned insurers from charging rates based on gender. Under the ACA, Medicare stopped reimbursing hospitals for the treatment of hospital-acquired infections. As a result, the number of such infections have plummeted and , fewer deaths have occurred.
Health-care spending still makes up nearly a fifth of the country's gross domestic product. Many Americans can't afford to take care of themselves. The Trump administration has been hostile toward the Affordable Care Act. Of the changes that have been made, some of the actions taken directly by the administration have been contentious.
Opponents of the ACA and the administration's subsequent actions say that the executive branch overstepped its authority in how it has implemented the law, and contend that some of its actions may be illegal.
The administration and its supporters say that the actions are within the bounds of federal law and in line with those taken by previous administrations implementing similarly complex laws. The list below is a selection of notable and significant changes that have been made to the Affordable Care Act through legislation, administrative action, and Supreme Court rulings. The list was guided in part by a similar document from the Congressional Research Service, listed below, and in part by the amount of debate surrounding each change.
The list is not comprehensive and is not organized in any particular order. For more comprehensive information, please see the following documents:. Health plans that were created between and and were not compliant with the ACA's requirements, now called "grandmothered" plans, were originally supposed to come into compliance with the law at the beginning of In October , many individually insured people began receiving letters from their insurance carriers notifying them of the impending cancellation of their plans.
The plans were canceled because they did not meet new minimum coverage requirements set by the law. Under pressure from Democratic members of Congress, in November , the administration delayed for the first time the requirement that these health plans come into compliance, allowing insurers to continue offering these plans until The administration delayed this requirement for a second time in March , allowing insurers to continue offering these plans until The ACA stipulates that employers with 50 or more full-time employees must provide affordable health coverage to full-time employees beginning January 1, The administration delayed enforcement of this requirement for the first time in July The announcement from the Department of the Treasury stated that such employers would have until to provide coverage to their employees.
The administration delayed enforcement of this requirement for a second time in February The announcement stated that midsize employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees would have until January 1, , to offer health coverage.
Additionally, for large employers with or more full-time employees, the requirements would be phased in: they would be required to offer health coverage to 70 percent of employees by January 1, , and to 95 percent by January 1, The administration considers 95 percent "substantially all" of a business' full-time employees.
The ACA requires every individual to enroll in health insurance beginning in If a person is uninsured for three consecutive months in a year, he or she will be assessed a penalty.
The first open enrollment period for purchasing health plans on the exchanges ran from October 1, , until March 31, To avoid being uninsured for the first three months of the year and facing a penalty, individuals would have had to sign up by February 15, On October 28, , the administration announced that it would grant a hardship exemption to individuals who signed up after February 15, essentially waiving the penalty these individuals would have otherwise faced.
Prior to the passage of the ACA, most states did not offer Medicaid to low-income childless adults. Most also restricted the eligibility of low-income parents to those with incomes below the federal poverty level. When the ACA was passed, it required states to expand eligibility for their Medicaid programs to all individuals with incomes up to percent of the federal poverty level. If the state refused to expand, the law said that the federal government could withhold all of its portion of Medicaid funding from the state.
Shortly after the law's passage, 26 states sued the federal government to challenge the requirement to expand Medicaid. The case made its way to the United States Supreme Court , which ruled on June 28, , that the provision was unconstitutionally coercive. The decision effectively made expanding Medicaid voluntary on the part of the states. The ACA establishes a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost health plans known as the "Cadillac tax.
The tax was originally slated to go into effect in
Feb 26, †∑ Payment reductions. The ACA reduced the annual increases in payments to hospitals under the traditional Medicare program. It also reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans. Partly because of these measures, . The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of , also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, was signed into law on March 23, Since that time, the law . Answer (1 of 14): The 20, plus pages of Obamacare that has been highlighted by the photos of papers stacked much higher than a manís head, have essentially eliminated the private .