Federal spending cuts mean states do not have as much funding to promote open enrollment for the insurance exchanges—often referred to as the ACA or Obamacare. This transcript from an October 28, 2017 NPR broadcast highlights what advocates are doing to get the word out.
Category Mental Health Reform
Last week, more than 700 advocates from around the country descended on Washington, D.C., to educate lawmakers about the need for improved policies and funding around mental health care. Now in its thirteenth year, the National Council for Behavioral Health Hill Day brought together participants from 20 different mental health advocacy organizations including your Care for Your Mind principals, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)—a partner for the past seven years—and Families for Depression Awareness.
Throughout September 2017, in conjunction with National Suicide Prevention Month, our CFYM posts dealt with various aspects of suicide prevention: the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention (NSSP); the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s policy agenda related to suicide prevention at both the federal and state levels; a suicide attempt survivor’s personal experience of sharing her own story to help both those struggling with suicidal ideation and peers at elevated risk for suicidal ideation and attempts; and efforts directed at young people, primarily in academic settings.
Care for Your Mind
Traditionally, autumn is the time when millions of Americans sign up for employer group health plans or ACA marketplace plans. With efforts to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failing and Congress now in recess, legislators are strategizing on policy to stabilize the insurance market. We can expect activity on these issues when Congress resumes immediately after Labor Day.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance for Care for Your Mind
It’s no secret that out-of-pocket healthcare costs—the amount you pay—have risen significantly. These expenses have been trending upward for over a decade and there is no indication that this trend will end anytime soon. In 2013, according to the HealthAffairs Blog, nearly one-third of participants in an employer-sponsored plan had a high deductible. Plans purchased through the federal marketplace have similar out-of-pocket costs, especially at the Bronze level.
Editors’ Note: With Congress in recess for the 4th of July holiday, we get a brief reprieve from the Senate’s consideration of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” From where we sit, this legislation severely undermines gains that we have made in access to and quality of mental health care.
In the spirit of citizen engagement, we offer an encore post from former Member of Congress Tony Coelho on the need for patients – and we would add families, too – to be involved in policy-making. We hope it will inspire you to share your concerns about the proposed changes to the healthcare system and to tell your elected officials how this bill would impact you and your family’s health and wellbeing.
Have a safe and happy Independence Day!
Susan Weinstein, Co-Executive Director
Families for Depression Awareness
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives welcomed the first week of Mental Health Month by approving the American Health Care Act, the latest iteration of a bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Now that Congress has left Washington for its annual spring recess, it is a good time to take stock of the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Advocates have made their voices heard and, for the moment, repeal and replace is off the table.