Keywords: Health care reform; United States; Health legislation; Obama Administration; US Congress
Throughout the twentieth century, many US presidents tried and failed to overhaul the nation's health care system. For this reason, the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010 has been hailed as a historic turn. This article summarizes key provisions of the health care reform law and describes the eventful journey of this piece of legislation through US Congress.
The new health care law is an incremental reform, that will only partially tackle the most critical problems affecting the health care system in the US. Applying lessons learned from past failures, Obama and his staff succeeded in passing health care reform through a combination of political pragmatism and inclination towards compromise: the Obama administration negotiated deals with health industry groups, and made compromises on a range of issues in order to satisfy the demands of many members of Congress.