Timeline of Health Care Law

June 28, 2012

The road to health care reform has been a long one in America. The movement toward making health care accessible and affordable began more than 100 years ago.

Here is a look at highlights over the past three years that culminates today with the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare:

Feb. 24, 2009: President Barack Obama promises health care reform in his first address to a Joint Session of Congress

March 5, 2009: The White House convenes a summit on reforming health care

Sept. 9, 2009: President Obama lays out his vision for health care reform during an address to a Joint Session of Congress

Dec. 24, 2009: The U.S. Senate passes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and two Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against it

Jan. 27, 2010: In first State of the Union address, President Obama focuses on health care reform

Feb. 25, 2010: The White House hosts a bipartisan summit on reform that leads to a productive discussion

March 21, 2010: The U.S. House of Representatives passes the bill by a vote of 219–212, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against it

March 23, 2010: President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an historic overhaul of the American health care system

June 10, 2010: Seniors see the first benefit of the Affordable Care Act as $250 rebate checks are sent

July 1, 2010: Uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to health coverage

Sept. 23, 2010: Patients can now take advantage of their first new set of protections under the new health care law

Jan. 1, 2011: Medicare starts offering free preventive care for seniors and lower prescription drug costs for seniors. The new Health Care Innovation Center was established to research, develop, test, and expand innovative new ways to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care

Sept. 1, 2011: Health insurers seeking to increase their rates by 10 percent or more must submit their request to state or federal reviewers to determine whether they are reasonable or not

Dec. 14, 2011: The White House reports that since the new health care law came into effect in September 2010, 2.5 million more Americans under the age of 26 have received coverage by registering under their parents' health insurance plans

March 26-27, 2012: The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases

June 28, 2012: The U.S. Supreme Court announces 5-to-4 ruling upholding the landmark health care law

Source: White House, Health Reform