Why the ACA is misunderstood

There tends to be a lot of confusion over what exactly the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is because American healthcare is confusing to begin with, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s John McDonough.

The ACA, or “Obamacare,” was signed into law in 2010 to address gaps in the U.S. health insurance system and has since provided health insurance to millions of Americans. But it remains a hotly debated issue, facing multiple threats of being repealed by Republican politicians. The law’s constitutionality will be debated in a U.S. Supreme Court case in November.

“Ask Americans to explain Medicare and or Medicaid, and you will observe at least as much befuddlement as with the ACA,” said McDonough, professor of the practice of public health, in a September 25, 2020 article in Healthline. “Our U.S. healthcare system is the most complicated and impenetrable to understand and make sense of on the planet.”

He said that partisan politics and inaccurate framing of the health reform law have added to the confusion.

From 2008 to 2010, McDonough worked on the development and passage of the ACA as adviser to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Read the Healthline article: Obamacare: Everything You Need to Know About the ACA Before You Vote