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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Power grab now extends to mental health, too -- By Richard E. Vatz, The Washington Times

Do we want Obamacare deciding which child needs Attention Deficit meds — and picking up the tab? 

A box of syringes used in a needle exchange program is displayed in an RV outfitted as a "mobile health unit" in the Trinidad neighborhood of NE Washington D.C., Wednesday, December 9, 2009.   The program, run by non-profti PreventionWorks! is the oldest and largest syringe exchange program in Washington, D.C. and also offers HIV testing, drug treatment referrals, wound care and safer sex kits, food and other services. (Allison Shelley/  The Washington Times) For decades, the mental health fields have been fighting for the gold standard in coverage of mental disorders: parity with physical illnesses.

The extension of federal policy was announced by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius along with decades-long supporter Rosalynn Carter earlier this month. The new rules combine the intent of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act with Obamacare regulations to yield virtually unlimited mental health care to anyone diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. If mental health providers diagnose mental illness, co-payments, deductibles and lifelong coverage will be comparable to those afforded patients with diagnosed genuine medical illnesses.

The arguments against such expanded coverage have always focused on its invalidity, unintended social consequences and the costs of mental illness treatment, both drug and talk therapy.

Throughout the past half-century, there has been considerable debate over whether most mental disorders are actually physical, neurological illnesses.

While many critics of equating mental illness with physical illness were unwilling to concede that even the most extreme mental states and behaviors — such as some schizophrenias — were authentic medical illnesses, a substantial portion of the general public infers that everyday problems have the same likely neurochemical link as "severe mental illness."

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