Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health parities in older adults: Lessons from An American Debate


School of Social Work


College of Community and Public Service


Social and Behavioral Sciences


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) is the most recent effort in the United States to ensure all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. It is understood as the most significant healthcare legislation since Medicaid and Medicare of 1965. This paper will summarize ACA and explain its significance from perspectives of social justice, constitution, and budgetary future. A special emphasis will give to impact of ACA for older adults and their health parities. More specifically, older adults will benefit from the ACA Title 1 that prohibits insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Medicare Advantage plans and the Medicare Part D, and Medicare covered preventive services will not only reduce their prescript drug cost, but also make annual preventive screening services as essential healthcare benefits, including cancer, diabetes, addiction, mental health, and other chronic disease screening. Overall, the ACA has provided a legal and administrative platform to reduce healthy disparities among all Americans, especially older Americans. For older women, minority older adults and low income older adult, this reduction will be more significant in terms of accessibility and quality of care. This paper calls for social workers' ethical and professional responsibilities to not only better serve older adults through the ACA, but also to advocate for older adults for more just and quality services. It can include, but not limit to, a more inclusive healthcare system and the passage of the Elder Justice Act. The paper presentation will discuss International comparisons and implications.

Conference Name

The 9th Social Policy International Symposium: Toward More Just Social Policy

Conference Location

Fudan University, Shanghai, China

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