Health Care Reform Background
Congress passed The Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the law in 2012. The ACA was created so that nearly all Americans would have access to affordable health insurance through commercial or public coverage, health care costs would be controlled, and the health care delivery system would be improved.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has primary responsibility for guiding implementation of the ACA and providing information to consumers and others. On January 13, 2011, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed an Executive Order creating the RI Health Care Reform Commission, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts, to oversee all aspects of ACA implementation. On September 19, 2011, the Governor signed another Executive Order creating the RI Health Benefits Exchange, responsible for developing the Exchange website where people will be able to compare health insurance plans, purchase insurance and apply for Medicaid or subsidies to help pay for private coverage. Small business will also be able to purchase coverage through the Exchange.