Authors of the legislation say it aimed to reduce the number of people who do not have health insurance, while seeking to provide more affordable coverage options by expanding Medicaid, public health insurance for low income individuals, and the creation of exchanges that provided subsidized plans.
Republicans decried the law for years after it was passed, especially the individual mandate, which required citizens get a basic level of health insurance or be penalized. The individual mandate was repealed in 2017. In recent years, the GOP has shied away from previous calls to repeal and replace the law.
The law also survived various Supreme Court challenges, including in 2012 when a majority opinion ruled the individual mandate was legal based on Congress’ taxing power.