Health and Medicine

Mental Health Support Will Disappear Under The GOP Healthcare Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s landmark healthcare bill, is going to be torn up by the GOP and replaced with the “American Healthcare Reform Act of 2017” – something that has been met with a chorus of disapproval from both Democrats and Republicans, and medical professionals.

Despite the problem with rising premium costs, “Obamacare” meant that over 20 million Americans received health care – and plenty of them had their lives saved by the legislature. The GOP kingpins are making it seem like replacing it with their own version will be easy, but a quick look at history reveals that this is wishful thinking of the highest order.

At a glance, the new bill amounts to a $600 billion tax cut for the top 0.1 percent, while being “Obamacare-lite” in terms of its ability to provide health coverage for most Americans. It’s worth highlighting that, apart from the fact that tens of millions will instantly lose coverage, there’s some deeply upsetting news for those suffering from mental health issues.

The ACA expanded Medicaid, the social health care program for those with limited economic resources, in order to make sure a health issue wouldn’t disrupt their lives.

The new bill, HR 277, will roll back this expansion by 2020, which means – among other things – that almost 8 million people who use Medicaid to get support for mental health issues, and the 10.4 million that get help for their substance abuse, will no longer have it.

Don’t take our word for it – you can read the bill yourself, or, if you support the repeal of the ACA, take a peek at a statement released by four GOP Senators.

Writing to House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) explain that they are “concerned that any poorly implemented or poorly timed change in the current funding structure in Medicaid could result in a reduction in access to life-saving health care services.”

“We believe Medicaid needs to be reformed,” they write, “but reform should not come at the cost of disruption in access to health care for our country’s most vulnerable and sickest individuals.”

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