The Affordable Care Act Special Collection was actively curated from 2010 until 2018. A bibliography .csv file detailing the contents of the collection is available to download (see “Explore” menu). Titles continue to be accessible, but the collection is no longer actively curated.

Archived date: August 29, 2022

Collection title: Affordable Care Act Special Collection

Collection URL:

Availability: 2010-2018

Title count: 274 titles

Creator: IssueLab, a service of Candid.

Description: The passage of the Affordable Care Act represents an historic change in the way health insurance has been handled in the United States. With political discourse about the act continuing to occupy public policy debates and the news media, this collection attempts to shed light on the impact of the policy on citizens and providers as well as examine how the ACA is affecting quality, access, and costs of care.

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Abortion Coverage in the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2018 ( S.1771 )

March 22, 2018

The role of government in regulating abortion coverage began to be debated shortly after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v Wade. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has blocked federal funds under Medicaid and other federal programs from being used to pay for abortion, allowing exceptions only for pregnancies that endanger a woman's life, or that result from rape or incest. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) interpreted the federal abortion-funding ban to include the federal tax credits that functioned as premium subsidies to help individuals afford Marketplace plans. This issue brief reviews current federal and state policies on private insurance coverage of abortion services, and how the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2018 would affect abortion coverage for women enrolled in the individual market.

Women’s Connections to the Healthcare Delivery System: Key Findings from the 2017 Kaiser Women’s Health Survey

March 13, 2018

Women's ability to access the care they need depends greatly on the availability of high quality providers in their communities as well as their own knowledge about maintaining their health through routine checkups, screenings, and provider counseling. This brief presents findings from the 2017 Kaiser Women's Health Survey, a nationally representative survey of women ages 18 to 64 on their health status, relationships to regular providers and sites of care, and the frequency at which they receive routine preventive care. The Kaiser Family Foundation has conducted surveys on women's health care in 2001, 2004, 2008, and 2013. This brief focuses on findings from the newest 2017 survey and presents some findings compared to earlier years.

Maternal Depression and Young Adult Mental Health: Key Policy Agenda for Systems that Support Mental Health and Wellness

February 13, 2018

Three million Americans living in poverty are either a mother who has experienced depression or a young adult who has experienced serious psychological distress during the past year. Untreated mental health needs have significant consequences for mothers and young adults as well as their families. This is especially true for low-income people. It is essential to create policy that better meets their mental health needs to ensure their healthy development and long-term success. This report makes the case for CLASP's new foundation-funded effort to strengthen Medicaid, mental health, and human services policy at the federal and state levels to improve outcomes for families and young adults living in poverty. The goals of this initiative are to: (a) develop frameworks for identifying and treating maternal depression among parents of young children as well as improved access to high-quality mental health supports for youth; and (b) help a small number of selected states implement important aspects of the two frameworks. CLASP is uniquely positioned to bridge diverse stakeholders, analyze and identify policy opportunities, and support states interested in advancing this policy agenda. Across numerous fields, policymakers and stakeholders must work together to foster equitable health and economic outcomes for low-income mothers and young adults living in poverty. This work is essential to building systems support all low-income people's mental health and wellness.

Addressing Barriers to Breast Cancer Care in California: The 2016 - 2017 Landscape for Policy Change

February 1, 2018

In 2018, over 29,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in California and an estimated 4,500 will die of the disease. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has successfully expanded access to health insurance and breast cancer care, numerous population subgroups remain uninsured, and many others may lack adequate coverage for treatment and management of their breast cancer. Although insurance improves breast cancer outcomes compared to those with no insurance, challenges may remain even for the insured. Among those insured, there appear to be significant barriers to cancer care as health insurance premiums are increasing, networks are narrowing, and as the cost of breast cancer drugs is increasing.This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the significant barriers and challenges to accessing breast cancer care in California through the  completion of three key tasks: (1) a synthesis of the peer reviewed literature, news media, reports and policy briefs, (2) completion of a series of key informant/stakeholder interviews, and (3) an analysis of social media. The authors find five categories of barriers: (1) Health System Barriers, (2) Insurance Barriers, (3) High Costs, (4) Individual and Cultural Characteristics, and (5) Language.Although many barriers are shared across insurance types, where possible, this report provides insight on barriers unique to the insurance status of women, specifically for the uninsured, those covered by Medi-Cal, and those covered by commercial insurance. Findings from this report can be used to guide efforts of policymakers to improve timely access to breast cancer care among all women in California.

Medicaid Is Vital for Women’s Jobs in Every Community

June 26, 2017

Medicaid is primarily known as the government program that provides health insurance coverage to individuals struggling to make ends meet. Women make up the majority of Medicaid enrollees, and the program covers a range of services – birth control, maternity care, prescription drugs, hospitalization, long-term care, and more – that address many of women's major health needs throughout their lives.At the same time, Medicaid plays a critically important role in advancing women's economic security through directly supporting women's jobs and by providing health insurance coverage that enables women to work.Proposals to fundamentally change how Medicaid is financed and create barriers to enrollment threaten the livelihood of millions of women.

