The Affordable Care Act actually refers to two separate pieces of legislation — 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) — that, together expand Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income Americans and makes numerous improvements to both Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) "puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new Patient’s Bill of Rights gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health."
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services state that the health insurance reforms will; Expand coverage; Hold insurance companies accountable; Lower health care costs; Guarantee more choice; and Enhance the quality of care for all Americans.