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The Affordable Care Act and Progress on Universal Health Coverage in the U.S.

Published 20 Apr 2021
Reference 6662
Region North America
Summary

What has been the impact of the Affordable Care Act (2010) on healthcare coverage in the United States? While this significant piece of legislation put America’s healthcare system on a long-awaited path towards universal healthcare coverage, the struggle to provide coverage to millions of uninsured people is far from over. The case examines aspects of the national healthcare system including Medicaid and Medicare, employer-based insurance and heathcare exchanges. It also examines what the ACA left undone and how legislative changes in 2017 and the COVID pandemic highlighted the fragility of health care provision in the US.

Teaching objectives

The case can be used in a variety of settings. It can serve in courses on public policy to compare and contrast the degree to which universal health coverage is available in different countries. Some real-life urgency can be added by consideration of the role of adverse selection in the insurance industry. Social scientists can use the case to discuss the inequalities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had serious repercussions in the United States. It could be used by healthcare professionals to teach medical staff about advances in healthcare coverage. The content is short, to-the-point, and takes a neutral approach in a subject area known for contention.

Keywords
  • Obamacare
  • Affordable care act
  • COVID-19
  • Medicaid
  • Health insurance
  • Health exchanges
  • Individual mandate
  • Universal healthcare coverage
  • President Obama
  • Adverse selection
  • Medicare
  • Uninsured
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Public option
  • Q22021