The Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was introduced in July 2009 and was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama.  Now referred to as “Obamacare,” this overhaul of the health care system bars insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, enforcing lifetime maximums, kicking children off their parent’s plan until age 26, charging women more based on their gender, and more.  The ACA also provided for the expansion of Medicaid. The purpose of the ACA was to set up a competitive healthcare marketplace and give every American access to affordable health care.  

That is on a national level, but what about the state level?  Utah has benefited greatly from the ACA.  Utah has the nation’s highest percentage of children enrolled in the marketplace insurance.  175,637 Utahns enrolled in quality, affordable marketplace insurance coverage for 2016.  Medicaid provided coverage to approximately 418,000 Utahns in 2015, over 14% of the state population.  Coverage extends to 263,000 children, 13,000 pregnant women, 15,000 senior citizens, 61,000 visually impaired and people with disabilities, and many families living in poverty. In other words, Utahns have greatly benefitted from the ACA. Doing away with the law would have deep impacts on the ability for them to access affordable and beneficial healthcare.

To learn more about specific provisions of the ACA and why they are important, visit these pages: