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    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or commonly called “Obamacare” is a federal statute of the United States. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 and represents the most significant regulatory change to the U.S. healthcare system since the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. 1

    The main objectives of the PPACA are to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, to lower the uninsured rate, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government, as well as broadening the eligibility and coverage for Medicaid, Medicare, and regulated private insurance.

    The mandates, subsidies and insurance exchanges were coupled with the requirement of insurance companies to cover all applicants within new minimum standards and offer the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions.1 These conditions were meant to help streamline the delivery of healthcare and improve its quality.

    However, the PPACA has not had the effects intended because the United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot be forced to participate in the Medicaid expansion and cannot lose their current funding, which does not help decrease costs and does not provide new healthcare opportunities for their populace. The law continues to face challenges in Congress, federal court, advocacy groups, and certain state governments.1



    1. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2014 from Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act
    Title Image Credit: LaDawna Howard / flickr.com

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