Mental Health Professionals and Concerned Constituents Oppose AHCA
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Please sign, share, and also call your U.S. Senator - 202 224-3121 - and urge them to oppose the health care bill passed by the House.
Dear U.S. Senator,
We are mental health care therapists and addiction counselors who are deeply concerned about the decrease in access to mental health services under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in early May. We urge you to reject this bill, which would greatly diminish mental and behavioral health care at a time when treatment is urgently needed for those impacted by the opioid crisis, alcohol addiction, depression and other conditions.
One out of five Americans experiences a mental health condition, but only half get needed treatment. Nearly one third of the people covered by Medicaid expansion live with a mental health condition. The AHCA will push our clients into costly emergency rooms and jails instead of providing the coverage for mental health services which helps people stay in school, on the job and in recovery.
We are concerned about the following provisions in the bill:
- The AHCA allows states to opt out of requiring insurance companies to cover mental and behavioral health care, as well as to opt out of covering people with pre-existing conditions.
- The AHCA would no longer require Medicaid expansion to cover mental health care, abandoning Congress’s previous commitment to mental health and addiction treatment.
- The bill would reduce federal assistance to working families who buy health insurance, leaving millions of people, many of whom have mental illness, unable to afford mental health care. Families would be denied the counseling they need to heal relationships and stay together.
- People covered by Medicaid expansion before 2020 would be dropped from their plan if they are more than one month late paying their premium. This is a high price to pay for someone suffering from mental illness, who may be unable to pay a bill while in the hospital or experiencing severe symptoms.
Investing in quality mental health care saves taxpayer dollars in the long term. We see the positive impact of our work on the people we serve every day, allowing people to be productive members of society.
We ask you to vote against the AHCA and any other attempts to cut back mental and behavioral health coverage for our fellow citizens.
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