Health Policy and Social Work


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This chapter provides an overall framework for understanding health policy that is essential to successful direct practice, advocacy, and policy making. The framework includes exposure to the key overall concerns of health policy—access, costs, quality, and accountability—as well as an introduction to the key organizational, finance, and payment structures in health care. The chapter then provides an introduction to the structure and key issues in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the three main public insurance programs. It highlights the implications of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act for future policy and practice. Due to space considerations, the chapter focuses on federal health policy actions. For readers who are interested in state health policy issues, it suggests some additional resources. Finally, the chapter raises a set of policy issues and provides a number of key resources for ongoing involvement for social workers interested in understanding and influencing health policy.

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