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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.

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. Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific  references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate  APA format and style.
  Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of health social work (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Chapter 5, “Health Policy and Social Work” (pp. 100–124)

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Retrieved from Burg, M. A., Zebrack, B., Walsh, K., Maramaldi, P., Lim, J. W., Smolinski, K. M., & Lawson, K. (2010). Barriers to accessing quality health care for cancer patients: A survey of members of the association of oncology social work. Social Work in Health Care, 49(1), 38–52.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
  Chaumba, J. (2011). Health status, use of health care resources, and treatment strategies of Ethiopian and Nigerian immigrants in the United States. Social Work in Health Care, 50(6), 466–481.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
  Allen, H. (2012). Is there a social worker in the house? Health care reform and the future of medical social work. Health and Social Work, 37(3), 183–186.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Collins, S. (2012). Essential health benefits & the Affordable Care Act: What social workers need to know. Retrieved from

Gross, W., Stark, T. H., Krosnick, J., Pasek, J., Sood, G., … Junius, D. (n.d.). Americans’ attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act: Would better public understanding increase or decrease favorability? Retrieved from

Lindberg, E. (2013). What will Obamacare mean to social work? Retrieved from Reisch, M. (2012). The challenges of health care reform for hospital social work in the United States. Social Work in Health Care, 51(10), 873–893.