Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
The complete information on the PPACA is quite extensive and we will not cover it here. However, the information below will give you a general understanding of what the statute is and how it applies to the healthcare. It is worth it to mention that although the PPACA was signed into law March 23, 2011 by President Barack Obama, it is still in debate and some of the features may change in the near future.
Parts of the PPACA reform certain aspects of the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs, increase insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions, and much more.
The PPACA passed the senate on December 24, 2009 by a vote of 60-39 with all Democrats and two Independents voting for , and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010 by a vote of 219-212, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against the bill.
Many states, numerous organizations, and some individuals have filed actions in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the PPACA due to certain parts of the bill such as a the individual mandate which says that “Beginning in 2014, PPACA requires individuals to maintain health insurance, with some exceptions. Most individuals will be required to maintain minimum essential coverage, which includes eligible employer coverage, individual coverage, grandfathered plans, and federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, among others. Those who do not maintain minimum essential coverage, and who are not exempt from the mandate, will be required to pay a penalty.” The Supreme Court has agreed to review the suits and has scheduled over five hours for oral arguments on the matter in March 2012.
Currently the only part of the PPACA that has been suspended as of October 14, 2011 is the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program. This part of the program established a national long-term care insurance program that workers could voluntary join and pay premiums for on a monthly bases. The CLASS Act was terminated after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made the decision that the CLASS Act was not a financially sustainable program.
You can find more information and details on the PPACA as of December 2010 here.
We will post any new developments on the PPACA as they come available to us.