One of the signature pieces of legislation during the Obama administration was passage of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA weathered many attempts to be derailed throughout the remainder of President Obama’s term, with dozens of votes to repeal the act held in the House. In 2010, after the Supreme Court upheld the law, it seemed Obamacare was positioned to remain in place.
While the ACA has been considered flawed, even by its strongest proponents, the law enacted a series of changes to health care access. These changes expanded health care to millions of people. These changes included:
Removing provisions allowing health care insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions;
Creating health care insurance marketplaces that allowed people without employer’s insurance to purchase health insurance coverage;
Providing subsidies to assist people in need in paying for health care insurance;
Allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26
Now, with a new administration, the ACA is facing a critical crossroads. While President Trump campaigned on a platform to repeal the act and replacing it, it remains unclear what these changes will look like, and when these changes may occur. While some proposals have been offered, the law in its current form remains in place. Meanwhile, as the current congress deliberates on what changes should occur, public opinion on the ACA law has reached a new high in popularity.
Social workers in clinical, inpatient care, and policy settings have had an emerging leadership role with the ACA. Now, our profession looks to ensure that gains made for individuals and their families are not lost and promoting ways to improve access to healthcare in the United States.
Here are some questions we will discuss this week:
How has the ACA changed health care access for you, your clients or communities?
What do you think will happen if the ACA is repealed?
What do you think could be done to improve the ACA?
What do you think is the most common misunderstanding about the ACA? Why?
How should social workers respond to the possible repeal of the ACA?
As GOP pushes repeal, Obamacare has never been more popular: NBC News/WSJ Poll (NBC News): http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/brink-repeal-obamacare-has-never-been-more-popular-n707806
How repealing portions of the Affordable Care Act would affect health insurance coverage and premiums (Congressional Budget Office Report): https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/reports/52371-coverageandpremiums.pdf
Issue: Ensure that social workers are frontline health providers to effect Affordable Care Act integration (NASW): https://www.socialworkers.org/advocacy/documents/PP-FL-19716.IssueBrief-ACA-NC.pdf