The Affordable Care Act 101

January 26, 2017
One year after ACA is repealed, 18 million would be uninsured. Graphic by Doug Puller / Bread for the World

Poor health is a leading cause of hunger and poverty in the United States.

Access to affordable health insurance coverage will be a critical component in reaching the goal of ending hunger by 2030. In 2015, for the first time in eight years, the United States saw a significant decline in the overall rate of food insecurity and poverty. This decline was due, in part, to increased access to health care through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare.

Major provisions of the law included mandates for individuals to purchase or employers to provide health insurance, creation of health insurance exchanges, subsidies or tax credits for qualifying individuals and families to purchase health insurance through the exchanges, and expansion of Medicaid to individuals younger than 65 with gross incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. Other popular provisions include the ability to purchase insurance despite pre-existing conditions, coverage for young adults up to age 26 on a parent’s health insurance plan, and access to preventive care at no additional cost.

Repealing the ACA without a replacement plan would negatively affect progress made towards ending hunger in the United States by 2030. It would more than double the number of uninsured Americans and result in a higher rate of uninsured Americans than before the law was passed. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that more than 32 million Ameri-cans would lose the security of health coverage by 2026.

Take Action on This Issue

Call your members of Congress today at 800/826-3688. Tell your senators and representative to vote against any legislation that repeals the ACA or the expansion of Medicaid without a responsible alternative in place. Individuals and families should not have to choose between paying for food or paying for medical costs.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.

  • Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2016, 41.2 million people were food-insecure (most recent figures available) — meaning that they were unsure how they would provide for their next meal.