Medicare for All could be the answer for those 1 out of 5 U.S. citizens who are in need of mental health care

Our mental health care system needs to disassociate with private health insurance in order to actually benefit U.S. citizens.

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According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year and only 43.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2018. There is a definite need to access mental healthcare, but many are denied it. 

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to contain costs and make insurance for health care affordable. It did bring coverage to 20 million but 30 million remain uninsured. Data indicate that the bad outweighs the good. It’s too expensive, unsustainable, overly complex and bureaucratic. Even worse, it’s a gift to private insurers and other corporate stakeholders and profiteers in the medical-industrial complex, (eg the annual health costs for a family of four covered by an average employer PPO are now well over $25,000). We could save $500 billion a year by enacting a nonprofit, single-payer, Medicare for All national health insurance program. Those savings would be enough to guarantee everyone high-quality care, with no cost sharing, on a sustainable basis. Statistics show that among Americans who are inadequately insured, a significant number are sicker and die younger than those who have insurance,” writes F. Douglas Stephenson at Common Dreams.

If you are lucky enough to even have medical insurance and are interested in seeking a therapist/mental health professional/counselor, getting the approval from your average medical insurance company is not the easiest task and then finding a professional who will then take your insurance is nearly impossible.

Universal Medicare for All supporters say universal healthcare could help with this stress and could get people in need of help the right help. 

Senator Bernie Sander’s Medicare for All page states: Medicare coverage will be expanded and improved to include: include dental, hearing, vision, and home- and community-based long-term care, in-patient and out-patient services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, reproductive and maternity care, prescription drugs, and more.

According to Common Dreams, mental health treatment services in general and talk therapy, in particular, have been negatively affected by insurance and drug company domination of the U.S. health care system. Talk therapy includes psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, counseling, marriage therapy, family therapy, group therapy, psycho-educational groups, addiction treatment groups and programs, parent training groups, anger management programs and many others.

Our mental health care system needs to disassociate with private health insurance in order to actually benefit U.S. citizens. 

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