Health Care Reform
June 27, 2016
Is the Affordable Care Act working?

Six years after passage of President Obama’s landmark health insurance law, it continues to face significant political, legal and economic challenges. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — dubbed “Obamacare” — has cut the rate of uninsured Americans and started improving the quality of care, studies show, but several health insurers have said providing coverage has been costlier than expected. One prominent insurer is pulling out of most of the health insurance marketplaces in 2017 because it says it is losing money. While some consumers are satisfied with their plans, a rising number are complaining that their insurance costs too much.

A man heads into the UniVista Insurance Co. office in Miami in December during enrollment, which ran from Nov. 15, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2016, for the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 13 million people signed up nationally. (Getty Images/Joe Raedle)   A man heads into the UniVista Insurance Co. office in Miami in December during enrollment, which ran from Nov. 15, 2015, to Jan. 31, 2016, for the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 13 million people signed up nationally. (Getty Images/Joe Raedle)

The goal of President Obama’s 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to increase Americans’ access to health care, improve the quality of health insurance and services and reduce medical costs. But the law, dubbed “Obamacare” and which passed without Republican support in Congress, has faced constant attacks from GOP lawmakers who criticize it as a massive government overreach. Opposition in the form of lawsuits and more than 60 congressional votes to repeal or change the law has ensured that it remains a politically charged topic. 1

Nonetheless, the law has survived several legal challenges, and Obama can cite several statistics to bolster his argument that it is working.

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