Examine the passage of the 2010 Affordable care act (aka “Obamacare”)

The project for this course consists of two group papers examining the American Political System in action. Each group will submit a document examining the roles played by various parts of the American political system in connection with the passage and implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act (better known as “Obamacare”) passed in March, 2010.

In this submission, each group will examine the part played by the decision making/implementing core: the President,Bureaucracy, Congress, and the Supreme Court. Also, in this paper, consider the role of federalism.

NOTICE: the Supreme Court and Bureaucracy part are NOT needed in your job. So just do the President, congress and feedback (3 parts, at least 2pages each part)
And at least additional 2 research sources are required for EACH PART.

I will upload extra instructions as attachments. PLEASE do write the introduction and conclusion for us, you CAN mention the supreme court part in the intro and conclusion (court is another group member’s job)


Working in a group, examine the passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). Each member of the group should take a different area and write about 2 pages showing how actions of various political actors during and after the passage of the healthcare bill exemplify aspects of American politics discussed in class. Be sure to emphasize the specific connection between what happened in connection with the bill and points raised in lectures or in the text.

(access to the online text: http://polisci.webtexts.com/user/signin username: menghui.lao@pepperdine.edu password: mengdream )

If your group has fewer than 5 people in it, you may omit the Bureaucracy section. Consider the following:

The Presidency:

How important was healthcare legislation to the President? What did he say about healthcare legislation during the 2008 campaign? How did he attempt to build support for his program? What role is healthcare playing in the 2012 election? What “hat” (or “hats” did he wear in dealing with the healthcare issue)? What aspects of Presidential power are demonstrated in connection with this issue?

The Congress:

Briefly trace the movement of the Healthcare bill through Congress. What roles did the party leadership play? What evidence do you find of special deals offered by party leaders and by the President to obtain support of legislators? To what extent was party discipline present or absent during the healthcare debate? To what might you attribute the defection of Democrats?

The Court (Omit, not our part)

What were the bases of the challenge to the law in the Court? Who brought the case to the Court? Who argued the case in the Court? What was the Court’s decision? Describe the different opinions issued. Discuss the role of political ideology as well as ideas on the role of the court as active or restrained.

Bureaucracy (Omit)

How is the ACA being implemented? Discuss the role of state governments in the implementation of the act. What is the Department of Health and Human Services doing to implement the act? What are their major goals and key strategies? What other departments are involved in implementing the act? What points of connection do you find to class material on bureaucracy or on federalism?


Discuss the reactions to the bill: 1) as originally passed; 2) in terms of the 2010 election; 3) the ongoing attempts in Congress to repeal it; 4) in the 2012 election campaign (candidates for and against it); 5) in terms of state responses (both immediately after passage and since the Supreme Court ruling; 6) in terms of public opinion tod

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