NASW will continue to monitor efforts to sabotage Affordable Care Act
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC—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.