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Q: What Is the Difference Between Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act?

Asked by Anonymous on September 29, 2017

Hal Levy September 29, 2017

There is no difference between the Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act. They both refer to the exact same thing. It’s a very common mistake to think that they’re different.

Obamacare is the unofficial nickname for the 900-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It’s also referred to as the Affordable Care Act, and abbreviated as the ACA or PPACA.

Adding to the confusion, pundits and the public alike use the term “Obamacare” to explain a myriad of loosely related healthcare issues that may or may not have anything to do with the law. Sometimes Obamacare is used to describe modern health insurance. Sometimes people use it to refer to individual plans, government-run insurance marketplaces, or specific health insurance reforms – like the ban on insurance companies rejecting people with pre-existing health conditions – that are found in the Affordable Care Act. Even changes to the Food and Drug Administration that were a part of the ACA can be called Obamacare. In reality, many aspects of healthcare in the US are mentioned in the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA is known as Obamacare because the law was associated with the President at the time it was signed. While the ACA was passed in 2010, most of the law didn’t come into effect until 2014.

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