Two years ago today, President Obama affixed his signature to the Affordable Care Act, the first major piece of federal healthcare legislation since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. The bill was the end result of months of careful negotiations in Congress and years of failed attempts by previous administrations to reform an increasingly expensive and outdated healthcare system.
Even before the ink dried, Republicans started calling for the law’s repeal and have so far voted at least 25 times to roll back or defund it. Should they succeed, millions of Americans would become uninsured, seniors would pay more for prescription drug coverage, and the insurance industry would once again be able to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions and impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
While most of the law does not go into effect until 2014, take a look at some of the benefits Americans are already enjoying and what Republicans would take away: