I really don’t want to argue about health care. I don’t understand why the debate is all about economic issues instead of moral issues. I think a single payer plan with options to upgrade would be great, but hey, what do I know. I have paid for my own individual plan since I was 24 years old, and it has cost me dearly. I’m fortunate that I have been able to afford it. My insurance premium now is as much now as I used to pay for two children and myself back in the early 1990′s. In an effort to save money, I changed insurance companies and now the two” pre-existing” conditions I have aren’t covered……including any kind of medication I might need to treat them!
In my view, health care shouldn’t be based on profit margins.
It’s a complex problem. One that I certainly don’t know how to solve, but I am a fierce advocate for parity……..equal coverage and care for physical and mental illnesses. Something that mental health advocates have tirelessly promoted for many years. It is critical that mental illness treatment is included as part of any required basic benefit package AND is covered at parity relative to medical surgical benefits consistent with Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness also urges that any health care reform package should include:
- Adequate financing in order to guarantee that health reform lives up to its promise of delivering comprehensive, affordable coverage;
Income-based standards for premiums, co-payments, deductibles and all out-of-pocket health care costs;
Premium subsidies on a sliding scale up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level along with limits on cost sharing so health coverage is affordable for all American families;
An expansion of Medicaid that strengthens and maintains Medicaid’s role as the base of coverage for current mandatory beneficiaries;
Improvements to portability, enrollment, and renewal to maximize coverage, minimize red tape, and provide stability for all Americans;
Regulations that prevent insurance companies from discriminating based on health status, gender, and occupation;
Guarantees that quality, affordable health care coverage is available across the country and that individuals and families have options in selecting health plans;
Financial support and incentives for primary community-based care — especially for children and adults living with serious mental illness;
Adequate cost savings to improve long-range fiscal stability;
A strong employer responsibility requirement with penalties for those employers who do not offer coverage based on total payroll rather than penalties tied only to employees who receive income subsidies;
Sufficient assistance for states so that federal health reform does not impose an unnecessary burden on already strained state budgets, and that does not punish states that have chosen to expand Medicaid and SCHIP coverage above federal requirements.
And, please call your congressional representative and tell them what you want! They need to hear from us! Part of good mental health is access to quality care…….for the body or the brain.