The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - the most drastic change to American healthcare in over four decades

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or what is more popularly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or just Obamacare, is a landmark legislation enacted by the US Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in March, 2010.

This was, at the time of its enactment, and still is being considered a landmark federal statute because of the radical shift it sought to bring about in the entire American healthcare scenario. It is said to be the most far-reaching regulatory refurbishment of the American healthcare care system in more than four decades.

Affordable patient care at the core

The whole nub of the PPACA is that it drastically changes the way healthcare is administered in the US and makes healthcare a lot more affordable for large sections of the population that are without healthcare insurance. It was estimated at the time of the enactment of the Affordable Care Act that there were more than 32 million uninsured Americans.

The main reason for which they were uninsured was the prohibitive cost of insurance. Absence of insurance meant that the already astronomical cost of healthcare in the US was now even more so.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act sought to reverse the trend of healthcare being out of reach for the uninsured, and also to make healthcare more affordable to large sections of the population.

What changes does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act bring in?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act seeks to bring about a major turnaround in the American healthcare scenario in a number of ways. The most significant changes it brings about include:

  • Seeking to make the quality of healthcare and make health insurance more affordable to Americans
  • Attempting to bring down the numbers and rates of uninsured sections of the population by bringing about an expansion in public and private insurance coverage
  • Taking a number of steps that would bring down the costs associated with healthcare at the level of the government and the individual through instruments such as subsidies and mandates.

The most important changes brought about by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act