“The decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a tremendous victory for the American public, including millions of individuals living with mental health and substance use conditions.”
Dr. David Shern, president and CEO of Mental Health America, released the above statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. He also discusses some other benefits of the act that should be completely in place by 2014.
To summarize, those with OCD and other mental health issues will not have to wait the average of ten years (often longer with OCD) for proper diagnosis and treatment because they don’t have health insurance. Half of those with mental illness experience symptoms by the age of fourteen, which means many do not receive treatment until age twenty-four. These delays in treatment have contributed to greater suffering and worsening of symptoms among those with mental illness, as well as an increased cost to our society. Another benefit of the Affordable Care Act is its guaranteed coverage of those with pre-existing conditions. Now those who need health care the most will have access to it. Also, this new law provides additional access to preventive mental health care, such as screening for depression and mental health awareness programs.
This is positive news for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health conditions. I urge everyone to learn what they can about the Affordable Care Act and how it can be used to our advantage. Because states have some leeway as to how they enact the law, there will be lots to figure out. But the major steps have been taken to improve the lives of fifty-four million uninsured Americans.
Since becoming an advocate for OCD awareness, I have connected with families who know what the treatment is for OCD, want help, but have not been able to afford it. It is heartbreaking. Hopefully this scenario will soon be a thing of the past.
Dr. Shern ends his press release by saying:
“The law is providing Americans security, peace of mind and control over their health care. Now that the Court has spoken, it is time to end efforts to dismantle or repeal it which will not serve the public interest. It is time to stand up for the health and well-being of children, families and seniors and serve their interests.”