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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

PPACA: A Brief Overview of the Law, Implementation, and Legal Challenges

Hinda Chaikind
Section Research Manager

Curtis W. Copeland
Specialist in American National Government

C. Stephen Redhead
Specialist in Health Policy

Jennifer Staman
Legislative Attorney

In March 2010, the 111th Congress passed health reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152). Jointly referred to as PPACA, the law increases access to health insurance coverage, expands federal private health insurance market requirements, and requires the creation of health insurance exchanges to provide individuals and small employers with access to insurance. The costs for expanding access to health insurance and other provisions are projected to be offset by increased taxes and revenues and reduced Medicare and Medicaid spending. Implementation of PPACA, which is scheduled to unfold over the next few years, involves all the major health care stakeholders, including the federal and state governments, as well as employers, insurers, and health care providers. Following the enactment of PPACA, state attorneys general and others have brought a number of lawsuits challenging provisions of PPACA, including the individual mandate, on constitutional grounds.

This report provides a brief summary of major PPACA provisions, implementation and oversight activities, and current legal challenges. For more detailed information on the topics included in this report, and other information about PPACA, CRS has produced a series of comprehensive reports. The information provided in these reports ranges from broad overviews of PPACA provisions, such as Medicare provisions, to more narrowly focused topics, such as grandfathered health plans.

Date of Report: March 2, 2011
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: R41664
Price: $19.95

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