President Barack Obama set out to reform the nearly $2.6 trillion American healthcare industry during his first term, and by March 2010, the 2,409-page Affordable Care Act was signed into legislation. Its primary provision mandates that the government implement superstore-like health exchanges for individuals and for small businesses that enables both parties to buy coverage at a group rate negotiated by state regulators. In theory, this will make healthcare more affordable for a greater number of Americans and changed the healthcare system from the current fee-for-service structure towards one in which payments are based on quality of service.
Obamacare, as the legislation has been nicknamed, will also require businesses employing 50 or more workers to offer health insurance, forbid insurers from withholding coverage from those with preexisting conditions, expand Medicaid, and include measures to increase transparency.
As the president’s website states: “President Obama believes that quality, affordable health insurance you can rely on is a key part of middle-class security. By putting a stop to insurance company abuses, Obamacare is giving millions of Americans peace of mind.”