Provide a brief description of the Affordable Care Act and discuss two advantages and two disadvantages. 

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jraineharrison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a law that was enacted on March 23, 2010.  The intent of the law was to provide a range of health insurance reforms.  The primary purpose of the law was to insure as many Americans as possible. The law provided coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace, allowed children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26, restricted insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, and required health plans to allow preventive services to their members.  Health plans then are required to report how the changes made under the Affordable Care Act are benefiting members.

Two advantages of the Affordable Care Act are the increase in Medicaid coverage to all eligible Americans and providing health care reform.  Under the Affordable Care Act, anyone who is at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for Medicaid.  Previously, in most states Medicaid was only available to seniors, disabled, children and mothers. The ACA also provided for much needed health care reform in the insurance industry.  Health insurance companies are held accountable for premiums, programs and must allow preventive services to be provided to their members.

Two disadvantages of the ACA are that everyone will not receive health insurance as originally thought, and the law is difficult to implement.  Although the ideology behind the ACA suggested that every American would receive health insurance, this is not the case.  Those who are considered the working poor will fall between the cracks of the ACA and its mandates.  These individuals earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, and they will have difficulty affording health insurance in the marketplace.  The second disadvantage is that the ACA is extremely complex and cumbersome.  This has made implementing the law difficult.