The Affordable Care Act is a healthcare law commonly abbreviated as ACA.  It is also often referred to as Obamacare.  At the time of its inception President Obama was in office and helped pass the law into effect.  The purpose of the ACA is to help millions of Americans who in the past could not obtain affordable healthcare to now be able to do so.  In this blog we will get into the specifics that make up the Affordable Care Act.

The Expansion of health coverage to millions of Americans:

A key component of the ACA was the establishment of the ACA Marketplace exchange.  This is an online shopping platform that allows Americans to view and enroll in a health insurance plan that is available in their specific zip code.  The ACA also allows households to qualify for payment assistance in the form of government subsidies to help pay for a portion or all their health insurance cost.  To qualify a household must fall into a specific income range set by the government.  In addition to the ACA marketplace the law also helps to expand Medicaid.  This was accomplished by allowing a higher household income level to qualify for Medicaid than in the past.   

Helping to control healthcare cost:

The second key component of the ACA was to help reduce the rising cost of healthcare that has been rapidly taking place in America.  All ACA marketplace health insurance plans were guaranteed to cover preventative care for enrollees.  The thinking behind this is that if a person gets their annual routine checkups and preventative care that they are less likely to have a health condition worsen leading to higher healthcare cost.  Despite this the cost of pharmaceutical drugs have still not been addressed and continue to be an out-of-control healthcare cost in America.  

Quality Healthcare:

The ACA also emphasizes making healthcare higher quality for all Americans.  The goal is to encourage healthcare providers from quantity of services to improved quality.  The ACA launched many quality improvement programs to better improve the overall healthcare system.

Where we are at a decade later:

The ACA is continuing to evolve each year with political parties differing in opinion on many aspects of the law.  Some politicians argue that the ACA should go through another reform and completely do away with it.  However, many politicians view the ACA as a gamechanger on the overall well being of healthcare in American and strive to continue to improve on it.  Regardless of which side you are on it is hard to argue that many lives have been improved and even saved thanks to the affordable care act. 

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