Colvin’s protection of ACA important
FROM: DR. BONNIE FISHER EARLEVILLE
As a licensed clinical psychologist, I want to alert everyone to the importance of Jesse Colvin’s excellent proposals on health care and their relevance to all of us.
Unlike U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, Jesse Colvin supports preserving and strengthening the Affordable Care Act, (the ACA, sometimes called Obamacare.) When the ACA passed in 2010, it required insurance companies to cover mental health along with addictions problems, giving millions of people access to health care services they had been previously denied because they had pre-existing conditions.
Since 2010, Republicans including Rep. Harris, have voted over 60 times to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act, putting mental health coverage for millions of people at risk. Had those repeal/ replace proposals succeeded, insurance companies could have resumed charging those with mental health issues premiums so high they would be unaffordable or denying coverage entirely. With our country in the midst of a nationwide opioid crisis, taking mental health care away from people who desperately need it is cruel and counter productive.
Colvin wants to expand access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance for any health issue including mental illnesses. He has proposed allowing any individual or employer to enroll in Medicare as one option for choosing a health care insurance plan. Such an option is particularly important for those who have or may experience mental health problems. As a four-deployment veteran who served an Afghanistan, Jesse knows that our returning veterans are particularly vulnerable to PSTD and other serious problems.
Almost 20 percent of us will experience a serious and treatable mental disorder each year. All of us must have access to early diagnosis and treatment. Mental health professionals offer many effective interventions. Such interventions help ensure more timely recovery, before serious disruption to the individual, their families and the entire communities might occur.
Because mental health concerns affect so many of us, it is also imperative that insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions be preserved, along with parity with other medical diagnoses. Jesse Colvin’s plan to preserving and expanding the ACA will solve this problem.