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Through a number of provisions — such as individual and employer mandates, health insurance exchanges, and the expansion of Medicaid — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to expand access to health care for uninsured Americans. RAND has examined implementation challenges, cost and coverage implications, Medicaid expansion, state health insurance exchanges, and reforms to both care delivery and payment.

  • group opinions

    Project

    The RAND Health Reform Opinion Study

    Dec 16, 2013

    The RAND Health Reform Opinion Study tracks public opinion of the Affordable Care Act by surveying the same people over time. This allows us to observe true changes in public opinion, rather than changes based on who was surveyed randomly.

  • Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House

    Content

    The Affordable Care Act: Four Key Policy Areas

    Apr 23, 2013

    With the complex process of implementing the ACA underway, RAND research is tracking the progress of implementation and assessing the potential consequences of choices facing federal and state governments, employers, families, and individuals.

Explore Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

  • News Release

    Federal Drug Discount Program Faces Challenges as It Expands Under Health Reform

    A federal program that provides billions in drug discounts to safety net hospitals and other health care providers is expanding under health care reform, but divergent views on the purpose and future scope of the program create uncertainty for safety net providers and drug manufacturers.

    Aug 12, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol building with summer flowers

    Blog

    Summer Reading for Congress

    No matter how policymakers spend their break—meeting with home-state constituents, traveling abroad with congressional delegations, or spending time with family—this summer reading list contains policy ideas that can help them hit the ground running when they return.

    Jul 31, 2014

  • A pregnant woman in an exam room with a gynecologist and nurse

    Blog

    RAND Helps to Develop From Coverage to Care, a New CMS Initiative

    Health coverage is a means to an end: the aim is to help more Americans use their coverage to access routine primary care and preventive services. For many of the newly insured, however, the leap between obtaining insurance and establishing a regular source of care is substantial.

    Jul 29, 2014

  • Doctor talking to her male patient in her office

    Blog

    The ACA's Opportunity to Improve Care for Substance Use Disorders

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will significantly increase coverage for the publicly funded treatment of substance use disorders. But in order to maximize the benefit to patients, families, and society, it's critical to invest in the development, validation, and use of performance measures.

    Jul 28, 2014

  • A prescription bottle labeled Affordable Care Act and prescription pad

    Report

    Federal Drug Discount Program Faces Challenges as It Expands Under Health Reform

    A federal program that provides billions in drug discounts to safety net hospitals and other health care providers is expanding under health care reform, but divergent views on the purpose and future scope of the program create uncertainty for safety net providers and drug manufacturers.

    Jul 21, 2014

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    Research Brief

    Will Heath Care Reform Affect Disability Insurance Claiming?

    By enabling access to affordable private health insurance and expanding access to subsidized public health insurance, the Affordable Care Act alters the calculus of disability claiming decisions. Research offers empirical evidence that, on net, disability applications are likely to decrease.

    Jul 10, 2014

  • t-events-rand-podcast-hr

    Multimedia

    The Affordable Care Act: Change Is the Only Constant

    Listen as Leonard D. Schaeffer, founding chairman and CEO of WellPoint and RAND’s 2014 Williams Laureate, discusses the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • Pennsylvania capitol building

    Report

    Infographic: How Pennsylvania May Fare Under the ACA

    This infographic presents findings from a RAND analysis of the economic and other effects of Medicaid expansion on the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    May 21, 2014

  • Arkansas state quarter

    Report

    Infographic: How Arkansas May Fare Under the Affordable Care Act

    This infographic presents findings from a RAND analysis of the economic and other effects of the Affordable Care Act on the state of Arkansas.

    May 21, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Disability Insurance and Health Insurance Reform: Evidence from Massachusetts

    We study the 2006 Massachusetts health insurance reform to estimate the potential effects of the ACA on SSDI and SSI applications.

    May 1, 2014

  • measuring blood pressure

    Blog

    Tracking the ACA with the RAND Health Reform Opinion Study

    The HROS uses panel data to track changes in public opinion regarding the Affordable Care Act and insurance coverage. By surveying the same respondents each month, the HROS observes not only aggregate changes, but also individual changes in opinion or insurance coverage over time.

    Apr 22, 2014

  • a doctor discussing a patient's chart on a tablet

    Blog

    RAND Health Reform Opinion Study: Few Changes After Open Enrollment

    At the close of the ACA's open enrollment period, no significant changes in opinion were observed in the RAND Health Reform Opinion Study. This may be because open enrollment has no bearing on the health insurance of many people.

    Apr 16, 2014

  • News Release

    Affordable Care Act Could Change Costs for Auto, Malpractice, Other Liability Insurance

    As more Americans become newly covered under the ACA, the cost of providing automobile insurance, workers compensation, and homeowners insurance may decline. But an increase in the number of people using the health care system may trigger an increase in the number of medical malpractice claims.

    Apr 9, 2014

  • doctor with senior patient

    Blog

    Survey Estimates Net Gain of 9.3 Million American Adults with Health Insurance

    Early survey evidence indicates that the Affordable Care Act has already led to a substantial increase in insurance coverage. Consistent with the ACA's design, this gain in insurance has come not only from new enrollment in the marketplaces, but also from new enrollment in employer coverage and Medicaid.

    Apr 8, 2014

  • Research Brief

    The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Liability Insurance

    Summarizes a report that identifies potential mechanisms through which health care reform might affect claim costs for several major types of liability coverage, especially auto insurance, workers’ compensation coverage, and medical malpractice.

    Apr 8, 2014

  • close up of pill bottles

    Report

    Changes in Health Insurance Enrollment Since ACA Implementation

    Early evidence from a nationally representative survey suggests that the Affordable Care Act has led to a substantial increase in health coverage. Among the newly insured, most gained coverage through employer-sponsored insurance or Medicaid.

    Apr 8, 2014

  • Fotolia_25942743_Subscription_Monthly_M

    Report

    ACA Could Change Costs of Auto, Malpractice, and Other Liability Insurance

    As more Americans become newly covered under the Affordable Care Act, the cost of providing automobile insurance, workers compensation, and homeowners insurance may decline. Meanwhile, an increase in the number of people using the health care system may trigger a corresponding increase in the number of medical malpractice claims.

    Apr 8, 2014

  • Close up of pills/drugs on US dollar health care spending

    Blog

    Is the ACA Keeping a Lid on Growth in Healthcare Spending?

    Some point to the healthcare spending slowdown as an early success of the Affordable Care Act. Others warn that it's merely a hangover from the recession, and that the inevitable spending rebound will be exacerbated by the ACA coverage expansions.

    Apr 3, 2014

  • Report

    Final Report: Evaluation of Tools and Metrics to Support Employer Selection of Health Plans

    This report attempts to help employers understand the structural differences between health plans and the performance dimensions along which plans can differ, as well as to educate employers about available tools to evaluate plan options.

    Apr 3, 2014

  • mother, daughter, granddaughter

    Blog

    Assessing and Addressing Women's Health and Health Care

    Women make up a majority of the U.S. population. Yet research policies and practices often treat women's health and health care as special topics or minority issues. The resulting knowledge gaps hamstring efforts to improve women's health care and outcomes even for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among women.

    Mar 28, 2014