“We must look at mental illness like any other. I will help bring awareness and stop the stigma and judgment associated with mental illness.”
– Arturo Carmona
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 11 million (24%) of U.S. adults affected by mental illness have no health coverage. This is a big problem in a key age group because uninsured adults are more than twice as likely to delay or skip medical care, leading to serious health issues and problems on the job. The younger the individual, the more likely they are to avoid getting help. This is largely because younger people have fewer basic health problems and therefore are less likely to seek help for any ailment.
In truth, the only way we can assure universal coverage on mental health issues is to push for legislation that provides affordable single-payer coverage for mental health care ailments.
This insurance would cover costs for:
- Primary Care Physician or Referring Physician
- Specialists including psychiatrists, psychologists and group therapy
- Income-based drug rehabilitation services
But we are not moving in the right direction. The Trump administration begins its draconian efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes many progressive benefits for treating mental illnesses that are about to be decimated:
- The requirement that health insurers sell or renew policies, regardless of the applicant (called “guaranteed issue and renewal”).
- The rule prohibiting insurers from denying coverage for preexisting conditions.
- Health plans’ inability to deny lifetime or annual limits on certain benefits.
- Protections from insurers to charge people with poor health more than others — premiums (the amount a person pays to have insurance) may vary by only a limited amount and only on the basis of a few factors (tobacco use, age, geographic area and family size).
- The outlawing of discrimination by health insurers based on a person’s mental or physical disability.
- Allowing young adults (up to age 26) to remain on their parents’ health insurance, if their parents so desire.
In Congress, I will fight to ensure that those benefits are either maintained or reinstated in an ACA replacement.