From the introduction:
Throughout the 2012 Presidential campaign, Republican contenders criticized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a “federal take-over of health care” for its promotion of national uniformity in health coverage and access. Yet long before passage, the architects of the ACA quickly rejected a federal single payor system, or even a federal public plan to complement the private sector plans due to forceful opposition to national reform. Instead, they traveled the only politically viable road to reform: maintaining the fragmented and complex system of health care coverage, where federal and state governments as well as the private sector play pivotal roles. The ACA’s expansion of coverage is accomplished by continuing and even increasing state oversight, reinforcing the private market, and involving both employers and individuals. As enacted, therefore, the ACA’s fragmented approach to health reform is clearly not a federal take-over.
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Chirba, Mary Ann & Noble, Alice. "Individual And Group Coverage Under The ACA: More Patches To The Federal-State Crazy Quilt." Health Affairs Blog, January 17, 2013.