Health Care: To repeal or not repeal

https://www.webpt.com/blog/post/4-ways-the-affordable-care-act-will-transform-occupational-therapy-for-the-better

Amidst the overall changes with a new presidency, there has been considerable attention and efforts given towards a particular goal: the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One of the major aspects of the ACA is the federal requirement that health insurers have to cover ten essential health benefits. One of these required benefits is the treatment of mental illness and substance abuse. More recent reports indicate that this federal requirement will not be included in the ACA replacement.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/24/news/economy/obamacare-repeal-

republican-health- care-bill/index.html

It has been considered difficult in general to get help for yourself or a loved one dealing with mental illness or substance abuse. When the Affordable Care Act was discussed and passed, it brought up the concept of parity between mental and physical health. This was a crucial consideration given the overall need for mental health services and the lack of resources. The potential loss of this parity in treatment could be devastating.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/obamacare-repeal- mental-health-

protections-235825

The health care law issue remains up in the air and will not likely be resolved soon. There are considerations for other options that would address mental illness needs though the viability of them remains unclear. Here’s to hoping that whatever changes come, those who are dealing with mental illness or substance abuse will not be left behind.

Dr. James Luzano