NASW will continue to monitor efforts to sabotage Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Trump administration recently announced that it had
ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file with the Fifth Circuit Court
Federal Appeals Court that it affirms a December 2018 ruling by a federal judge
in Texas in Texas v. United States
that invalidated the remaining portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Because
16 states have challenged the
decision, the judge’s ruling will not have any immediate effect. However, this latest action is an ominous sign the administration is
determined to dismantle ACA, thereby eliminating essential health services to
millions of low-income and indigent people.
Among those impacted will be those receiving health
insurance through Medicaid or receiving state health exchange subsidies. Health
care access by these individuals is simultaneously being undermined on other
fronts as well. Eight states have been
approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to impose
work requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid for indigent “employable”
childless adults. Seven more states are pending. In addition, HHS is
considering allocating Medicaid payments to states in the form of block grants
or per capita Medicaid funding formulas. Both would greatly compromise states’
ability to provide essential health services as required by the ACA.
We recognize that the administration’s latest effort to
sabotage the ACA will likely wend its way up to the Supreme Court, and thus will
not have an immediate impact on current recipients. However, the disturbing
pattern of trying to gut the ACA bears notice and NASW will continue to monitor
these developments closely and act as needed.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. 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.