The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act

Examining the Facts

ABC-CLIO, 2016




  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Health care affects everyone. Americans pay more for it and receive less in return than the people in any other industrialized nation. It accounts for almost one-fifth of America’s GDP and employs millions of people. The controversy and confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – which represented the biggest change in US health care history – continues unabated years after its narrow, entirely partisan passage in 2010 under the nickname “Obamacare.” Few Americans understand the ACA. Exaggerated claims, sensationalism and outright lies from both sides of the debate make the whole thing incomprehensible to many. Health care policy professor Purva H. Rawal’s objective, nonpartisan reference guide to the ACA may not have you on the edge of your seat, but you’ll come away understanding the law, how it reached this stage and where US health care may be headed. Given the presidential election results, more change is likely. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends this manual as rich in research and long on facts.


“One Hundred Years of Debate”

Few issues sparked such heated discussion, for so long, as “health reform” in the US. The 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) followed “two years of public deliberation” – but a century of debate, ideas and proposals, many of them bipartisan, led up to that point. Nonetheless, no Republican voted for the final bill in 2010. Since then, both sides and their supporters have made exaggerated claims, and offered half-truths and even outright lies, in waging war over the law’s continued existence.

The sheer volume of information, including myths and sensational claims, has made it nearly impossible for ordinary citizens to untangle the truth about the ACA. The evidence-based assessments here offer a nonpartisan, objective evaluation of the ACA through 2015.

ACA Passage and Rollout

Conservatives claim that the ACA was “rammed” into law. Though Democrats and the White House zealously sought bipartisan support for the law, none was forthcoming. Barack Obama’s administration pointed out that the ACA, including its health care “exchanges,” was fashioned largely after the Massachusetts health reform law. Using a strictly...

About the Author

Purva H. Rawal, PhD, served as a US Senate staffer during the ACA debate and joined the nonprofit sector to help implement the ACA and advise industry. She teaches health care policy at Georgetown University.

More on this topic

Good Business
A Beginner’s Guide to the End
The Index Card
The Future of Work
Geopolitical Alpha
Leaders in Lockdown

Related Channels