Policy Analysis: The Affordable Care Act


The Affordable Care Act of 2010 represents one of the critical reforms in the American healthcare sector. The American Congress passed the law in 2010, allowing for the implementation of numerous provisions highlighted in the Act. The American government faced the compulsion to introduce changes in the healthcare sector because of the persistent problem brought about by the lack of insurance coverage by a large percentage of Americans (Gaffney & McCormick, 2017). The Act expands access to health insurance coverage and seeks to increase the quality of services provided in different healthcare facilities. With the increasing costs of health care, the Act ensures that vulnerable populations have access to affordable health care. There is evidence that the Affordable Care Act registers numerous benefits to Americans. For the first time, a greater percentage of Americans can access health care insurance coverage that covers preventive care. The current administration should continue implementing the Affordable Care Act because the provisions are highly beneficial to Americans. 


Funding of Healthcare by Federal and State Governments

The Federal Government has been providing Medicare and Medicaid funding for many years. The federal government has a critical responsibility in funding the healthcare sector. However, state governments also play a critical role in providing additional funds for the healthcare expenditure in each specific state. The federal government collaborates with state governments to provide affordable healthcare services for the Americans (Levitt, 2017). For this reason, the Federal government must fulfill its responsibility in funding Medicare, Medicaid, as well as the Veterans Health Administration. Understanding the role of state governments in allocating funds for the healthcare sector also helps in appreciating the manner in which the two governments contribute to the success of the Affordable Care Act implementation (Frazier, 2016). For many years, only a limited percentage of Americans were able to benefit from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. 

The introduction of the Affordable Care Act sought to increase the number of eligible people who qualify for coverage under Medicare and Medicaid. Particularly, vulnerable populations that cannot afford private insurance are bound to benefit from the Affordable Care Act implementation. The Act seeks to expand the accessibility of health care coverage and increase the levels of accountability in the insurance market (Frazier, 2016). The success of the Affordable Care Act depends largely on the commitment of the states to conform to all the provisions highlighted in the Affordable Care Act. The constitutional basis governing the state and federal government operations is of critical importance to the Affordable Care Act policy (Levitt, 2017). Each of the governments must fulfill its mandate in providing the citizens with quality and affordable health care. Funds from the federal and state governments will continue to sustain the implementation of the new policy. 

Checks and Balances Introduced by the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act introduced increased access to health insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions as well as those with chronic illnesses. Previously, individuals with preexisting conditions were unable to access health insurance coverage. Many of the insurance providers did not allow individuals with pre-existing conditions to access any insurance coverage (Sparer, 2011). As a result, many people with preexisting medical conditions spend a significant amount of their income paying for health care services. Due to the increasing costs of health care, it was impossible for some of them to access the care they needed (Dyer, 2017). For this reason, the Affordable Care Act introduced a platform for providing coverage for American citizens with preexisting conditions. On the other hand, individuals needing long-term care services did not enjoy the flexibility they needed for them to access healthcare services from various institutions. 

The Affordable Care Act also expanded Medicaid accessibility allowing more people with low income to have access to health insurance coverage. The policy introduced the American Health Benefit Exchanges that provide a diverse range of choice for employers and individuals to access insurance plans (Dyer, 2017). Other checks in the private insurance sector mandated providers to conform to the existing premium controls and meet other requirements defined by the states and the federal government. The Affordable Care Act also reinforced the provision of healthcare insurance to all the full-time employees by each employer with more than 50 employees (Sparer, 2011). The Act introduced balances in the coverage and cost estimates with the core objective of ensuring that health care insurance coverage remains affordable. 

How the Affordable Care Act Relates to Public Policy and Elections and its Media Portrayal

The Affordable Care Act represents one of the critical public policies that have affected elections in the United States. Particularly, the Affordable Care Act contributed to the re-election of President Obama because members of the public believed that its implementation would have a positive impact on the healthcare sector (Haselswerdt, 2017). However, the government spending towards the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has led to a critical debate regarding its relevance in the modern day. President Trump and members of the Republican Party members believe that America needs better health care reforms. For this reason, the controversy affected the recent presidential elections. The media have played a critical role in influencing the public perception of the Affordable Care Act (Gardner, 2016). Specifically, the media has portrayed the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act as well as the cost implications at the state and federal government levels. 

