The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or, colloquially, Obamacare, was signed into law in the United States on March 23, 2010. This regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system was enacted to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government. The Affordable Care Act has had a huge impact on healthcare systems, providers, insurers, patients, and policymakers to transform healthcare financially, technologically, and clinically to “drive better health outcomes, lower costs, and improve methods of distribution and accessibility” (hhs.gov).
The Affordable Care Act puts individuals, families, and small business owners in control of their health care. It sets clear rules for insurance companies to prevent insurance industry abuse, it bans insurances companies from denying coverage to anyone because of age, gender, or pre-existing medical conditions. The ACA was created to ensure access to patient-centered care in the reformed healthcare system. The goal is to help clinicians deliver the best health care possible to all Americans.