This article will give you an overview of health care in the United States today. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is a law passed in the United States in 2010 to reform our nation’s health care system. If you aren’t sure what exactly the ACA means for you, or for health care in our country in general, this article is a good place to start. It will highlight the big things that have changed and the important things that didn't change. All through the article there are links to more detailed articles about specific health coverage programs.

The ACA has expanded our health care system in order to create a system that makes coverage available to most Americans. The ACA has not drastically changed the structure of our nation’s health care system. Instead, it has built off of what was already there to fill in the gaps in coverage. It has also created some new protections for people using health insurance.

In order to expand health coverage to most Americans, the ACA addressed some of the main reasons why many Americans did not have health insurance:

  • Before the ACA, health coverage was often linked to your job – if you lost your job, you would lose your insurance. Now, there are more affordable options for health coverage even if you don’t have a job right now.
  • Before the ACA, you might not have been able to get insurance if you had a pre-existing condition, like a disability or an illness. Now, it is illegal for an insurance company to turn you down for health care because of a pre-existing condition.
  • Before the ACA, insurance companies could charge you a lot more because of your gender, disability, or age. Sometimes, they charged so much more that people couldn’t afford to buy insurance. Now, a company cannot charge you more based on your gender or health. There are legal limits on how much more a company can charge you based on age.

Note: This article gives you basic information on the changes that have happened in our health care system. You may like some of these changes and dislike others. DB101 recognizes that the ACA has strengths and weaknesses. There are many other resources where you can find arguments for or against the ACA; However, DB101’s purpose is not to argue for or against any of these policies. Our goal is to present the facts and provide a resource where you can learn about the law and understand the changes that will affect your health care.