The Affordable Health Care Act

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a United States federal statute that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. This particular law has come with much controversy. The law (along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress. PPACA reforms certain aspects of the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs, increases insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions, expands access to insurance to over 30 million Americans, and increases projected national medical spending while lowering projected Medicare spending.

PPACA passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and two Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against the bill.

A majority of the states, and numerous organizations and individual persons, have filed actions in federal court challenging the constitutionality of PPACA. As of January 2012, two of four federal appellate courts have upheld it; a third declared the individual mandate unconstitutional, while a fourth ruled the federal Tax Anti-Injunction Act prevents the issue from being decided until taxpayers begin paying penalties in 2015. The Supreme Court has scheduled six hours for oral arguments March 26–28, 2012, and will issue its decision by the end of June. But is this law unconstitutional or just another way of the President using his Executive Branch Power to instill his will on the American people?

On January 31, 2011, Judge Roger Vinson in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the law unconstitutional in an action brought by 26 states, on the grounds that the individual mandate to purchase insurance exceeds the authority of...
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