The Affordable Care Act Is Not Enough

1870 words - 7 pages


The issue regarding the lack of healthcare in America is prominent but is a more significant issue than what is commonly known. For instance, it is not publicly recognized that those who are mentally ill are covered by the same healthcare as those with conventional ailments. Because of this, money becomes an issue; health insurers cannot cover every case, or cannot fully cover any case. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Patient Protection Act, both part of “Obamacare,” were passed in order to fix this very issue; these acts are ultimately attempts to reach parity. However, the chance to have healthcare that fulfills parity, equality of coverage, has passed, the ACA is too late and it is time to come up with new solutions. To settle for the ACA as the final step towards parity is mediocre at best.

In the past three decades, healthcare spending has nearly doubled but mental healthcare spending has seen no change in that time (Rampell). This can be attributed to the closing of mental hospitals that began in 1940’s (Edmondson). Because of this, there were an excessive amount of patients that were once treated by public hospitals but now needed to seek treatment through private hospitals. As a response to the immense amount of demand for private mental hospitalization, prices rose. This is why the prices are so high to receive therapy, this is one of the main obstacles that patients face when trying to finance for their healthcare, but there is also another significant obstacle that patients face.

Regardless of how obvious, there is a culture given stigma surrounding mental illness that equates it to stupidity. People would rather choose to deny their ailment in order to avoid the shame that comes with having a mental illness. Studies show that twenty-six percent of adults experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year, and six percent of all adults experience a seriously debilitating mental illness,these studies were done by the National Institue of Mental Health (Lieber).

What is left is that we have many citizens who are mentally ill and are not receiving treatment. However the patients who are able to receive treatment are only able to have some treatment covered. Health insurers are responsible for covering the immensely large cost of substantial treatment, a mixture of medication and therapy; since therapy is highly priced, less reliable, and time consuming; patients typically do not receive treatment for therapy. Health insurers would much rather cover medication because it is cheaper, it heals patients faster, and it is more reliable than therapy. However, medication is not made to heal, but to only coax symptoms of a mental illness (Sandberg).

Regardless of where one stands, one must admit that the American economy is not thriving. Not only is it not thriving, but also the American economy has either been in depression or on the verge of depression for the last decade. Because of this, parity seems to be a...

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