U.S. Health Care Policy

The U.S. health care system is in flux. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted in 2010, was an effort to enact a comprehensive national health policy. The law’s main goal was to improve access to health care by creating individual insurance markets where consumers could buy coverage directly from insurers and by expanding access to Medicaid. The law has reduced the number of uninsured, particularly in states that expanded Medicaid. However, from its inception, the ACA has faced strong political opposition and numerous legal challenges.

In recent years, Congress has debated whether to eliminate the ACA and replace it with a different system, or change the ACA to meet diverse policy goals. Extensive RAND research offers insights about the likely impact of repealing or revising the ACA along key dimensions, including Medicaid, the individual mandate (which was repealed by Congress in 2018), tax subsidies in the individual market, and essential health benefits. RAND work has also explored the effects of alternatives to the ACA, including a single-payer system.

Read More About U.S. Health Care Policy Browse RAND Analyses of Health Care Legislation, Policies, and Proposals
  • Doctor with digital tablet talking with a patient in a hospital bed, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Report

    Mar 12, 2020

    The Effects of Limiting Payments to Hospitals for Out-of-Network Care

    There is growing interest among U.S. policymakers to use out-of-network payment limits to curb surprise medical bills and as a tool to control rising health care costs. How might such limits affect negotiated in-network prices and total payments for hospital care?

What's Hot Now