A Breakdown of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, often shortened to the PPACA, is a federal statute in the United States that Congress passed in 2010, which was then signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Barack Obama. Together with the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act are the two main laws in the health care reform legislative action that took place during the 111th Congress of the United States.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains certain features of public health insurance programs as well as the private health insurance industry. This includes the increasing of insurance coverage over pre-existing conditions, increasing the total medical expenditure in the country, and expanding insurance access to over 30 million American citizens.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed the Senate by a vote of 60–39 (filibuster-proof vote) on December 24, 2009 where all Democrats as well as two Independents voted for the Act, and all Republicans voted against it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in the House on a vote of 219–212 on March 21, 2010, where all 178 Republicans in the House as well as 34 Democrats voted against the bill.
Many states as well as numerous organizations and individuals, have filed actions against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in federal court, with a challenge of the constitutionality the act. In September 2011, most federal appellate courts are nearly evenly split on the constitutional issues considered in this case. Meanwhile at the district court level, three judges have declared the act partially unconstitutional while three have upheld the constitutionality of the act. Many other challenges to the act were dropped on court technicalities, such as improper jurisdiction or not having plaintiffs that have standing.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has nine titles within the law, each one addressing an essential part of health care reform:
Good quality health care that is affordable for all Americans
The role of public programs
Improving the efficiency and quality of health care
Preventing chronic disease and improving overall public health
Health care workforce
Transparency in healthcare and program integrity
Improving the public’s access to new and innovative medical therapies
Providing community living assistance services and supports