Health Care Reform Overview
President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010. One week later, he signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (together, referred to as the Affordable Care Act or Health Care Reform).
The most sweeping domestic legislation enacted since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act is intended to increase access to care, bend the cost curve, and improve the care delivery system. At its core, Health Care Reform contains three interrelated parts: (i) a Medicaid expansion and insurance market reforms guaranteeing access to insurance, regardless of health status; (ii) a mandate that everyone obtain insurance; and (iii) public subsidies that make private insurance affordable. These three components will be fully realized in 2014.
Numerous other provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect before 2014. Those that affect access to care for Pennsylvanians are discussed in the PA Developments section. Our Other Resources section contains additional Health Care Reform analyses and websites.