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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as ObamaCare) became law on May 23, 2010. It strives to reform the health insurance and health care industries in an effort to cut health care costs and provide Americans with affordable health insurance. The ACA also strives to expand Medicare and Medicaid to assist those Americans who cannot currently afford health insurance. As a result of the reforms, there may be a significant influx of patients into the health care system. In addition, there will be a greater focus on integrating health care services, particularly for individuals with physical and mental health conditions. It is expected that under the ACA, social workers will take a more active role in the coordination of care for existing and new members of the health care system. Social workers will also provide additional direct, frontline services to patients.
To prepare for this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Consider the debate over the ACA and explore the reputable sources on the Internet for additional resources on the balanced debates over the ACA. Consider how the ACA might expand meaningful services to all Americans including children, young adults, uninsured minorities, and spouses of employed individuals. Consider one population.
By Day 4
Post a description of the findings of your research on the debate over ACA. Explain some of the misconceptions or misunderstandings the general population might have about the ACA. Explain how the ACA may or may not increase affordability, health insurance coverage, and access to health care services for the population you selected. Explain the potential or documented influence of the ACA on medical social work practice. Describe the medical social worker’s role in clarifying the ACA to patients and families.

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