Overview of the Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act Introduction The Affordable Care Act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), commonly called "Obamacare," is a federal statute that was signed into law in March of 2010 (PDF, n.d.; Van de Water, 2011). It basically requires the vast majority of people in the United States who do not have insurance coverage to acquire that coverage or face penalties. People who already have insurance through their employers or on their own will not be asked to change companies. Additionally, anyone who is on federally-funded insurance such as Medicaid or Medicare and still qualifies for those programs will not be removed from their insurance. They will still be covered and protected. In order to find out more about the Act and really understand its main points and principles, however, it is very important to be aware of how it became a law and any changes that have taken place to it from its inception all the way through where it is today. Only then can a person have a clear understanding of the Act and form an opinion as to the value it may (or may not) provide to the American public. There is still much speculation and a great deal of misunderstanding about the Act and what it involves. The first main issue that people are concerned with, and that causes confusion, is what will happen to people if they do not get their own health insurance by the time the Act takes effect. In short, they will be fined or penalized (McDonough, 2011). This penalty is seen as
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