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Affordable Care Act – Health Care Reform Act (2010)

Healthcare Reform Act


Health Care Reform Act of 2010
(the "Affordable Care Act")

Information and Resources

The Act

Important Resources About Healthcare Reform Act

  • A Guide to the Supreme Court's Decision on the ACA's Medicaid Expansion (Kaiser Family Foundation – Sept. 2012)
    This policy brief provides background on the Medicaid program and the legal challenge to the Medicaid expansion under health reform, and summarizes the controlling and dissenting opinions of the Court regarding the Medicaid expansion.
  • A Historical Review of How States Have Responded to the Availability of Federal Funds for Health Coverage  (Kaiser Family Foundation – Sept. 2012)
    This historical review finds that the availability of federal funds has served as an effective incentive for states to provide health coverage to meet the health and long-term care needs of their low-income residents despite state budget pressures. The brief provides important context for how states may respond as they weigh the costs and benefits of expanding their Medicaid programs in 2014 as called for under the Affordable Care Act.
  • A More Secure Future – What the New Health Law Means for You and Your Family (White
    President Obama’s health reform law gives hard-working families the security they deserve. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 3.1 million more young adults have health insurance on their parent’s plan, three million seniors have received a 50 percent discount on their prescription drugs, and millions of Americans now have access to no-cost preventive services to help them stay healthy.  Get details here about effects on women & families, young adults, seniors, employers, healthcare providers, and people with disabilities.
  • Affordable Care Act Supports Community Living (
    All Americans – including older Americans and people with disabilities – should have the choice to live at home with the supports they need rather than having to enter an institution to access support services. The Affordable Care Act brings us closer to making this a reality.
    The Obama administration launched this website as an online tool connecting consumers with information and resources to help them access quality, affordable health coverage.
  • Health Care Reform Explained (AARP Bulletin – 7/710)
    Your questions answered.
    Patti's Comment: This is a great resource for questions related to health care reform.
  • Health Law Guide (AARP)
    Learn how the health care law benefits you, now and later.  Whether you have health coverage or no coverage at all, get the facts.  Simply answer a few questions to learn about benefits and protections you can get right now. You'll get a personalized report about how the law works with your existing coverage or what other health coverage you may be eligible to get.
  • Implementing the ACA’s Medicaid-Related Health Reform Provisions After the Supreme Court Decision  (Kaiser Family Foundation – Sept. 2012)
    This brief addresses questions that may arise for states in the wake of the Supreme Court decision, including what parts of the ACA are affected by the decision, whether states can opt in and out of the Medicaid expansion over time, whether federal payments to hospitals for uncompensated care will still be reduced if a state does not expand its Medicaid program, and whether the Court decision affects the ACA’s maintenance of effort provisions.
  • Scammers Out to Profit on U. S. Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Affordable Care Act (FTC)
    It’s enough to make you sick. No sooner had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act than scam artists began working the phones. Claiming to be from the government, they’re saying that under the Affordable Care Act, they need to verify some information.

Upheld by the Supreme Court – June 28, 2012

National Federation of Independent Business et al v. Sebeluis, Secretary of State and Human Services, et al


  • Ruling of the Supreme Court – 6/28/12
    In 2010, Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in order to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease the cost of health care. One key provision isthe individual mandate, which requires most Americans to maintain“minimum essential” health insurance coverage.  Another key provision of the Act is the Medicaid expansion.

    Twenty-six States, several individuals, and the National Federation of Independent Business brought suit in Federal District Court,challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion.

    The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the Medicaid expansion as a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, but concluded that Congress lacked authority to enact the individual mandate. Finding the mandate severable from theAct’s other provisions, the Eleventh Circuit left the rest of the Act intact.

    Held: The judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part.

  • Supreme Court on Health Care Law: How they Voted, What They Wrote (CNN – 6/28/12)
    Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Those in the dissent included Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Reactions to the Supreme Court Ruling

  • National Council on Independent Living Hails Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act Decision (Enpowered Living – 6/28/12)
    “In short, for people with disabilities, the Court’s decision is historic,” said Kelly Buckland , NCIL’s Executive Director. “This decision means that people with disabilities will have new community living options to live in their own homes and will be able to access essential health care coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions.”
  • Patient Advocacy Organizations and the Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act (National Health Council)
    The National Health Council and its members believe that a health care delivery system that meets the needs of people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers must be built on Five Principles for Putting Patients First. For this reason, the patient advocacy community was deeply involved in the creation and passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In March 2012, many of NHC’s member organizations urged the Supreme Court to uphold ACA. The following members have provided links to their statements in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of ACA. This page is being updated as links are shared with the NHC, so check back.
  • What the Health Care Ruling Means to You (CNN Politics – 6/28/12)
    The Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act means that the predictions about how it will affect Americans remain in place. The court did rule that a part of the law involving Medicaid must change. The law calls for an expansion of eligibility for Medicaid, which involves spending by the federal government and the states. The law threatens to remove existing Medicaid funding from states that don't participate in the expansion. The high court said the government must remove that threat.

General Information About Healthcare Reform Act

  • Affordable Care Act will ensure health coverage for millions of Americans ( – 3/16/12)
    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced final policies that will ensure that millions of uninsured Americans will have a simple, seamless path to affordable health insurance coverage. “The Medicaid improvements in the Affordable Care Act will help simplify the system and ensure all Americans have the affordable high-quality coverage they need,” said Secretary Sebelius.
  • Health Advocate: Essential Health Benefits Overview (NHeLP – 8/17/15)
    Essential Health Benefits (EHB) are a set of ten health care service categories that certain health plans must cover.  In February 2015, a Final Rule was issued, which finalized changes to the EHB standard. This publication offers an EHB overview prior to HHS’ posting of the benchmark plan list and public comment period.
  • Health Care Reform Frequently Asked Questions (National Center for Insurance Policy and Research)
    This page provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  and Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
  • The Affordable Care Act's New Patient's Bill of Rights ( – 6/22/10)
    A major goal of the Affordable Care Act is to put American consumers back in charge of their health coverage and care.
  • Top Ways Health Reform Helps (NHeLP 6 Part Series)
    Since 2010, National Health Law Program has been working with health care advocates and leaders to educate policy makers and consumers about the many benefits the ACA offers. Many of the ACA’s provisions – including improved coverage of preventive care, protections for consumers from unfair insurance company practices, and the new dependent coverage rules that allow young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance plans up to age 26 – are already in effect. In addition, starting in 2014, Medicaid will be expanded to cover an estimated additional 16 million low-income individuals, providing them access to essential health care.

Resources About Healthcare Reform Act

  • Health Care Reform (National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care)
    The passage of health care reform will create the most significant improvements and changes in long-term care in a generation. This site provides several links with informative resources.
  • Health Reform Center
    The Department of Health and Human Services has been entrusted with the responsibility for implementing many major provisions of the historic health reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which the President signed into law on March 23, 2010.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation
    Keep up to date with the Affordable Care Act with Kaiser's gateway website.
  • Your Small Business and Health Care Reform (US Small Business Administration)
    Learn more about how health care reform will benefit your small business, employees and their families.

Affordable Care Act and Special Needs Planning

More PEKD Advocacy pages About Healthcare Reform Act: