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Obamacare

What is Obamacare?

  • Obamacare – also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or officially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – is a federal statute signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama.
  • The law was created to improve access to affordable, quality health insurance for all Americans. It dramatically changed the U.S. individual health insurance market by implementing provisions designed to make individual plans more affordable and while improving quality of coverage.
  • The ACA’s major provisions began taking effect in 2014, although some had taken effect as early as 2010. By 2016, the Affordable Care Act had lowered the percentage of uninsured Americans from 16% to 8.9%.
  • The health reform battle that delivered Obamacare was driven by a dysfunctional U.S. healthcare system. Eighty-two percent of Americans said the system needed an overhaul.
  • Under the ACA, Americans are required to have ACA-compliant health coverage or pay the individual mandate penalty.
  • The term Obamacare was originally coined by Republicans who opposed the legislation, but President Obama had embraced it by 2011, and the term is now used by both supporters and opponents of the law. There continues to be some confusion, however (as recently as 2017), among people who aren’t aware that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing.