On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and a week later on March 30, 2010, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act was signed into law. Together, these two bills are referred to as the Affordable Care Act, or healthcare reform.
The provisions contained within these two massive pieces of legislation truly reform the entire healthcare industry. Upon the completion of the implementation of these provisions of law, the healthcare industry will be entirely reshaped and the healthcare system as we know it today will no longer exist.
Healthcare reform has several underlying goals to it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act both attempt to do the following:
- expand access to healthcare coverage for all citizens
- make healthcare coverage affordable for all citizens
- improve the quality of care that consumers receive
- promote preventive care and wellness
- increase transparency in the healthcare system
- shift the burden of rising healthcare costs away from the American consumer