Affordable Care Act

The big picture

The ACA is doing fine without a mandate penalty

The success undercuts a lawsuit against the ACA.

Jan 14, 2020
The political risk of overturning the ACA

Swing states and red states would stand to lose the most.

Dec 20, 2019
The return of the ACA wars

A federal appeals court is set to rule any day now on whether the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Dec 7, 2019
Trump's smoke-and-mirrors 2020 health care strategy

The president's claims aren't always true.

Oct 11, 2019

All Affordable Care Act stories

May 10, 2020 - Health

Lamar Alexander knocks Trump for pushing ahead with Obamacare lawsuit

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) expressed disapproval on Sunday of the Trump administration's decision to continue backing a lawsuit seeking to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.

What he's saying: "I thought the Justice Department argument was really flimsy," Alexander said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "What they're arguing is that when we voted to get rid of the individual mandate, we voted to get rid of Obamacare. I don't know one single senator who thought that."

Apr 27, 2020 - Health

Supreme Court says federal government must pay health insurers billions

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The federal government must pay health insurance companies roughly $12 billion that they're owed under part of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in an 8-1 decision.

The big picture: The ACA's "risk corridors" program was designed to help stabilize the law's insurance markets in their early years, but the Trump administration argued that Congress had prohibited it from making the required payments. The Supreme Court disagreed, saying insurers have a right to collect the money they're owed under the program.

Apr 15, 2020 - Health

The newly uninsured can turn to a stable ACA market

Losing job-based health coverage qualifies people to sign up for an ACA plan. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

People losing their employer-based health insurance in the coronavirus economy would find a pretty stable Affordable Care Act market if they need it — not that the Trump administration is advertising that fact.

Why it matters: ACA plans will be an important backstop for some newly uninsured people, many of whom could likely find affordable coverage on the law's insurance marketplaces.

Mar 30, 2020 - Health

The coronavirus is exposing the holes in employer health insurance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A record 3.3 million people filed for unemployment in one week, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, but people didn't just lose their jobs. Many also lost the health insurance that came with the job.

Why it matters: U.S. workers, even those who feel relatively secure in their health benefits, are a pandemic away from falling into the ranks of the uninsured.

Mar 9, 2020 - Health

Major Blues health insurer sues to recoup ACA funds

HCSC headquarters in Chicago. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Health Care Service Corp. is suing the federal government, arguing it is owed $2 billion from the Affordable Care Act's risk corridors program, which was put in place to mitigate insurance company losses in the law's early years.

Between the lines: The timing of the lawsuit is odd. Several other health insurers have already sued the feds over unpaid risk corridors claims, which led to the Supreme Court hearing their arguments this past December. However, a spokesperson for HCSC, which owns five Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates, said the company is "not speculating on how the SCOTUS will rule."

Mar 3, 2020 - Health

The Supreme Court could be Trump's ACA nightmare

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Supreme Court’s next big Affordable Care Act case could be a huge political problem for President Trump.

Why it matters: The Trump administration will spend the next several months urging the court to strip away some 20 million people’s health insurance and to throw out protections for pre-existing conditions. And it may all come to a head just before Election Day.

Supreme Court takes crucial Affordable Care Act case

Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images

The Supreme Court announced this morning that it will hear a major case against the Affordable Care Act, meaning the health care law's fate will be on the line in the middle of the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The lawsuit — which is supported by the Trump administration — argues that the entire ACA should be struck down, including its most popular provisions, like its pre-existing conditions protections.

Feb 19, 2020 - Health

California's Affordable Care Act coverage experiment

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act exchange, announced yesterday that new enrollment rose 41% in 2020 after the state reinstated the individual mandate and expanded the law's insurance subsidies.

Why it matters: If California is acting as a real-life test case for what happens when policymakers beef up the ACA, the experiment seems to be going well, at least in terms of coverage numbers.

Feb 14, 2020 - Health

Appeals court rules against Trump's Medicaid work requirements

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration violated federal law by allowing red states to impose work requirements on their Medicaid programs, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The court said the administration had not properly justified its decision, and that it was out of step with Medicaid's statutory goals.

What's next: The most likely next step is an appeal to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the administration has not won a single favorable ruling in lawsuits over what had once looked like one of its most significant health care policies.

Feb 5, 2020 - Health

State of the Union previews 2020's pre-existing conditions fight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump claimed last night during the State of the Union that he will "always protect patients with pre-existing conditions" — a statement that's misleading at best.

Why it matters: Pre-existing conditions protections are popular, and both parties are trying to claim credit for them. But only one of the parties has a track record of defending those protections, and it's not the GOP.

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