Arkansans’ Health Impacted by Affordable Care Act: ACHI Director



The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) celebrated its ten-year anniversary, marking a decade of significant changes in the U.S. healthcare system, comparable to the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. The law expanded healthcare coverage through Medicaid to low-income adults and offered financial assistance to those falling in the gap between Medicaid eligibility and job-based insurance. ACA has been particularly impactful for states like Arkansas that chose this option, changing health insurance products, and shopping experiences for Arkansans, advancing health literacy, and prohibiting denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the U.S. Healthcare System

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 brought about the most significant reform of the U.S. healthcare system since the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. As the ACA turns 10 this month, it’s worth reflecting on the changes it has brought about.

Key elements of the ACA include Medicaid expansion for low-income adults in states like Arkansas, and financial assistance for individuals who might otherwise fall through the cracks, not qualifying for Medicaid and lacking job-based insurance. The law has played a transformative role in healthcare coverage in states that have opted for Medicaid expansion.

A guest column by ACHI Health Policy Director Craig Wilson examines the law’s impact on Arkansas residents. Wilson explores how the ACA has reshaped health insurance products and the shopping experience for Arkansans and how the law has introduced a streamlined health insurance marketplace, improved health literacy and ensured insurers can’t deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

For an in-depth analysis of how the ACA has shaped Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion program over the past decade, see a guest column in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson reflects on the program’s achievements and areas of improvement.

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