ObamaCare – definition and meaning

ObamaCare is an informal term for the Affordable Care Act or ACA. ObamaCare refers to a US national health care plan that focuses on creating better health care coverage. President Barack Obama signed into law at The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010.

We can write the term with a capital or lower case ‘c’ – ‘ObamaCare’ or ‘Obamacare.’

ObamaCare created ‘exchanges.’ In these exchanges, patients can shop for health care coverage plans and determine whether they qualify for subsidies.

The Affordable Care Act is a health care policy that President Barack Obama proposed, hence the name. Its main aim is to make health insurance more widely available across the United States.

President Obama wanted to extend health insurance coverage to the estimated fifteen percent of Americans who lacked it.

Additionally, The Affordable Care Act aims to make health insurance more affordable.

Put simply, ObamaCare requires all US citizens to have health insurance. However, it offers subsidies to make it more affordable. A ‘subsidy’ is money the government gives to reduce the price of something.

The Affordable Care Act is the largest overhaul of the American health care system since the 1960s.

Obamacare - image explaining what it is
Obamacarefacts.com says “ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) is a US health care reform law that expands and improves access to care and curbs spending through regulations and taxes.”

ObamaCare – pre-existing conditions

The Affordable Care Act also requires that insurance firms have minimum rates and standards. These rates must remain the same, regardless of patients’ pre-existing conditions.

In fact, one of the main obstacles to universal healthcare coverage in America has been pre-existing conditions.

With ObamaCare, people may face a fine for non-compliance. In other words, if you are an American citizen and have no health care coverage, you might have to pay a penalty.

Why do Republicans dislike ObamaCare?

According to Republicans, the Affordable Care Act imposes too many costs on business.

For example, businesses employing more than fifty full-time workers must offer them health insurance. Conservatives say this is a ‘job killer.’

However, since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, health care jobs increased by nine percent.

In October 2016, President Barack Obama said:

“Because of the law, you now have free preventive care. Insurance companies have to offer that in whatever policy they sell. Because of the law, you now have free checkups for women. Because of the law, you get free mammograms.”

“It is [now] harder for insurance companies to discriminate against you because you’re a woman when you get health insurance.”

In this speech, “because of the law” refers to the Affordable Care Act.

Republican senator Ted Cruz said:

“I would do anything and I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is ObamaCare.”

ObamaCare – pros and cons


– More Americans now have health insurance.

– Health insurance is now more affordable for many Americans.

– Patients with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.

– There are no time limits on care.

– The Affordable Care Act covers many screenings and preventative services.

– Prescription drug costs have declined.


– Many Americans now have to pay higher premiums.

– If you do not have insurance, you may be liable for a fine.

– Taxes are rising as a result of Obamacare.

– Many people say that enrolling is complicated.

– Employers are reducing worker hours to avoid covering employees.

Video – What is ObamaCare

This video, by The Daily Conversation, explains what The Affordable Care Act is.