Signed into law March 23, 2010, this statute strives to reduce the amount of uninsured Americans and lower the costs of healthcare in the United States. Major stipulations of the PPACA include:
- Insurance companies cannot reject a someone due to pre-existing health conditions (like heart defects, sustained injuries, etc.). Also requires that insurance companies offer the same rates to people regardless of such pre-existing conditions or gender and taxes high-end insurance plans
- Increasing Medicaid eligibility to 133% of the poverty level
- Businesses ( >50 employees) will be required to offer health insurance
- Closing of funding gaps in Medicare
- Creation of Health Insurance Exchanges for companies to compete for clients
- Children can be covered by their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26
- Institutes an individual mandate in which all people not covered will pay a penalty.
Although the PPACA is intended to help a large segment of the American population, like most political legislation, it has been met with some criticism and controversy. Proponents point out that the law provides more uniform coverage for Americans and that people can continue to pay for healthcare through old employers while they are looking for a new job. Critics believe it is unethical that the government should be allowed to require individuals to purchase insurance, and also point out that the law entirely ignores malpractice reform. This law has become the centerpiece for the current healthcare debate.