The Politics of the Affordable Care Act

  • Donald F. Lavanty


President Obama’s first order of duty was to stimulate the economy, but healthcare reform was not far behind. The goal of the Obama administration’s healthcare initiative was to merge the market forces of the health insurance industry with a national policy providing a safety net for people who lacked health insurance. In August 2009, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) passed away and his seat went to a Republican, stripping the Democrats of the 60 votes needed for cloture. The healthcare legislation was repackaged into two bills, a healthcare bill and a reconciliation bill. When both bills were signed by Obama in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act became law. The 2010 midterm elections featured every Republican candidate promising to repeal it and Republicans gained control of the House. In April 2015, Congress and the Obama administration agreed to repeal the sustainable growth rate formula replacing it with a new formula for reimbursing practitioners. In early 2016, Congress attempted to pass a bill repealing the ACA, but it was vetoed by the president. The ACA was a hot topic during the 2016 presidential election, with Republicans wanting to “repeal and replace” it and Democrats vowing to keep it. Its future is uncertain.


President Obama Affordable Care Act Tea Party Obamacare Preexisting conditions Individual mandate 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald F. Lavanty
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Healthcare Management and Legal Studies School of Business and TechnologyMarymount UniversityArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Law DegreeGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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