Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act

POL 201 – American National Government

Ashford University

Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act has a great impact on all American’s lives. The historical and constitutional basis of the American Government’s structured the Affordable Care Act being created. Checks and balances directly come into play when the Affordable Care Act was created to keep all parties of the government under control. Public policy, elections, and the media impact the outcome of the Affordable Care Act view on the American citizens. Voting and the election process is impacted by the Affordable Care Act based on the opinions of the voters. “Congress passed, and the president signed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or ACA), a sweeping reform of the nation’s health care system. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The Affordable Care Act increases access to care, makes health insurance more affordable” (Fine & Waldman, 2016). The Affordable Care Act has many impacts and results from the three branches of the American Government.

Historical and Constitutional Background


In 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act that was passed by Congress. “America’s new health care system has received a largely positive reception from blacks and others. The benefits of the new health reform cannot be overstated, especially for people who have been so heavily excluded from the health care system” (Smith, 2016). The Affordable Care Act helped everyone attain health insurance. “Following constituent opinion is not the only reason why Congress members would favor the Affordable Care Act. Some Congress members may have believed that this was an issue of the common good, and they voted for the bill because their constituents entrusted them to make decisions on their behalf” (Fine & Levin-Waldman, 2016).


On June 28th, 2012 the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 was constitutional. “The regulatory and appropriation portions of the PPACA would have been within the power of the Senate to originate. But they were not germane to H.R. 3590 as it emerged from the House, and thus not within the scope of the Senate’s power to amend. Whether the PPACA’s valid taxes (including the penalty for not purchasing insurance) can be severed from the invalid portions of the PPACA is another issue entirely” (Natelson, 2015).

Checks and Balances
Checks and Balances

“This system also allowed the branches to influence decisions made in other branches so that one branch could prevent another from tyrannizing the majority. Separation of powers creates the opportunity for checks and balances” (Fine & Levin-Waldman. 2016). Separation of powers creates the opportunity for checks and balances. The tendency toward abuse of power, such as with despotism and corruption, would be limited because of the checks placed on power across the branches of government (Fine, Levin-Waldman, 2016). “The ACA’s demise could, however, provide an opening for one or more of the social movements allied against it try to rally the country to constitutional transformation along their own lines” (Super, 2014).

Government involvement

“Passing legislation involves the systematic process of moving bills through committees within Congress to create modifications to originally presented bills” (De Vries, Schaal, & Olsson Jr., 2016). “Both houses of Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and the president enacted it into law by signing the legislation” (Fine & Levin-Waldman, 2016). Then the Judicial branch voted that it is constitutional. The ACA went through each step over a period and had been approved by all three branches and was finally official.

Public Policy, Elections, and Media

Public Policy

“Public policy can be defined as a plan of action that reflects the collective will of the political community” (Fine & Levin-Waldman, 2016). The public policy, election, and media all influenced the outcome of the Affordable Care Act. The critical impact the elections will have on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Hanging in the balance is the execution of federal health reform as determined by the White House, Congress, statehouses and America’s private health care system” (Leavitt Partners, 2012). Media would be used to spread the word about what the Affordable Care Act was established for and the importance of it on the American people. Word of mouth is a way that politic views are spread around the United States.


“The media takes many forms. Various forms of more traditional media, including print (newspapers, news magazines) and broadcast (television, radio)” (Fine & Levin-Waldman, 2016). Media also come in the form of social media nowadays like Facebook, and Pinterest to name a few. “This suggests that the high volumes of insurance product ads and, to a lesser extent, news coverage in the early days of the new health insurance marketplace, may have contributed to citizens’ beliefs that they had sufficient information to know how the law would affect them and their families” (Fowler, Baum, Barry, Niederdeppe, & Gollust, 2017).

Voting and the Election Process


“Based on this thesis, constituents’ wishes come before Congress members’ party loyalty. One might consider the vote on the Affordable Care Act to be a case where this thesis did not hold up. Most public opinion polls showed that most Americans opposed the legislation, but a majority in Congress voted for it anyway” (Fine & Levin-Waldman, 2016). There is a great impact on the Affordable Care Act on the voting and election process. “Many customers, particularly those with lower incomes, will not be affected by the price increase; the subsidies that the law provides to help pay premiums will cover most or all of it. Seventy-four percent of Arizonans with marketplace plans got subsidies this year, and the percentage is expected to grow next year” (Goodnough, 2016).

Election Process

“The ACA’s political future is uncertain and highly dependent on the outcome of the 2016 elections. If Democrats win the White House and gain Congressional majorities, they could try to strengthen the ACA by addressing its affordability issues, continuing premium stabilization policies, seeking ways to increase enrollment, and encouraging state efforts to create public plans to compete against private insurers on the marketplaces. However, if a Republican wins the presidency and the GOP holds majorities in the House and Senate, the ACA faces a much more perilous future” (Oberlander, 2016). “Elections enable the peaceful transfer of power, which is fundamental to democracy. Through elections, the public offers its tacit consent for the American constitutional tradition. As critical as elections are to the democratic process, they may also reveal much about citizens’ beliefs and core values (Fine & Levin-Waldman, 2016). During the election process people use what they have gained about the Affordable Care Act to determine which candidate they will elect for the term. They listen to each side about what they see for the future of the Affordable Care Act to make this decision.


The Affordable Care Act will always be improved to better the lives of the American people. The Affordable Care Act will always have a great impact on the American citizens. The elections process and voting are impacted by the Affordable Care Act people are only going to vote for someone who is in favor of what they want for the Affordable Care Act. The media, election, and public policy influences for everyone interprets the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act was created using checks and balances with the three branches of the government working together. The history and constitutional basis of the American Government will be tested because of the Affordable Care Act.


De Vries, D., Schaal, P., & Olsson Jr., R. H. (2016). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and Its Impact on Recreational Therapy. Annual in Therapeutic Recreation, 2352-63.

Fine, T. S., & Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2016). American government (2nd ed.). Retrieved from

Fowler, E. F., Baum, L. M., Barry, C. L., Niederdeppe, J., & Gollust, S. E. (2017). Media Messages and Perceptions of the Affordable Care Act during the Early Phase of Implementation. Journal of health politics, policy and law, (1). 167.

GOODNOUGH, A. (2016, October 30). Increase in Health Act Premiums May Affect the Voting in Arizona. New York Times. p. 21.

Natelson, R. G. (2015). The founders’ origination clause and implications for the Affordable Care Act. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, (2). 669.

Oberlander, J. (2016). Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The Promise and Limits of Health Care Reform. Journal of health politics, policy and law, (4). 803.

PR, N. (2012, October 30). Leavitt Partners Health Reform Bracketology analysis considers impact of U.S. elections on the Affordable Care Act. PR Newswire US

Smith, J. M. (2016). Can the Affordable Care Act help to heal a history of injustice?. National Lawyers Guild Review, (1). 1.

Super, D. A. (2014). The modernization of American public law: health care reform and popular constitutionalism. Stanford Law Review, (4),873.

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