The criticism of the Affordable Care Act has become more evident due to the opinions expressed in the mainstream media. Political analysts and healthcare specialists have used the media to discredit or support the Affordable Care Act. Across different media houses, the Affordable Care Act has remained to be a critical subject of discussion when health care issues emerge (Haselswerdt, 2017). The media has portrayed the Act as a positive move towards increased access to health care and reduced costs. However, the media have equally depicted the burden that the Affordable Care Act places on state governments who must play the critical role of implementation. Due to the media coverage, a greater percentage of Americans now understand the main provisions under the Affordable Care Act (Gardner, 2016). It is possible for the American public to determine the relevance of the Affordable Care Act based on the extensive media coverage. 

How the Affordable Care Act Affects Voting and the Election Process

The Affordable Care Act has become a controversial policy because politicians have focused on politicizing reforms in the healthcare sector. Republicans believe that the Affordable Care Act does not satisfy the needs of Americans. Specifically, there is a common perception that the Affordable Care Act burdens a certain percentage of Americans who pay the highest taxes (Chattopadhyay, 2015). There have been debates regarding the increased federal government spending towards the provision of health care to people who earn a low income. The election process in the United States represents a critical time in which the voters decide the leader with the best policies (Gaffney & McCormick, 2017). During the Trump campaigns, it became apparent that the Affordable Care Act would not survive if he became the president. Currently, the Congress is yet to determine whether the government should continue funding the Affordable Care Act. The policy is likely to influence future elections and the voting process. 

The Affordable Care Act has been placed under scrutiny by different politicians and analysts. Its ability to determine how much the federal government can channel towards health care funding has become a critical issue of concern. During the election period, Americans voted depending on their perception of how the policy is beneficial to Americans (Chattopadhyay, 2015). It is evident that the Democratic and Republican parties have opposing views towards the policy. For this reason, the policy is likely to remain an influential aspect of the American election process. Beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act are likely to vote in support of politicians who want to implement the policy (Gaffney & McCormick, 2017). During the last presidential elections, many people voted based on the politician’s stand when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. For this reason, the policy has been influencing voting patterns in the United States.


The Affordable Care Act represents a move by the American government to increase access to health care insurance coverage. For the first time after its implementation, a large percentage of Americans became eligible to receive coverage under Medicaid. The Act also introduced checks and balances in the healthcare sector to promote effectiveness and to expand insurance accessibility (Dyer, 2017). However, the policy has been influential in the American voting and the election process. The public perception towards the Act has been a critical issue of consideration during the voting process. The media has portrayed the benefits and cost implications of the Act over the years. It is apparent that America still needs a single payer universal health care system.  

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  1. Chattopadhyay, J. (2015). Are press depictions of Affordable Care Act beneficiaries favorable to policy durability?. Politics & The Life Sciences, 34(2), 7.
  2. Dyer, O. (2017). Voters back Obamacare in local and state elections. BMJ: British Medical Journal (Online Content), 1.
  3. Frazier, L. A. (2016). More than the affordable care act: topics and themes in health policy research. Policy Studies Journal, (2), 70.
  4. Gaffney, A., & McCormick, D. (2017). The Affordable Care Act: implications for health-care equity. Lancet, 389(10077), 1442.
  5. Gardner, D. B. (2016). Health Policy and Politics. Election 2016: Where Are We with the Affordable Care Act?. Nursing Economic$, 34(5), 251.
  6. Haselswerdt, J. (2017). Expanding Medicaid, Expanding the Electorate: The Affordable Care Act’s Short-Term Impact on Political Participation. Journal Of Health Politics, Policy & Law, 42(4), 668.
  7. Levitt L. (2017). Is the Affordable Care Act Imploding?. JAMA, 317(20), 2051–2052.
  8. Sparer, M. S. (2011). Federalism and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: The Founding Fathers Would Not Be Surprised. Journal Of Health Politics, Policy & Law36(3), 461-468.
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