Mental Health Care Act Promises Better Eating Disorder Treatment
Republicans and Democrats, working together, to pass legislation so that you can benefit from expanded mental health coverage that includes support and residential treatment for eating disorders? If that sounds impossible, you haven’t been following the encouraging progress of the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. This is why psychiatric professionals, mental healthcare activists, and informed clients are urging you to take action now and show your support, too.
U.S. Senators, such as Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee.), the leader of the Senate Health Committee, along with Patty Murray (D- Washington), Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) and the Obama administration, have engaged in negotiations to move forward together in a timely manner. “Negotiations are proceeding and really positive,” Senator Murphy says. “It has the potential to be something really meaningful.”
Now, it’s up to the American public. Direct pressure, on the Senators that still remain on the sidelines, will make a difference, activists insist.
Why Mental Health Reform is Desperately Needed
More than half of all the Americans that are currently suffering from mental health conditions have been going without much needed services and support. In many cases, some only get minimal care. It’s clear that our nation’s mental health system needs to be upgraded, says NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Many people don’t have adequate access to any form of treatment. Needless to say, the new mental health care act promises better eating disorder treatment coverage.
Dr. Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., President of the American Psychiatric Association, underscores this position, adding, “Comprehensive mental health reform is urgently needed in our country, and this bipartisan legislation helps address this critical need.” Oquendo says. “We now strongly urge the Senate to take up mental health reform legislation that will make care more available to those who need it, especially clients and families living with serious mental illness. We look forward to working with members of both parties to pass mental health reform this year.”
Fortunately, Washington is Listening
That’s why it’s so important to speak up now, mental health advocacy groups say. For once, there has been agreement and bipartisan support in both the U.S. House and Senate on the need for active mental health reform. But it’s necessary for ordinary citizens to add their voice to the growing national chorus demanding increased health care options for insured clients and their families, to make sure this important legislation passes.
Mental Health and Obamacare
The ACA, or Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare,’ has dramatically increased coverage for behavioral health treatments. By 2020, up to 32 million people will have gained access for the first time to mental health and addiction treatment coverage as a result of Medicaid expansion.
But a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness details the challenges many clients have faced when it comes to access to behavioral health providers for programs such as eating disorder treatment and addiction recovery. Coverage for some vital drugs, particularly anti-psychotics, has been limited as well. The report also demonstrates that some health insurance companies are still more than twice as likely to deny authorization for mental health care, compared to authorization for general medical care.
Other studies indicate that teenagers, even with the current expansion of coverage, aren’t getting the services they desperately need for diagnosis and early treatment for eating disorders. Other surveys indicate that the numbers of clients requiring psychiatric treatment within the LGBTQ community are much higher than other groups.
A Positive Mental Health Movement is Underway
Mental healthcare advocates have sent thousands of emails, hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, and a barrage of tweets to the nation’s capitol, pressuring political leaders to pass mental health reform now. These efforts have lead to this unprecedented bipartisan action. But more must be done, they remind us. Our public servants in Washington, regardless of their party affiliations, are famous for dragging their feet on critical issues. And we need to take steps to make sure that this doesn’t happen, healthcare advocates say.
What Can You Do?
If you want better coverage and more awareness for eating disorder treatment, there are some basic steps you can take to call for action on this major effort. Read more about the Mental Health Reform Act, and feel free to sign the Mental Health Care Act petition that supports passage of the Mental Health Reform Act. Don’t be afraid to call or email your Senator and urge them to support passage of this critical bill.
Make Sure that You Don’t Become a Statistic
If you don’t know what your current options for eating disorder treatments are, please don’t hesitate to call Center for Discovery immediately with any questions at 800.760.3934. The symptoms of eating disorders can be dangerous or life threatening. Call now and speak to one of our highly trained admission specialists today. Or fill out this form for a FREE assessment. All calls are completely FREE and strictly confidential. Center for Discovery’s comprehensive behavior modification programs offer years of experience in successfully helping clients and their families develop positive pathways to happier, healthier lifestyles, and effective coping strategies.
Psychiatric.org APA Applauds House Passage of Mental Health Reform Bill, Urges Senate to Take Up Legislation. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. Mental Health Reform. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
H.R. 2646, an outline of the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
Tell Congress: Pass Mental Health Reform Now, Change.org
Contact Your Senator – U.S. Senate