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.

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Public Opinion on the ACA: Cruising or Turbulent Ride?

Regular readers of the Kaiser Health Tracking poll know by now that public opinion on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been at a steady cruising altitude since it was signed into law on March 23, 2010, with a little over four in ten viewing the law favorably and a…

The ACA and Fluoridation: The Power of Political Symbols

In the 1950s, water fluoridation became a public health controversy that morphed into a symbolic issue of larger proportions. For its opponents, fluoridation came to symbolize big government and even for some, a communist threat. The controversy became so odd that it was parodied in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film “Dr.…

Health Insurance Transparency under the Affordable Care Act

In February, a final rule was issued implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that all health plans provide a uniform summary of coverage for all enrollees and applicants. The idea of providing easy-to-understand summaries of coverage is, in fact, the most popular provision in the ACA, according to a recent Kaiser…

Small Area Variations and the ACA’s Coverage Expansions

A new Kaiser analysis sheds light on how the country might react to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when it is implemented.  It looks at how the benefits of the ACA’s coverage expansions will vary around the country by census areas (technically, Public Use Microdata Areas, or PUMAs).  PUMAs are…

Explaining Health Care Reform: Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

This fact sheet explains the Medical Loss Ratio requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The MLR provision limits the portion of premium dollars health insurers may spend on administration, marketing, and profits. Under health care reform, health insurers must publicly report the portion of premium dollars spent on health care and quality improvement and other activities in each state they operate. Insurers failing to meet the applicable standard must pay rebates to consumers and businesses.

Private Insurance Benefits and Cost-Sharing Under the ACA

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance on the two key components that determine the level of protection that private insurance plans will provide to consumers under health reform. The first involves the services that insurance plans must cover, and the second involves how much patients…

January 2012 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: The ACA and the Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear legal challenges to the health reform law in March, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll shows that most Americans (59 percent) expect the Justices to base their ruling on their own ideological views rather than their interpretation of the law (28 percent). As for…