A federal statute signed into law in March 2010 as a part of the
healthcare reform agenda of the Obama administration. Signed under the
title of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the law
included multiple provisions that would take effect over a matter of
years, including the expansion of Medicaid eligibility, the
establishment of health insurance exchanges and prohibiting health
insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
At the time of its enactment, the Congressional Budget Office estimated
that the new law would reduce the federal deficit by nearly $145 billion
in the first 10 years and between .25% and .5% of GDP thereafter. The
costs associated with the new amendments are offset by numerous taxes,
such as increased taxes on items and services such as eye glasses,
hearing aids and indoor tanning.