Glossary Term

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act law and its subsequent amendments. Passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act notably affected private health insurance benefit requirements, substantial funding for states that expanded Medicaid to able-bodied working-age adults, and government subsidization of insurance through premium tax credits. It created government exchanges for health insurance and also mandated health insurance coverage for Americans and enforced this mandate with a federal tax penalty on those who were uninsured. This penalty was repealed by a Republican tax bill, ending the fine after the year 2018. The ACA also required employers with more than 50 full time-workers to provide health insurance coverage or pay a tax, and it contained a host of other tax and revenue provisions. Many of these taxes, such as an excise tax on high cost health insurance (the Cadillac tax) and taxes on health insurance and medical device companies, have been repealed. 

The Affordable Care Act is also known as:


Why is the Affordable Care Act sometimes called ObamaCare?

The Affordable Care Act legislation was championed by the administration of President Barack Obama. Originally the term “ObamaCare” was used as a criticism of the legislation, but the term was eventually embraced by many Democrats and Republicans. 

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