Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkdin
Share On Pinterest
Contact us

Social Work Organizations Oppose Efforts to Repeal Affordable Care Act

People rally to protest possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Photo courtesy of Time.

People rally to protest possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Photo courtesy of Time.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) transformed our health care system and extended health insurance coverage to over 20 million individuals. Steps are in place to undo the progress we have made. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC) oppose efforts to fully repeal the ACA which will abolish advances that have been made for consumers and providers thanks to the law.

Repeal of the ACA and proposed bills to change the law will jeopardize consumer protections and provider benefits that Americans have come to expect from the health care system. These include affordable health care coverage through the health insurance marketplace and Medicaid expansion, coverage for pre-existing conditions, access to mental health and substance use disorder services at parity, essential health benefits and preventive care, and no annual or lifetime dollar limits.

The ACA has also advanced new integrated models of care and delivery systems, research that identifies evidence-based practices, and commitment to improving health disparities in the United States.

The negative impact of ACA repeal will be felt through personal experience and economic repercussions. Analysts estimate that 18 to 30 million people are at risk of losing health insurance coverage in the years to follow if there are changes to the individual mandate, tax credits and Medicaid expansion.

The health of individuals across the country is at stake, especially those with chronic illnesses and comorbid physical and mental health conditions. Much of the positive impact proven through integration and service delivery reform demonstration projects across the country may be lost or reversed.

The financial loss to hospitals may be over $100 billion and will have an impact on the financial security and employment prospects for health care professionals. Without accessible health insurance coverage, health care organizations and independent practitioners, such as clinical social workers, will see a surge in uncompensated care.

The health of individuals across the country is at stake, especially those with chronic illnesses and comorbid physical and mental health conditions. Much of the positive impact proven through integration and service delivery reform demonstration projects across the country may be lost or reversed.

Social workers and other health care professionals in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community health centers, and community-based programs, may see funding for their positions, which have been expanded and strengthened through ACA initiatives over the last six years, face cuts or elimination.

As a result, individuals stand to lose access and connection to critical health care, mental health care and social work services.

NASW and SSWLHC oppose any changes to health care that will disproportionately impact low-income and vulnerable populations. Health care social workers dedicate themselves to improving the well-being of clients and the social work community supports accessible health care services and health insurance coverage for all people.

NASW and SSWLHC urge Congress and the White House to ensure that these issues are considered and that no individual or family loses access to health services or health insurance coverage due to changes to health care law.

 

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 120,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

The Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care is an association of 700 members who are dedicated to promoting the universal availability, accessibility, coordination, and effectiveness of healthcare, with a focus on the psychosocial components of health and illness.

 

 

8 comments

  1. We should move from just defending the ACA to promoting Single Payer, New and Improved Medicare for All. It addresses all the issues that the ACA didn’t and provides an inspiring vision of true justice in health care. Just defending the ACA is playing in the Republicans’ ball park, it is operating within their frame.

    • Medicare is a financial black hole for taxpayers. The government has no way to detect/prevent fraud and this has resulted in millions of dollars robbed from the taxpayers by numerous medical professionals (including several LCSWs in Florida). The fee-for-service model rewards health care providers for failures. The Value-Based Purchasing requirements have done little to actually improve how care is delivered, just punishing poorer performers. These requirements have increased health care costs by requiring more oversight via chart reviews, and data reporting, deferring monies from actual patient care.

      Additional millions of dollars have been wasted in the call for Accountable Care Organizations, few of which (to date) have resulted in streamlined, seamless health care across the service spectrum. The majority of ACOs have failed.

      The Republican plan is to keep the good aspects of ACA including coverage for pre-existing conditions and extended coverage for dependents to age 25. The plan calls for interstate commerce, which opens financial risk pools to broader populations. Example: the risk pool in Florida is expensive because of the high number of elderly who proportionately use more health services, thus insurance is more expensive. Also, the plan calls for opening the market to allow insurance companies to sell packages that meet their customers’ needs, not just provide one plan mandated for all. Example: Should a man be forced to buy a health insurance plan that includes birth control services/pills?

      NASW, as a Professional Association, should be leading the way to create a more efficient, seamless health care delivery system. It should have quantifiable evidence of the efficacy of Social Work services. As long as NASW remains a leftist PAC, what good is it doing for promotion of Social Work?

  2. Thank you for collaborating on the development of this statement. I concur with Bob’s comment about promoting Single Payer, ala Medicare. I see that as a mean to achieve universal access with a proven model. When we voice our opposition to the repeal of the ACA, we must make very clear that we in fact want to go forward in making modifications to the ACA as it currently exists, rather than backwards.

  3. So why did I not read about this in the news?????

    • Ms. Pike:

      Good afternoon. If you are referring to NASW News it is published monthly so may not report this news for a few weeks. Social Work Blog and NASW’s website, http://www.socialworkers.org, can offer you more speedy information on the issues NASW is working on.

      Greg Wright
      NASW Public Relations Manager

  4. Many individuals do not agree with single payer systems especially with the limits the government regulations would impose on the individual’s right to self determination. Aca is in a death cycle and if not replaced will fall on its own very soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>