In 2010, President Barak Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, the largest overhaul of the U.S. health care system in the nation’s history. By 2016, the uninsured share of the population had roughly halved, with estimates ranging from 20 to 24 million additional people covered during 2016. The increased coverage was due, almost equally, to an expansion of Medicaid eligibility and to major changes to individual insurance markets. In consultation with officials in the Obama administration, the National Health Law Program helped draft and lobbied for its Section 1557, which prohibits discrimination based on race, ethnicity, language, age, sex, disability and immigration status. It was the first time that health care discrimination was prohibited on the basis of sex.
The Affordable Care Act created a new Medicaid eligibility group for low-income adults earning up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, providing coverage to millions of newly eligible low-income workers, students, parents, single adults and people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. The National Health Law Program works with state partners to convince states of the benefits of Medicaid expansion and to defend against threats that would reduce access to care in states that have already expanded.