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University of Illinois Extension

What's the difference between

What's the difference between "Obamacare" and the Affordable Care Act?

I have been working on this special project in regards to the Affordable Care Act for about four months now. When I try to explain my project to friends, family, and acquaintances I find that there is a lot of confusion about what the difference is between the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, and the Patient Protection Act. Some people have heard of all of these terms and others have only heard of one or two. What you may or may not know is they are all referring to the same piece of legislation.

Some may want to blame politicians for the confusion, but in reality all of these terms are used by politicians, the media and the general US public. Interestingly, peoples' views, positive or negative, depend largely on what name they know for the health reform act.

When working on educational pieces it is hard to use the formal term of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) because so many people know it as Obamacare or a little more formally the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For more information, I have included an article about the different names that have been used in regards to this piece of legislation affecting insurance availability and coverage.

A news piece written on views of ACA/Obamacare based on the name:


This clip from the Jimmy Kimmel Live show demonstrates the confusion about the ACA/Obamacare in a humorous way. Check it out!


Posted by Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker at 8:00 AM | Permalink
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