Psychiatrists: Urge your Senators to start over on AHCA!

By Anthony Kassir
05/18/2017

From the APA: Recently, the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a narrow margin to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, the Senate is drafting their own version of the health care reform.

As you know, the House-passed AHCA would have a substantial negative impact on individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders, and it will precipitate a significant erosion in coverage and meaningful access to evidence-based mental health and substance use services.  AHCA would effectively end the Medicaid expansion, the largest provider of behavioral health services, and eliminate coverage for millions of low-income Americans, while radically restructuring the program and cutting $839 billion, or 24 percent over 10 years.  Furthermore, the amended version of AHCA would seriously put at risk key protections allowing states to obtain waivers from essential health benefits and the ban on charging individuals more for pre-existing conditions, including mental health and substance use disorders.

However, there is still time to urge the Senate to ensure that their health care legislation does not jeopardize key protections for mental health services and the treatment of substance use disorders.

We are urging all APA members to contact their Senators this week to express opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and urge the Senate to set aside the House's bill and start over on new legislation that does not put at risk health care for people with mental health and substance use disorders!

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