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Coming off a surprising federal election in December, the Human Services Information Technology Advisory Group (HSITAG) heard from national association leaders about their predictions on the future of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under a new administration. While a lot is still unknown and much to be revealed in the New Year, the one thing that the group agreed on (and has been publicly stated) is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as we know it will go away – at least in part. The discussion revolved around what changes the industry could see coming, and implications of those changes in the way business is currently done at the state and local level.
Paul Beddoe, Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs with the National Association of Counties, expressed concern about changes in funding models for healthcare. Counties bear the brunt of Medicaid program traffic and uncertainties in continued or changed ACA funding from the federal government. This is a major concern for counties that are already riddled with unfunded mandates from state governments. ACA funding has made it possible for counties to invest in other programs serving needy populations such as criminal justice; however, changes in funding threaten these other needs.
Larry Goolsby, director of Strategic Initiatives with the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), offered some perspective on behalf of its’ members –human services directors with state governments across the nation. The organization’s focus is keeping tabs on any forthcoming changes to the ACA and advocating for continued integration of human services into healthcare funding priorities under whatever solution comes to replace ACA.
Both associations concluded that they are in a holding pattern, as is much of the industry, on priority policy recommendations and advocacy efforts needed with the new administration. CompTIA has publicly advocated for continued funding to state governments, including federal matches for state funding.
Tune in to the February HSITAG meeting where we will host Administration representatives from CMS and ACYF to further discuss what the landscape in human services programs could look like under a new federal administration.
For further information about HSITAG, please visit www.comptia.org/HSITAG or contact HSITAG Staff Director Jennifer Saha at firstname.lastname@example.org.