It has been a rocky road for health and human services leaders as they have grappled with sweeping changes due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While some states successfully rolled out ACA components such as health insurance exchanges — albeit with a few minor hiccups — others faced serious hurdles and setbacks.
Now, most states would likely agree the chaos that reigned in the early days of the ACA has passed and they are seeking — and sometimes finding — more stable ground five years later. However, leaders must still find answers to tough questions, including the biggest one: How do we provide effective, comprehensive care and services in a way that is fiscally sustainable?
Importantly, at the center of all of this is people — individuals and families who may be struggling with a plethora of physical, mental, social and financial challenges, which are often interconnected in a web of complexity. State and local governments are increasingly aware of the linkages between health and human services and the reality that if we are to solve the problems of one, we need to address the challenges of the other.
Read this Health and Human Services Special Report to find updates on where states are in this ACA era, learn about the challenges state and local governments continue to encounter and find out more about the government agencies developing successful policies with the potential to scale and be replicated across the country.