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Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act is a major health care reform statute passed by the U.S. congress and signed into by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Also called Obamacare, the law aims to protect patients' rights by decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and lowering overall health care cost.

Key features of the law include patients rights protections, insurance choices, lowered overall insurance costs, access to preventive services and prescription drug discounts for people who are 65 or older, and tax credits to small businesses to help make care more affordable for employers, employees, and early retirees.

The law is expected to be fully rolled out before 2014.

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