A mere four months ago, in December,
"This is a new era of health care, and the next generation of hope for Americans that really transcends boundaries," Rep.
But with the bait set comes the switch. The American Health Care Act, the slick handiwork of House Speaker
Treatment Advocacy Center, a proponent of the 2016 legislation and a leading advocate of providing care for severely mentally ill people, warns that provisions in the new Republican bill "limiting or eliminating mental health as an essential health benefit will only serve to raise costs, as individuals without access to mental health care deteriorate and become sicker."
"Experience shows us that without access to appropriate care, these individuals often end up receiving more expensive and less therapeutic care -- provided by crisis centers, emergency rooms, homeless shelters and jails," the organization noted.
Although the exact number of people who would be affected by the Ryan-McCarthy bill's passage is not yet clear, various reports estimate that 1.3 million mentally ill and drug-addicted people covered by the
Cutting coverage that helps keep these individuals stable would be nothing short of cruel, but it is sadly understandable. These people don't give campaign donations and few of them vote. They are in and out of institutions and housing. Always teetering, they have no clout.
Beyond the Beltway, where partisan wars don't rage quite so heatedly, some leaders don't want to go back. One is Gov.
Kasich, nobody's liberal, criticized the Republican plan last week: "Phasing out
Officials who oversee Covered California, this state's version of Obamacare, and
"There is nothing in here that makes it better for us,"
No state has been more aggressive in implementing Obamacare.
The Republican plan would slash
They are people like the 37-year-old man who lives in the
He has coverage now and is taking anti-psychotic medication. He's still reclusive and unable to work, but he no longer thinks Bonnie is trying to poison him when she makes his dinner.
"They are forgetting that we all have an obligation to one another. That is one of the things this country is built on -- a mutual caring," Bonnie said of congressional
But mental illness strikes the sons and daughters of
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