The Affordable Care Act at 10: How America’s Health Care has Improved

Since its passage in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made a positive impact on the nation’s health care system. The Affordable Care Act has strengthened the individual and group markets, expanded Medicaid coverage, improved Medicare, and helped the transition from volume to value in care delivery.

The Affordable Care Act has helped about 20 million Americans gain high-quality health coverage, the vast majority  of which have their coverage delivered through private health plans. Today, almost 92% of Americans – or nearly 300 million people – have health coverage, and a significant majority (86%) of consumers report being satisfied with the coverage they’ve obtained through an Affordable Care Act health exchange plan.

New Protections for Patients

The Affordable Care Act brought about important changes that protect patients and consumers every day.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers are delivering important consumer protections for millions of Americans, including:

Expanded Safety Net

37 states, plus the District of Columbia, have expanded their Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in expansion states increased by 13 million between 2013 and 2019.

Medicaid provides a critical safety net for Americans of all stripes. Nearly half of all American children receive quality care services through Medicaid, and almost 2 million veterans rely on Medicaid for regular check-ups and mental health services. Other groups covered by Medicaid include people with disabilities and older adults.

Innovation and Improvements

The Affordable Care Act has made a positive difference in the lives of millions of Americans, yet more work lies ahead to further bring down costs and expand access to affordable, high-quality coverage for everyone. It’s important to build on what’s working and fix what’s broken in order to tackle major issues including:

Here’s to the Affordable Care Act at 10 and its continuing efforts to improve our nation’s health in the years to come!