While President Barack Obama was making his bid for the presidency, one of the things that he made clear was that he was going to prioritize fixing health care if he makes it to the White House. And that he did, formally taking the first step on the road towards health care reform in March of 2009.
About a year later, H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), was signed into a law.
The law had quite a journey before reaching this point. The President’s preference was for the reform to be enacted before Congress broke for summer recess, but this was not to happen. During this recess, Congress members went home to gather the opinion of their respective constituents regarding the proposed reform through town halls. It was also at this time that the Tea Party movement and other conservative groups voiced out their opposition to the proposals, and they made his opposition known through the town halls.
A year-long series of debates and negotiations, tweaks and overhauls, soon followed. The Senate voted in favor of ending the debate on December 23, and passed their bill the day after. Up until January, however, things were still not set in stone for health care reform. Eventually, the House decided to give up its bill, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, and pass the Senate bill instead.
The House passed the bill on March 21, 2010, and the President signed it into law on March 23.