The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legally designated H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, P.L. 111-148), and H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA, P.L. 111-152).
On June 28, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but ruled that states could decine or accept the portion of the law that would expand eligibility requirements for Medicaid to to 133 percent for most adults. The 2010 enacted law called for cutting off all Medicaid funding to states that did not go along with the expanded eligibility provision. NCSL will continue to update and analyze the law and its effects on states.
> See followup information at U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Health Law.
The federal health law aims to expand coverage to 32 million more Americans. It relies on a combination of health insurance reforms, exchanges in all 50 states, Medicaid expansions, subsidies, tax credits and mandates. The law also allocates money to improve quality and halts certain widely criticized insurance practices. The biggest changes come in January 2014 when Medicaid expands and states create exchanges or marketplaces for health insurance. But first there’s much to do this year.
The federal changes provide a list of competitive grants and funding to help states set up health benefit exchanges, consumer assistance offices, review insurers’ rate hikes, support home nurse visits to high-risk pregnant women, and provide sex education and abstinence programs, among other things. Plus, the federal law directly allocates $11 billion to support community health centers.
NCSL RESOURCES: NCSL has a wide array of online material describing the new law and options for state and federal implementation. These include fact sheets, timetables, analyses of specific provisions, federal guidance and regulations, state responses, and growing lists of state legislative and state executive order and actions.
These materials are conveniently listed and linked from this new Health Reform Implementation Web feature. Use the topics listed on the left to find what you need.
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