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High Stakes: America’s Journey to the Affordable Care Act

Ten-year-old Isaac smiling in front of his house

In February 2010, thirteen-month-old Isaac lost his health insurance and the life-sustaining medical equipment that his insurance plan paid for. Born in 2009 with esophageal atresia, Isaac had exhausted his lifetime limit before his second birthday. Six weeks later, the Affordable Care Act became law and Isaac regained coverage that protected him and his family against lifetime maximums. As the ACA marks its ten-year anniversary, the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that could strike the federal statute down. In this film, the Commonwealth Fund invites Nancy-Ann DeParle, Chip Kahn, and Julie Rovner to discuss the history of health reform in the United States, the realities of pre-ACA life for families like Isaac’s, and the work it took to protect him.