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Health Policy
January 19, 2021

The Language of Health Care Reform

Author Affiliations
  • 1Kaiser Family Foundation, San Francisco, California
JAMA. 2021;325(3):215-216. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.25717

When a new president takes office, it often heralds a major health care reform debate. In fact, health reform in various forms has been debated in the US since the early 1900s.

In 2009, following the election of President Barack Obama, a contentious debate led to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), possibly the most important domestic policy initiative since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. In 2017, following the election of President Donald Trump, a divisive debate over repealing and replacing the ACA ultimately failed, although some significant steps, such as repealing the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, did succeed.

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