(This article was last updated on October 1, 2014)
Download The Entire Affordable Care Act Bill (PPACA)
Download Obamacare Bill
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law (along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress. Obamacare reforms certain aspects of the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs, increases insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions, expands access to insurance to over 45 million Americans, and increases medical spending.
Obamacare passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and two Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against the bill. A majority of the states, and numerous organizations and individual persons, have filed actions in federal court challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. In June 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the Individual Mandate requirement of the law was constitutional and therefore, held that the main intent of the law, requiring every American to have health insurance, was lawful.
There are new challenges to different provisions of the law reaching the courtroom floor every day and it will be interesting to see what the next big issue will be. Recently, a few federal district courts have held that the plain language of the law states that the federal subsidy is only available to people living in states with their own state exchange. It’s been argued that this was not a design flaw, but was rather an attempt by the authors to compel all of the states to have their own exchange, which would take a big burden off of the federal government so that the money in the budget could go to subsidies and program funding instead of to a website and the administration of it. It could take a couple years for the Supreme Court of the United States to hear this issue and until then, it is federal subsidies for all that are eligible, no matter where you live.