The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often abbreviated as PPACA and commonly referred to as Obamacare, became law in 2010. Two years later, the Supreme Court of the United States heard a challenge to the law and issued a ruling stating it was, for the most part, constitutional. Yet despite all the media coverage about the debate leading up to the law, the vote, and its subsequent battles in the courts, about 42% of Americans don’t realize that the law is currently in effect or understand the changes it will make.
A survey recently released by the nonprofit, nonpartisan healthcare policy research organization the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that about 23% of Americans are unsure if the Affordable Care Act is a law or not. Another 7% of Americans believe that the Supreme Court’s decision effectively ruled the law unconstitutional, while the remaining 12% believe that Congress has since repealed it.
Congress has not repealed the law and the Supreme Court has not overturned it, though the court’s decision allowed states to choose to expand Medicaid under the law’s provisions or not. The court’s ruling left all other portions of the law untouched.
Since it was passed into law the Affordable Care Act has already begun changing how Americans obtain healthcare insurance. However, many of the law’s most important provisions, such as preventing insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, won’t take effect until 2014. You can read a summary of the most important parts of the law at healthcare.gov.