Healthcare Reform

Healthcare Reform

The need to reform the current healthcare system, including the provision of mental health and substance use services has been an ongoing debate for decades. In 2010, major provisions for a reformed system were addressed in what is referred to as Healthcare Form. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, H.R.3590) was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Obama and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, signed on March 30, was designed to amend certain provision in the PPACA. Together they are known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In June 29, 2010, the Mental Health and Addiction Safety Net Equity Act, HR 5636 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Doris Matsui (CA) and Eliot Engel (NY). If passed, this bill will establish federal status for organizations that provide mental health services for millions of individuals with mental and addictive disorders. This will help relieve added stress placed on the system due to increased demand/eligibility for mental health services.

Mental Health Issues
~ there can be no health without mental health

Mental health impacts every aspect of a person’s life including one’s physical health, the ability to do well at work and school and maintain healthy personal relationships

  • Many AANHPIs experience serious mental health problems including high rates of depression, post traumatic stress disorder and thoughts of suicide.
  • Those with limited English proficiency are at particular risk for mental health and related health problems.
  • Failure to receive accurate assessment/diagnosis can lead to poor outcomes and increased severity of symptoms
  • Individuals with serious mental health problems die 25 years earlier than the general population ~ usually due to health related conditions that could have been addressed had they received proper mental health care
  • Failure to address mental health issues increases likelihood of person not taking proper care of their physical health including proper diet, exercise, taking medications and following medical regimen.
  • The burden of disease from mental disorders exceeds that of any other health condition
  • There is a direct correlation between mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, asthma and other health conditions
  • Mental illness represents four of the top six sources of disability for Americans ages 15-44
  • Approximately 22% of adults with mental illness and/or substance use disorders are uninsured.
  • 30% of individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders lack any insurance.
  • One in three uninsured adults with mental illness and/or substance use disorders is under 100% of the federal poverty line.
  • The US spends more than $2 trillion annually on health care, the highest in the world, yet tens of millions of Americans continue to have poor quality of health due to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and mental health disorders
  • Important to provide quality care because~ people with serious mental health conditions do get better!

Access to quality care is critical
~ Recovery is possible!

To read more, please download the healthcare reform

Here are Important Links to Healthcare Reform:

American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Association for Asian Pacific American Health Organizations
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Multilingual Publications
Families USA Fact Sheets
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Ignatius Bau Health Policy Consultant
Library of Congress Thomas Home
Mental Health America
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Association of State Mental Health Program Director
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Robert Wood Johnson
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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