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, remains in force. But from its inception, the law has faced strong opposition.

Congress must decide whether to eliminate the ACA and replace it with a different system, or change the ACA to meet different political goals. Extensive RAND research offers insights about the likely impact of repealing or revising the ACA along key dimensions, including Medicaid, the individual mandate, effects on employers, tax subsidies, changing rate regulations, and essential health benefits. We have also explored effects of alternatives to the ACA, including a single payer system.

In a recent analysis, a health policy expert steps back to consider what the basic ingredients are for health care reform.

Read More About U.S. Health Care Policy Browse RAND Analyses of Health Care Legislation, Policies, and Proposals
  • Commentary

    Nov 19, 2018

    Medicare for All: Sounds Good, but What Does It Mean?

    Traditional Medicare is popular and therefore can lend a good brand name to coverage expansion proposals, but its limits can be significant for some patients. Those proposing and evaluating “Medicare for All” proposals should consider whether and how these limits are addressed.

What's Hot Now

  • Report

    Physicians Need Time to Adapt to Changing Payment Models

    Oct 24, 2018

    It is difficult for physicians to keep up with changing payment models, navigate complexity, and invest in data and reporting. Slowing the rate of change and simplifying payment models can help physicians improve patient care and earn financial benefits.

  • Journal Article

    Keeping Young Adults Insured Means More Mental Health Care

    Sep 21, 2018

    Lack of insurance has been a barrier to mental health treatment for young adults. The ACA's Dependent Care Expansion, which allows them to stay on their parents' policies until age 26, has increased use of mental health care among this high need group—without affecting quality of care or disparities in access.

  • Report

    Impacts of Eliminating the Individual Mandate Penalty in New York

    Sep 20, 2018

    In 2019, the ACA's individual mandate penalty will be eliminated. How will this affect New York's nongroup insurance market? It could result in an estimated 23 to 25 percent increase in premiums and a 37 percent reduction in enrollment.

  • Journal Article

    Evaluating the CARE Act: Implications of Repealing and Replacing the Affordable Care Act

    Aug 23, 2018

    Policymakers seeking to adopt the CARE Act, or pursue a similar repeal-and-replace policy, may need to maintain some of the ACA's revenue-generating provisions, adopt alternative revenue-generating provisions, or reduce the generosity of tax credits to achieve budget neutrality.