Mar 1st, 2017
By: Stuart Archer, CEO, Oceans Healthcare
The topic of Affordable Care Act repeal and replace has been at or near the top of the news since President Donald Trump took the oath of office in January. Speculation has abounded about what that might mean for millions of Americans and just how long it might take.
Last Friday we saw a minor, albeit unconfirmed, glimpse of what congressional House Republicans could be eyeing as a replacement when a first draft of new legislation was leaked.
While I understand draft legislation does not equal a final bill, as the leader of a seniors-focused behavioral health company, I am concerned about provisions in the draft that could have a far-reaching impact on behavioral health and our citizens’ ability to access treatment, including:
At one point or another, most every human being will be directly or indirectly impacted by behavioral health challenges. Today, more than one in five adults suffers from a mental disorder, with even higher rates among aging adults.
As the largest provider of behavioral health services for seniors in Louisiana and one of the largest in Texas, we understand firsthand the impact inadequate coverage and access can have on a patient – as well as their children, grandchildren, caregivers, neighbors, etc. I remain cautiously optimistic that when our nation’s congressional leaders take a vote on the final legislation and take action on the ACA, they will think of the millions of Americans and their families who continue to struggle with this often stigmatized illness.
Stuart Archer, CEO of behavioral health provider Oceans Healthcare, is also an at-large board member of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems.
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