In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Often called the Affordable Care Act or the ACA, the law aimed to expand access to health coverage, make coverage more affordable, and lower the overall costs of health care in the US.

The Affordable Care Act has made strides toward several of those goals. For example, the ACA has significantly reduced the number of people without health insurance by providing tax credits to make it much more affordable to purchase a plan and by incentivizing states to expand Medicaid.

Not surprisingly, education about health insurance and help paying, along with outreach and enrollment, is essential to decreasing inequities and improving access to health.

Community Catalyst works with state and local partners to conduct outreach and provide enrollment assistance so that communities and individuals are able to get the information they need about what health coverage programs are available to them, and get enrolled. Providing easy-to-understand, culturally relevant and in-language information and assistance about services and coverage is an important part of helping people take control of their health. We also work to protect and expand resources for Navigators and Certified Applications Counselors so that they can do this critical work of connecting families to coverage.

This is tremendously important work. The reality is, however, the current US health system is a patchwork of health care and health coverage that is difficult to navigate and still leaves more than 26 million people without health coverage.

The result is an inequitable and discriminatory health landscape where systemically excluded communities, including Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Pacific Islander people, people with disabilities, people with low incomes, immigrants, and older adults are more likely to lack health coverage.

Community Catalyst works with partners on the state and federal level to push for policy change that dramatically expands and improves coverage so that every person in this country can access the care they need and deserve.