Health Reform Policy

The health reform law, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (commonly referred to as the “Affordable Care Act” or “ACA”), represents the broadest reform to the United States’ health care system since the 1960s.


The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 after a two year process by Congress and the President. Subsequent challenges to the law were brought before the Supreme Court, the decisions in these cases also shaped the law into its current form.

In 2017, the Trump administration and Congress members in both chambers engaged in a prolonged struggle to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or ObamaCare) and replace it with the American Health Care Act (also known by opponents at TrumpCare). After months of intensive and heated lobbying and debate, those efforts were unsuccessful and discontinued in September 2017.

At that point, the administration began taking action to undermine the ACA by increasing premiums and undermining enrollment in it. The budget to publicly advertise the ACA’s 2018 open enrollment period was reduced by 90% from the previous year and 40% less was spent on providing in-person assistance to people wishing to enroll. The enrollment period, itself, was also reduced from 90 days in to 45 day. Surprisingly, the number of people choosing to enroll only dropped slightly, from 12.2 million in 2017 to 11.8 million in 2018, despite these tactics. Enrollment from first-time enrollees dropped from 30% to 27%.