Just for starters: I've never written a partisan political piece, and I'm not starting now. This isn't a partisan stance or siding with 'my team' (not least of all because I don't have one.) It's a statement of fact: the bill commonly known as Graham-Cassidy, the healthcare repeal bill current up for debate, is a bad bill.
Again, this isn't based on party allegiances:
Every single medical organization in the country that's commented publicly on the bill so far has done so in opposition.
American Medical Association.
American Public Health Association.
National Institute for Reproductive Health.
American Academy of Pediatrics.
Association of American Medical Colleges.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
American Association of Retired Persons.
American College of Physicians.
America's Essential Hospitals.
American Osteopathic Association.
Catholic Health Association.
Children's Hospital Association.
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
Federation of American Hospitals.
Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
In fact, here's a combined statement from a staggering 16 organizations:
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
American Diabetes Association.
American Heart Assocation.
American Lung Association.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Luthern Services in America.
March of Dimes.
National Health Council.
National Multiple Sciersis Society.
National Organization for Rare Diseases.
Volunteers of America.
(note: I'm adding to this list as I find more, feel free to send me any you notice missing.)
Additionally, in a striking move, the Medicaid Directors from all 50 states (the bipartisan National Association of Medicaid Directors) issued a statement against it.
Among its many changes to the current health care system, this bill would:
Eliminate guaranteed coverage of substance use disorders and mental health treatment services, and
Cut Medicaid, a critical lifeline for millions of Americans with substance use disorders and mental illness.
So this isn't meant to be a partisan post or one that champions one team over the other. It's a call to action, a desperate plea on behalf of those who need healthcare for any number of things (the bill also cuts the guaranteed coverage of maternity care, prescription drugs, outpatient care, emergency room visits, disability services like physical and occupational therapy, lab tests, preventative care, dental and vision care for kids, and more.)
But when I talk to people about getting mental health treatment, especially those that really need it, the reason I hear most often (by a long shot) is that they can't afford it. Given the fact that 1 in 5 American adults is struggling with mental health in a given year, it's hard to believe that having less coverage even approaches an acceptable idea.
Call your senators*, and then everyone else's senators.
We need mental health parity in healthcare, and anything else is unacceptable.