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MHA's Blog: Chiming In

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Posted: April 28, 2017

By: Caren Howard, Advocacy Manager It’s hard to believe that the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislative body of the people, by the people, and for the people, would seriously consider a health care bill that harms people by eliminating their eligibility to a health insurance plan. I think everyone agrees, Democrats and Republicans alike, that Obamacare was a start to making the American health care system better, but that it wasn’t perfect. It contained costs across the country by...

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Posted: April 4, 2017

By: Mike Thornsbury, MHA Board Member Last Wednesday was just a normal day for me - continuing my normal daily routine of fighting with mental illness, but getting up, staying positive and getting to work for the day. I'm in a better place, but still have those days; all of us that struggle have those hopeless days. Most can always put on a good front for the world, but inside is a totally different story.  Then I saw the social media posts about Amy… It was devastating news. And then...

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Posted: March 24, 2017

By: Nathaniel Counts, J.D. Today, Congress is voting on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Obamacare replacement bill. As of yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) continued to estimate 24 million people will lose health insurance coverage in the next ten years, and among those that have coverage, they will have less. While these numbers are probably far from exact, no one else has provided a competing analysis and there is no reason to doubt the overall trends. MHA believes...

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Posted: March 23, 2017

By: Caren Howard, Advocacy Manager One in five people in their lifetime will experience a mental health condition and four in 20 people will experience chronic, ongoing issues. Mental health is integral to overall health of an individual throughout their lifespan. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” helped people in need of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment because it no longer permitted insurance companies to exclude MH/SUD treatment from benefits....

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Posted: March 21, 2017

By: Debbie Plotnick As Vice President for Mental Health and Systems Advocacy at Mental Health America it’s my job to work to change hearts, minds, and especially policy.  As I think about where we’ve been regarding access to mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment, I see unprecedented (although maybe not perfect) successes that have happened over the last few years. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or it’s more commonly known as Obamacare, is (without hyperbole) the best...

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Posted: March 20, 2017

By: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO As the past few days and weeks have unfolded, it is becoming increasingly clear how the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) as currently drafted will have mostly unintended, mostly negative consequences for people with behavioral health conditions. We believe that these consequences easily could and should be mitigated. At a very high level, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring analysis suggests that millions of Americans with mental health...

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Posted: March 7, 2017

By: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, Mental Health America House leadership has unveiled its Affordable Care Act (ACA) amendment. Cleverly marketed as a “repeal and replace” of Obamacare, it might be more accurate to describe it as something that “retains and revises” ACA. Fundamentally, it keeps health insurance exchanges and “Medicaid for more,” and builds on those concepts. Whether this approach will be palatable remains to be seen. Let’s examine how the initial draft provisions might...

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Posted: February 16, 2017

MHA has traditionally maintained its blog, Chiming In, to be a vehicle for MHA leadership and staff to post thoughts about current events. This month, we are taking a different turn and highlighting some of MHA’s amazing affiliates, partners and associate members as a way to share some of the great work and ideas of our many collaborators. If you are an MHA affiliate, official partner or associate member, and are interested in submitting a blog post, please contact America Paredes at aparedes@...

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Posted: January 18, 2017

By: Debbie Plotnick, MHA Vice President of Mental Health and Systems Advocacy Why am I and why should you be concerned about the prospect of rolling back or eliminating healthcare reforms? If you or a family member has mental health needs, it’s important for you to understand how this could impact you and your loved ones. Let me tell you why, from my personal and professional viewpoint. People who know me or have heard me speak publicly know my signature story: “Every gray hair says Ashley....

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Posted: January 6, 2017

By: Nathaniel Counts, J.D. MHA Senior Director of Policy, and Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP, MHA Vice President of Mental Health and Systems Advocacy A new year, a new Administration, and a new Congress brings new opportunities to best attend to our nation’s mental health. This year, in addition to working with Congress on the pressing issues around health care and social services that surface, Mental Health America (MHA) will have four areas of focus: Prevention for All. Too many children...

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Posted: December 15, 2016

By: Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO It is fair to say that a year ago, few people thought we’d be celebrating mental health reform as part of the last major legislation signed by President Obama. There were so many outstanding issues to resolve, and many on both sides appeared to have dug in their heels. But Congress did come through, due both to the dogged determination of a few key legislators, like Tim Murphy in the House and Chris Murphy in the Senate, and to the willingness of...

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Posted: November 15, 2016

By: Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO To contain costs, President-Elect Donald Trump has suggested replacing Obamacare with a package of benefits that might include: Permitting Insurance to be sold across state lines Retention of the mandate covering pre-existing conditions Allowing young people to remain on parents’ insurance Creating high-risk pools to provide insurance to people with chronic diseases Using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as an alternative to tax credits...

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