President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress pursued several major efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but were unable to get a bill through the U.S. Senate in 2017. In 2018, Congress did pass a tax bill that eliminated the ACA’s tax penalty for not obtaining health coverage beginning in 2019.
In December 2019, a federal appeals court panel ruled that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional since Congress has set the mandate tax penalty to zero and sent the case back to a lower court to determine how much of the rest of the ACA should be invalidated. The case was first brought by a number of Republican state attorneys general, and the Trump administration now argues that nearly all of the ACA should be overturned. The U.S. Supreme Court has now agreed to review the case.
For information about ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment, including fact sheets and 300+ FAQs, visit our collection of resources on Understanding Health Insurance.
Featured Affordable Care Act Resources
This KFF analysis finds that expanding Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium subsidies like Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has proposed would lower the cost of Marketplace coverage for nearly all potential enrollees, including the uninsured and others currently priced out of the Marketplace. Biden’s plan would, however, increase federal spending, which we do not attempt to estimate here.
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Related Affordable Care Act Resources
- Is COVID-19 a Pre-Existing Condition? What Could Happen if the ACA is Overturned
- 5 Charts About Public Opinion on the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court
- Explaining California v. Texas: A Guide to the Case Challenging the ACA
- Eligibility for ACA Health Coverage Following Job Loss
- Republican Voters Have Moved On from Hating the ACA
- The Effects of Medicaid Expansion under the ACA: Updated Findings from a Literature Review
- FAQs: Health Insurance Marketplace and the ACA
- Status of State Medicaid Expansion Decisions: Interactive Map
- Insurer Participation on ACA Marketplaces, 2014-2020
- Pre-Existing Condition Prevalence for Individuals and Families
- Preventive Services Tracker
- Tracking Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers
The Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this November in California v. Texas. This fact sheet summarizes the major provisions of the ACA, illustrating the breadth of its changes to the health care system. If all of most of the ACA is struck down, many of these provisions could be eliminated.
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This analysis based on data from the 2014 Kaiser Survey of Low-Income Americans examines differences in access to and utilization of care for Black and Hispanic adults compared to White adults among those who are uninsured, enrolled in Medicaid, and privately insured. The findings suggest that gains in health coverage under the ACA will lead to improvements in access to care and utilization for White, Black, and Hispanic adults. They also highlight the importance of increased attention to addressing racial and ethnic disparities in access to and utilization of care among privately insured adults, particularly as the privately insured population becomes more diverse as a result of greater enrollment of people of color into private plans through the ACA Marketplaces.Issue Brief Read More
Community health centers are an integral part of the health care safety-net, providing access to care for nearly 22 million people in underserved communities. The ACA established trust fund for health center growth, and with increased patient revenues attributable to expanded coverage, health centers’ grant funding to support care of the uninsured can go further. This brief provides a 2013 data profile of health centers; highlights pre-ACA differences between health centers in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states; and considers financial challenges facing health centers and the implications of state Medicaid decisions, the outcome of King v. Burwell, and the approaching sunset of the special trust fund for health centers’ capacity to ensure access to care for the communities they serve.Issue Brief Read More
This analysis tracks the financial performance of insurers in the individual market by evaluating trends in the medical loss ratio (MLR) in the pre-ACA landscape from 2010 to 2013 and estimates the MLR for the first full year of Affordable Care Act implementation in 2014. Findings suggest that although performance varied among insurers, insurers overall had roughly comparable financial performance in 2014 as in recent prior years.Perspective Read More
In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman lays out the news media’s challenge covering the upcoming Supreme Court King v. Burwell decision about the ACA.Perspective Read More
How Have State Medicaid Expansion Decisions Affected the Experiences of Low-Income Adults? Perspectives from Ohio, Arkansas, and Missouri
This brief examines the experiences of low-income adults in three states that have made varied Medicaid expansion decisions: Ohio, which adopted the ACA Medicaid expansion, Arkansas which implemented the Medicaid expansion through a “Private Option” waiver, and Missouri, which has not adopted the expansion. While Arkansas and Ohio implemented the expansion in different ways, participants in both states described how obtaining coverage improved their ability to access care, contributing to improvements in their ability to work and family relationships. In contrast, participants in Missouri remained uninsured limiting their ability to obtain needed care, creating significant stress and anxiety in their lives, and interfering with their ability to work and care for their families.Issue Brief Read More
This column was published as a Wall Street Journal Think Tank column on November 21, 2016. Early media coverage of the Republican health-care agenda has concentrated on plans to repeal and then replace the Affordable Care Act. The larger story is GOP preparations for a health policy trifecta: to fundamentally change the…Perspective Read More
Among Those Who Favor Repeal, Arguments About Loss of Coverage for Those with Pre-Existing Conditions Can Sway Some Opinions Many Obamacare Provisions Remain Broadly Popular Across Party Lines, But Not its Mandate The first Kaiser Health Tracking Poll since the 2016 election finds that Americans are largely divided on the…News Release Read More
In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column Drew Altman discusses how Republicans will assume ownership of health care’s policy and political problems as they assume control, and how that may affect their plans for the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare.Perspective Read More
In this Wall Street Journal Think Tank column, Drew Altman discusses why the real moment of truth in assessing the stability of the Affordable Care Act’s health care Marketplaces may come next spring.Perspective Read More
On Wednesday, January 25, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a web briefing for journalists to answer questions and sort through possible scenarios for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, including implications for coverage, the insurance market, the Medicaid program, and women’s health.Event Read More