Social Work Update on the Affordable Care Act: What Impact Has the Law Had on Those We Serve?

Stacy Collins, MSW


Practice Perspectives


Four years after its passage, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has become a key component of the nation’s safety net. With all major provisions now in effect, the ACA is having a demonstrable impact on the lives of millions of Americans, particularly the populations served by social workers. The law is bringing health care services to many people with no previous attachment to the health care system. It has made prevention and wellness a national priority, and has ushered in a new era of coordinated care for those with chronic illness. It is also providing vital protection against the devastating financial effects of illness and its consequences. Some of the law’s major achievements to date are documented below.

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