Republicans published their proposed health-care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare, and many Americans are worried about the implications in the treatment of Addiction and Mental Health Disorders.
The bill, proposed in May of this year, would cut expanded funds to Medicaid introduced under Obamacare. In doing so, as well as eliminate a mandate set forth by former president Obama that Medicaid be required to cover mental health and addiction costs. The new bill allows for states to decide for themselves whether their medicaid plans will cover addiction treatment and mental health care. However, the Republican party noted that this will also give states the ability to cover more services as well, if they choose to do so. It is also noted that the bill allocates $2 billion in funding toward fighting the opioid crisis- though medical professionals feel that treating only those addicted to opiates will not suffice in the long run. Others point out that the $2 billion, while a good thought, would not even scratch the surface of what’s needed. Senators from Ohio and West Virginia, two of the states with the highest rates of opiate addiction, called for $45 billion over the course of a decade to effectively combat the crisis.
The news of the repeal comes during the peak of the opioid crisis in the United States, and has many Americans concerned for the future of those seeking treatment for addiction, as well as for the many Americans struggling with a mental health disorder.
Senate Health Care Bill May Hurt Mental Health and Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved September 13, 2017, from http://time.com/4829381/senate-health-care-bill-mental-health-insurance/
Zezima, K., & Ingraham, C. (2017, March 09). GOP health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans. Retrieved September 13, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/09/gop-health-care-bill-would-drop-mental-health-coverage-mandate-covering-1-3-million-americans/?utm_term=.f2f0e2e54bb9