Have Democrats Ever Changed the Affordable Care Act?

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Answer from Ross Cohen, B.A. in History and Political Science:

The Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or “Obamacare”) became law in 2010, but it was phased in gradually and didn’t fully take effect until 2014.

An insurance store advertises Obamacare in San Ysidro, California, January 25. Mike Blake/Reuters

In 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives was controlled by Republicans who made it abundantly clear that they would not allow any healthcare legislation to come to the floor that did not completely repeal ACA. In addition to their many statements leaving no ambiguity about how they felt, they had already taken many symbolic votes to that effect.

In 2015, the Republicans took over control of the U.S. Senate, meaning they had full control of Congress. Their position on Obamacare did not change and they remained committed to full repeal.

Even so, there actually were legislative improvements made to ACA by Democrats that few remember. If you want to get technical, the Democrats passed a revision to ACA almost immediately after passing the original, but that was for all intents and purposes part of passing ACA, so few would count that. Beyond that though, there were a number of legitimate changes made to ACA just in that first year.

In 2010, Democrats passed the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act, “to help offset the costs of the Medicare and Medicaid program extensions and the postponement of cuts in Medicare physician payments.”

In another law passed the same year, they modified the ACA’s definition of “average manufacturer price (AMP) to include inhalation, infusion, implanted, or injectable drugs that are not generally dispensed through a retail…

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