Double the Trouble: Health Care Access Without the Affordable Care Act or Planned Parenthood

June 23, 2017

Access to high quality, affordable health care, including reproductive health care, is critical to an individual's health, economic security, and dignity. But access to health care requires more than just an empty promise—the existence of health care services means nothing if a person can't afford them or if there are no quality health care providers in their area to deliver the services they need.In light of relentless attacks on both the ACA and Planned Parenthood by Congress and the Trump Administration, this report paints a picture of what health care access would look like if the ACA is dismantled and Planned Parenthood is defunded. This analysis contains five example scenarios of the obstacles that potential patients could face in getting the health care they need.

The Affordable Care Act Repeal Bill Would Put Affordable Health Coverage Out of Reach For Many Women

March 20, 2017

The American Health Care Act, the budget reconciliation proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), restructures the health care system in favor of wealthier individuals and companies. At the same time, it takes away critical financial assistance that has helped individuals afford health insurance and health care, and it imposes financial penalties on those least able to afford it. These changes come at the expense of women, who will lose access to health care and health insurance, jeopardizing their health and economic security.

Women's Health Coverage Since the ACA: Improvements for Most, But Insurer Exclusions Put Many at Risk

August 9, 2016

Since enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many more women have health insurance than before the law, in part because it prohibits insurer practices that discriminate against women. However, gaps in women's health coverage persist. Insurers often exclude health services that women are likely to need, leaving women vulnerable to higher costs and denied claims that threaten their economic security and physical health.Goal: To uncover the types and incidence of insurer exclusions that may disproportionately affect women's coverage. Method: The authors examined qualified health plans from 109 insurers across 16 states for 2014, 2015, or both years.Key findings and conclusions: Six types of services are frequently excluded from insurance coverage: treatment of conditions resulting from noncovered services, maintenance therapy, genetic testing, fetal reduction surgery, treatment of selfinflicted conditions, and preventive services not covered by law. Policy change recommendations include prohibiting variations within states' "essential health benefits" benchmark plans and requiring transparency and simplified language in plan documents.

Expanding Health-Care Access in the United States: Gender and the Patchwork 'Universalism' of the Affordable Care Act

July 7, 2015

This paper focuses on the ways in which women in the United States are impacted by the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (usually referred to as ACA or 'Obamacare'). The ACA's three main goals of expanding access, increasing consumer protections and reducing costs while increasing quality of services will improve coverage, access to services and types of services that benefit women (and men). However, universal coverage remains illusive due to employer-based insurance coverage that allows firms to make decisions about coverage type. This patchwork universalism is the result of political decisions to extend rather than transform the current health-care system and as such reproduces many of the previously existing problems of uneven costs and coverage. The paper argues the ACA is consistent with other sets of US social welfare and labour market regimes that stratify access to social protections by income, race/ethnicity and gender as well as provide individual states with administrative and policy authority. The paper concludes that the passage of ACA will vastly improve health-care coverage in the United States, however, will continue to leave millions of people uninsured. This paper was produced for UN Women's flagship report Progress of the World's Women 2015-2016 and is released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series.

Increasing Access to Care

Getting the Coverage You Deserve: What to Do if You Are Charged a Co-Pay, Deductible, or Co-Insurance for a Preventive Service

April 3, 2014

The health care law requires new health plans to cover certain preventive services. This means that, as an increasing number of health plans come under the law's reach over the next few years, more and more people will have access to a wide range of preventive services without co-payments, deductibles, or co-insurance. This is especially important to women, who are more likely than men to avoid needed health care, including preventive care, because of cost. This requirement is a huge step forward for women's health.The National Women's Law Center has been working hard to make sure women and their families know about the preventive coverage provided through the health care law. We've heard from many women about how much this coverage has helped them but we've also heard about some women encountering problems while trying to get these services without cost sharing. This toolkit is designed to provide women with information on the coverage of preventive services in the health care law and tools they can use if they encounter problems with this coverage. We have also provided detailed instructions on how to file an appeal with insurance companies and draft appeal letters on a range of preventive services

Lowering Costs of Care

New Opportunities for Integrating and Improving Health Care for Women, Children, and Their Families

February 8, 2012

Outlines provisions in the Affordable Care Act for integrating healthcare services for low-income women and children to improve outcomes and cut costs. Examines public-private partnerships and other efforts in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Vermont.

Improving Quality of Care; Lowering Costs of Care

Women at Risk: Why Increasing Numbers of Women Are Failing to Get the Health Care They Need and How the Affordable Care Act Will Help

May 10, 2011

Presents findings from the 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey about rates of uninsurance and care delayed due to cost among women, as well as obstacles faced in the individual market. Examines how reform provisions will change their access to coverage.

Improving Quality of Care; Increasing Access to Care