In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman analyzes the Kaiser Health Policy News Index to determine which health stories in the news have broken through to the public the most in the last year. One conclusion: it wasn’t the Affordable Care Act.
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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Factors Affecting States’ Ability to Respond to Federal Medicaid Cuts and Caps: Which States Are Most At Risk?
This issue brief examines the factors that could affect states’ ability to cope with reductions in federal Medicaid funding of the sort proposed in the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would eliminate enhanced federal matching funds for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and convert Medicaid to a per capita cap or block grant system of financing.
In this brief, the Kaiser Family Foundation outlines 10 ways women could be affected under the House of Representatives’ American Health Care Act. In particular, the brief analyzes how changes might affect Medicaid and its expansion population, financial assistance in the individual insurance market, coverage for essential health benefits and preventive services such as contraception, abortion, and maternity care, as well as insurance reforms such as gender rating.
Medicaid Restructuring Under the American Health Care Act and Implications for Behavioral Health Care in the US
This brief outlines Medicaid’s role for people with behavioral health conditions and the implications of the American Health Care Act for these enrollees. It includes information on the potential impact of ending the enhanced federal financing for newly eligible adults, removing essential health benefits from state plan amendments, and converting federal Medicaid funding into a per capita cap.
Individual market insurers are expecting to return to consumers a record total of about $800 million in medical loss ratio rebates for 2018, a year in which the insurance companies posted their best annual financial performance under the Affordable Care Act to date. Financial results for 2018 suggest that insurers in the individual market are generally returning to or exceeding profitability levels seen before 2014, when ACA insurance market rules took effect, including the requirement to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
Explaining Texas v. U.S.: A Guide to the 5th Circuit Appeal in the Lawsuit Challenging the Affordable Care Act
The outcome of the Texas v. U.S. legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could have far-reaching consequences for the nation’s health system, from rolling back the expansion of Medicaid to removing protections for people with pre-existing conditions and revoking the ability of adult children to stay on their…
The debate among Democratic presidential candidates about how to reform the health care system largely boils down to whether to build on the Affordable Care Act and create an option for people to enroll in Medicare or create a Medicare for all plan that covers everyone. On the other side…
Pre-existing Conditions and Medical Underwriting in the Individual Insurance Market Prior to the ACA
This brief reviews medical underwriting practices by private insurers in the individual health insurance market prior to 2014, and estimates how many American adults could face difficulty obtaining private individual market insurance because of a pre-existing condition if the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) were repealed or amended and such practices resumed.
Nearly 54 Million Americans Have Pre-Existing Conditions That Would Make Them Uninsurable in the Individual Market without the ACA
Almost Half of Non-Elderly Families have At Least One Adult with a Pre-Existing Condition An updated KFF analysis estimates that almost 54 million people – or 27% of all adults under 65 —have pre-existing health conditions that would likely have made them uninsurable in the individual markets that existed in…
Affordable Care Act Premiums Are Falling in Many Areas of the U.S. in 2020, But Changes Vary Widely By County and Type of Plan, County-Level Analysis Shows
Although premiums for Affordable Care Act Marketplace benchmark silver plans are decreasing on average across the U.S. in 2020, changes vary widely by geographic location and plan type, including premium increases in a number of counties and plans, according to a new KFF analysis of county-level data. The analysis of…