NASW pleased by additional Biden executive orders to address systemic racism, improve health care access and reduce climate change impacts
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) applauds the Biden-Harris administration for swift executive actions to address systemic racism, improve health care access and to reduce the harmful impacts of climate change.
“Just nine days into his term as President, Biden is charting a promising new course for the country,” said NASW President Mildred “Mit” Joyner, DSW, MSW, LICSW. “Although more work is needed to address the major challenges we face, these actions pave the way for even greater transformation.”
With equity as a through line, Biden’s orders call for:
- Increased enforcement of the Fair Housing Act by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Ending the Department of Justice’s use of private prisons, which are primarily used for ICE detention.
- Preventing hate crimes and harassment against Asian American and Pacific Islanders as part of the nation’s COVID-19 response.
- Respecting the sovereignty of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes by mandating all government department and agency heads regularly consult with tribal officials on policy matters that may affect them.
- Re-examining health care policies that undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, complicate the process of enrolling in Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and reduce coverage and affordability of the programs; designating February 15 to May 15 as a “special enrollment period” for uninsured Americans to sign up for health insurance.
- Re-examining problematic regulations under the Title X family planning program, which pulled funding from hundreds of women’s health clinics across the country in 2019.
We are also pleased with Biden’s plan to tackle climate change, which, among other things, calls for the U.S. to determine its target for emissions reduction, directs federal agencies to incorporate climate considerations into their international plans, and the creation of an environmental justice council to address disproportionate impacts on disadvantaged communities. Although much more work is needed, NASW is pleased to see these important first steps in the reforms that are needed to create a more just, equitable and inclusive society.
NASW released its 2021 Blueprint of Federal Social Policy Priorities which articulates a path forward for the Biden-Harris administration and the new Congress in addressing these and many other challenges.
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.