- The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, is an extensive complex 900 + page healthcare reform law.
- Its purpose is to provide and expand access to affordable quality health insurance, increase consumer protections, emphasize prevention and wellness, improve quality and system performance, expand the health workforce, and curb rising health care costs.1 The Act contains nine titles each addressing a feature of the reform:
The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, is an extensive complex 900 + page healthcare reform law. Its purpose is to provide and expand access to affordable quality health insurance, increase consumer protections, emphasize prevention and wellness, improve quality and system performance, expand the health workforce, and curb rising health care cost.1
The Act contains nine titles each addressing a feature of the reform:
- Quality, Affordable HealthCare for all Americans
- The Act puts families and small business owners in control of their healthcare through a competitive insurance market, reduces premium costs by providing tax relief, caps out of pocket expenses, requires preventative care to be fully covered without any out of pocket expenses, bans insurance companies from denying insurance coverage because of a person’s pre-existing medical condition, and accomplishes the transformation through shared responsibility.2
- The Role of Public Programs
- The Affordable Care Act extends Medicaid to lower income persons, preserves Children’s Health Insurance Program (‘CHIP’) and simplifies enrollment for individuals and families, enhances community-based care for Americans with disabilities by expanding home care services to people with long-term care needs, gives flexibility to States to adopt innovative strategies to improve care and coordination of services for Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and reduces prescription drug costs and payments to subsidize care for uninsured as more Americans gain insurance under reform.3
- Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care
- The Act will protect and preserve Medicare and Medicaid commitment, payment for services will be linked to better quality outcomes, takes steps to protect commitment for Medicare for seniors, improve the quality and delivery of care and support research to inform consumers about patient outcomes resulting from different approaches to treatment and care delivery, enhances access to health care services to rural patients and providers, and save money in drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by closing the coverage gap or “donut hole.” 4
- Prevention of Chronic Diseases and Improving Public Health
- The Act will promote prevention, wellness, and funding commitment to these areas, creates national strategies, gives families tools to find the best science-based nutrition information, makes prevention and screenings a priority by waiving copayments for American seniors on Medicare, and increase access to clinical preventive services.5
- Health Care Workforce
- The Affordable Care Act will encourage health workforce training, recruitment, and retention, focus on enhanced educational opportunities and combat the critical nursing shortage, and increase the supply of public health professionals.
- Transparency and Program Integrity
- The Act creates new requirements to provide information to the public on health system and promotes a new set of requirements to combat fraud and abuse in public and private programs. (ie. in nursing homes.)6
- Improving Access to Innovative Medical Therapies
- The Act promotes innovation and saves consumers money, extends drug discounts to hospitals and communities that serve low-income patients, and promotes creation of generic versions of biological drugs.7
- Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act
- The Act provides a new option to finance long-term services and care in the event of a disability. It is a self-funded and voluntary long-term care insurance choice; workers pay in premiums in order to receive a daily cash benefit if they develop a disability; no taxpayer funds will be used to pay benefits.8
- Revenue Provisions.9
- The Act makes healthcare more affordable by providing the largest middle class tax cut for health care in American history. When enacted, health reform is completely paid for and will reduce the deficit by more than one hundred billion dollars in the next ten years.
- The Affordable Care Act: A Brief Summary, National Conference of State Legislatures (2011).
- The Patient and Affordable care Act: Detailed Summary, …