Courts, Congress, Campaigns: What's Happening With The Affordable Care Act? | Texas Public Radio

Courts, Congress, Campaigns: What's Happening With The Affordable Care Act?

Jul 17, 2019

Millions of people gained healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but the law has faced a litany of challenges since its inception. What is the current legal standing of the ACA? Why has healthcare become a partisan issue?


The ACA, also called "Obamacare," was President Obama’s signature piece of legislation. In addition to providing coverage for millions more Americans – particularly low-income individuals – the ACA guaranteed coverage for patients with preexisting conditions, increased low-cost benefits for all insured persons, and allowed young adults to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26.

Since Obama's departure from the White House, the ACA has been repeatedly altered and restricted. Some of the latest disputes are related to its constitutionality and funding structure.

A mandate requiring individuals to pay a penalty for not having insurance was repealed in 2017. Why are critics arguing its repeal makes the ACA unconstitutional? How is Texas involved in the legal dispute?

How did eliminating the individual mandate affect funding for the program? What is the Cadillac tax and why is it controversial? What's happening on the Hill related to the ACA?

Healthcare will continue to be a major issue throughout the 2020 presidential election cycle. What are Democratic candidates' positions on the ACA and the future of healthcare?

President Trump has been an outspoken critic of the ACA. Does his administration or Republican leadership have a plan to replace it?

How could individuals, healthcare providers and insurance companies be affected if the ACA is struck down? What else should we know about the status and possible future of the ACA?

Guest:

  • Sarah Kliff, investigative reporter covering health policy for The New York Times
  • Nicholas Bagley, professor at the University of Michigan Law School and former Department of Justice official

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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, July 18 .