Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Overview of the ACA

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has transformed access to health care in the United States. The law is consistent with the AAFP principle that health is a basic human right for every person and that the right to health and access to affordable high-quality health care. The ACA has improved consumer protections by eliminating many of the worst practices of the health insurance industry, such as charging more or denying coverage because of a pre-existing health condition like asthma, diabetes, or cancer. The law prohibits health plans from putting annual or lifetime dollar limits on most benefits you receive. And families can now add or keep children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.

The ACA has helped to shift the United States toward a health care delivery system based on primary care by increasing payment rates for primary care physicians who accept Medicaid or work in rural areas and investing in the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program to support training for more primary care physicians. The ACA also promotes better coordinated care by advancing the principles of the Patient Centered Medical Home.

Recent AAFP Communications

Joint Communications with Other Organizations

Statement from the Group of Six on Protecting Transgender Patients and Women's Reproductive Health - May 28, 2019(3 page PDF)

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