Posted: March 24th, 2023

The Affordable Care Act and Safety Net Hospitals

Major policy reforms have been made in the recent past within the United States health care system. Among them is the Affordable Care Act, a policy signed into law under the President Obama Administration to enact comprehensive health insurance reforms. The policy aims to provide better health security to Americans by expanding cover, improving insurance companies’ accountability, lowering health costs, allowing more choice, and ensuring that all Americans receive quality health (Skinner, 2013). The act comprises two different legislations, “the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152)” all of which achieve the expansion of Medicaid coverage. In essence, they provide greater access to health care for millions of low-income Americans. 

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Safety net hospitals are those that provide health care to individuals categorized as low-income earners, uninsured, and other vulnerable populations. They are basically the providers of health care that systematize and provide a considerable level of health and other related services to these populations. Another way of looking for the safety net hospitals are those with a mandate or mission to provide health care in spite of the ability of the patient to pay, mostly those covered under Medicaid, uninsured and other vulnerable populations (Hacker et al., 2014). The primary aim of these providers is to offer quality of care to the populations excluded from care because of the different circumstances. The situations can take the form of issues with insurance covers, financial payments, or health conditions that leave them vulnerable. The providers are mostly the public hospitals, which are the last option within the community based on their governance, mission, services, and reception of revenue from government.



Hacker, K., Santos, P., Thompson, D., Stout, S. S., Bearse, A., & Mechanic, R. E. (2014). Early Experience of a Safety Net Provider Reorganizing into an Accountable Care Organization. Journal Of Health Politics, Policy & Law, 39(4), 901-917

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Skinner, D. (2013). Defining Medical Necessity under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Public Administration Review, 73S49-S59.


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