At its most recent meeting, the board of directors of the Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers adopted the following position statement:
The current U.S. health care system is broken. Despite the advances of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans remain uninsured, and many millions more are underinsured, unable to afford the costs and deductibles associated with adequate health care coverage. Nowhere is the need for system change greater than in Mississippi, the unhealthiest state in the nation.
The Mississippi Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers believes that it is time to adopt a publicly financed, federally administered single-payer universal health care program that guarantees health care to all citizens, regardless of ability to pay. The U.S. system presently spends more on health care per person, yet produces poorer results, than any advanced nation in the world. Mississippians, along with all U.S. citizens, deserve better.
A federally administered single-payer universal program promises multiple advantages over the current system – including administrative simplicity, greater capacity to control costs, more equalized benefits, and enhanced ability to promote prevention over intervention – as well as the most important of all advantages, emphatically prioritizing people over profits. The time for fundamental reform is now.
With this NASW action, Mississippi joins at most a handful of states in which social workers have taken a firm position on the need for publicly financed, single-payer universal health care. We may be a backward state, but social workers are forward thinking!