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Improved Mental Health Coverage: Finally!

Photo of group of people

I wrote a “reader take” for KevinMD a few weeks ago – basically arguing that disparities in mental health coverage are driving patients to seek help from unqualified (or inappropriate) providers, thus increasing healthcare costs without improving outcomes. Little did I know (at the time of writing my article) that mental health advocates would be successful in introducing a new law to address exactly this issue. The New York Times reported that some were hailing this legislation as:

A milestone in the quest for civil rights, an effort to end insurance discrimination and to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

And guess how this legislation was passed? It was the “pork” in the Wall Street bailout bill.

Now that’s some of the best pork I’ve heard of in recent memory.

To read my explanation of why improved mental health benefits are desperately needed, please check out my reader take at KevinMD. It’s called: How Not To Revolutionize Healthcare.

P.S. The delay in publication of my reader take was not Kevin’s fault. It was due to circumstances beyond our control. :)


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3 Responses to “Improved Mental Health Coverage: Finally!”

  1. Gary L says:

    Dear Val;

    It’s hard to believe that our patients invest so much in Alternative Medicine, when there is so much other stuff going on that presently defies workable solutions. The problems are legion. http://healthtrain.blogspot.com…The youtube snips are heartbreaking.

    How not to Revolutionize Health, the title of your recent blog….is this connected to your departure from “Revolution Health”??
    Don’t feel too bad, we all are seduced and infected with monetary gain by rank commercialism and exploitation by the ‘captains of industry’….it is seductive….

    I am sure you had to sign a confidentiality and non disclosure agreement when you joined R.H.

    None of this is meant as a criticism of your past present and future mission….I agree with 90% or what you write. (I reserve the 10% just because of my inherent septicism of anything.

  2. Gary L says:

    The link was messed up. This should work.

    http://healthtrain.blogspot.com

  3. Doc says:

    Amen!
    Yes it was some tasty “pork,” although it had been pre-cooked. Both houses had already passed versions of their bills, and this was a bit of legislative housekeeping to get this sent through during this session. Otherwise, the bill was pretty much a done deal. Finally! I may add. I have been up in DC talking to legislators on this topic over the past five years, and it seemed that the parity bill kept just getting put off, in spite of strong bipartisan support. (Most recently due to the Kennedy’s disagreeing proposals in the House and Senate.) Sens. Wellstone and Domenici both worked very tirelessly on this bill, and it’s a fitting memorial to Sen. Wellstone to finally have this thing pass.
    This is not a panacea regarding access, but it’s definitely a big step in the right direction.

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