Require Better Health Care for People with Mental Illness
|Calls to Your Representative Urgently Needed Now|
The House of Representatives has begun its two step process of finalizing health care reform by nearing a vote of the bill (HR 3590) that the Senate approved in December and then passing a separate bill with "fixes" to the Senate version. By the end of the week, the House is expected to vote on this bill which must occur to advance health care reform.
No mater what your views on the health care debate - this bill offers Americans with mental illnesses some needed reform
Health care reform is vital for millions of Americans with mental disorders, who are uninsured or underinsured. Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44, and people with mental illnesses are five times more likely to experience a co-occurring medical condition, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer. People with eating disorders are at great risk as they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, upwards of 20%
HR 3590 would address the alarming effects of mental illnesses by:
- Expanding Medicaid eligibility to at least 133% of the poverty level, including single, childless adults.
- Prohibiting exclusions for pre-existing conditions, eliminating lifetime or annual dollar limits and banning rates based on health status, gender or occupation.
- Requiring health plans to include mental health, substance use and rehabilitation services in benefit packages and requiring mental health and substance use parity.
- Fostering integration of mental and physical care through Medicaid medical homes.
- Establishing a national voluntary, long-term care services and support insurance program.
- Requiring the development of a national prevention strategy and authorizing coverage of wellness activities.
ACTION: Calls Needed Now
- Dial 888-876-6242 to be connected to the Capitol Switchboard and your Representative's office.
- Ask your Representative to vote YES on HR 3590.
- Remind them of the urgent need for affordable, quality health care coverage for people with eating disorders and other mental illnesses and of the adverse consequences that often result when individuals are without, lose or are denied access to needed health care services and supports.
- Thank them if they voted in support of reform in November and ask them to continue to support it (see how your Representative voted).
- If your Member of Congress did not vote in favor of health care reform in November, ask them to reconsider their position for this vote.