Health Care
July 30, 2018
Will the Affordable Care Act survive?

Eight years after passage of former President Barack Obama’s landmark health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to face significant political, legal and economic challenges. The ACA — dubbed “Obamacare” — has expanded access to health services to millions of Americans, cut the uninsured rate in half and spurred efforts to improve the quality of care. But its Republican critics say it is expensive, unconstitutional and harmful to consumers. With Congress in 2017 unable to agree on whether to repeal or replace the ACA, the Trump administration began taking a number of regulatory steps to kill the law. The outcome of the November midterm elections, health analysts say, is likely to play a big role in whether the ACA survives.

Kelley Mui helps a client sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the Midwest Asian Health Association in Chicago in December. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)   Kelley Mui helps a client sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the Midwest Asian Health Association in Chicago in December. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)

Republican efforts to dismantle “Obamacare,” known formally as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), are gaining steam. When congressional Republicans failed to repeal the ACA in 2017, the Trump administration moved ahead with regulatory changes and executive orders aimed at killing the law, which Republicans deride as costly and ineffective. The Trump administration says these moves will enable Americans to purchase cheaper health insurance. The actions included:

  • Slashing spending on advertising during ACA enrollment and cutting funding to groups that help enroll people in the 50 state-run health insurance marketplaces created by the law to enable consumers to buy health coverage. 1

RELATED REPORTS