Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 2646

Expanding Access to Mental Health Care Through Medicare and Medicaid

Argument in favor

There is a mental health crisis in U.S. today, and far too many Americans go without needed treatment. This bill takes reasonable steps to make mental health care more accessible.

DonaldTrump's Opinion
···
12/04/2015
“Now, with that, I think mental health, we have to do better. We have to do a much better job with mental health.” [politico.com]
Like (201)
Follow
Share
Lesia's Opinion
···
12/04/2015
Too many mentally ill folks are in prison or living under bridges. It's a national disgrace
Like (64)
Follow
Share
AndrewGVN's Opinion
···
12/04/2015
Mental care should be accessible through Medicare and Medicaid. We need to give middle to low income families the ability to seek mental health care if it's needed.
Like (54)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Allowing the caregivers of mentally ill patients to access the patient’s protected health information undermines the privacy protections of HIPAA and will lead to abuse of those records.

Jenirose's Opinion
···
03/14/2016
Mental health resources are absolutely needed and there are wonderful aspects of this bill. However I am a strong believer in HIPPA being a right for all. Too much manipulation can take place without it holding strong
Like (17)
Follow
Share
Abby's Opinion
···
01/28/2016
Agreed that we need more resources but HIPAA needs to be enforced. There has to be a better way.
Like (12)
Follow
Share
Gwenyth's Opinion
···
12/04/2015
We have about 15,000 homicides a year. 400,000 are killed every year in the US by bad medical care. Why make bad medical care easier and expand it to everyone that gets paid to have anything to do with a patient. And they are lying. Medicaid covers inpatient care. Medicaid covers prescriptions. Stop calling it mental health care because it is behavioral health care. They aren't even using the correct words. People need separate approval for behavioral health care covered by Medicaid. Not everyone on Medicaid is automatically approved for behavioral health care coverage. Plus a care giver in AZ can be almost anyone including felons sent by an agency. People with severe mental illness have a disability. We are not going to start passing around information about disabled people and make them vulnerable to abuse by cowards. As it is we have people being permanently injured by allowing court ordered care to include relatively new medications and medications known to have horrible side effects. People having side effects that are supposed to stop the use of a medication are told they have to take it or they will be arrested and committed where they will be restrained and given the medication by injection. Specifically? Arizona. Abilify. Akathisia. Permanent nerve damage that causes large jerking movements. Arizona. Prefers to give all in patients Resperdal the drug that causes boys to grow breasts. Medical doctors that do not do their job correctly have had patients incorrectly diagnosed by psychiatrists. The doctor decided there are no such things as mites. The woman would have gotten better care at a vet. Arizona. Tucson. Woman diagnosed with delusional parasitosis by UMC is committed against her will and then diagnosed with scabies by psychiatric hospital which treated and released her. We should not make it easier to abuse patients or discriminate against them. People that require care givers are ill, disabled, or elderly. All people that are in a more vulnerable position than a healthy adult. We are not going to mainstream their abuse because a few people were shot.
Like (11)
Follow
Share
    “Now, with that, I think mental health, we have to do better. We have to do a much better job with mental health.” [politico.com]
    Like (201)
    Follow
    Share
    Mental health resources are absolutely needed and there are wonderful aspects of this bill. However I am a strong believer in HIPPA being a right for all. Too much manipulation can take place without it holding strong
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    Too many mentally ill folks are in prison or living under bridges. It's a national disgrace
    Like (64)
    Follow
    Share
    Mental care should be accessible through Medicare and Medicaid. We need to give middle to low income families the ability to seek mental health care if it's needed.
    Like (54)
    Follow
    Share
    Prisons and jails are the leading providers of mental-healthcare in this country. That must change.
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    While I understand concerns over privacy, the conditions under which an exception would be made to HIPAA seem stringent and reasonable, and they apply only to patients whose medical records indicate they they are so severely affected by their condition that they cannot act in their own self interest. It grants decision-making power not to the government or to a medical system, but, appropriately, to the caregivers who know them best and are burdened with decision-making for them anyway. In addition, this bill would grant $40 million to the NIH to research self-inflicted harm, which would benefit huge numbers of patients outside the Medicare and Medicaid systems. We can't do everything in the name of protecting privacy. This is a sensible bill that protects the well-being of patients.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    There are good things and bad things about this bill. First, the good. According to Countable: Medicaid would cover payments for mental health services that are provided on the same day as primary care services, and states would have the option of covering inpatient psychiatric services to non-elderly adults. A 190-day lifetime limit on inpatient psychiatric care imposed by Medicare would be eliminated so long as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services certify that the elimination wouldn’t increase federal spending. Both Medicare and Medicaid would cover prescription drugs used to treat mental health disorders. Hopefully this would help more people get the care they need. Now here's what I don't like. The following should send up red flags for everyone: Following its introduction by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), this bill received the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) following a shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic: “What happened is appalling and justice should be swift. Clearly we can do more, and one common denominator in these tragedies is mental illness… I’m sure members of both parties have lots of ideas in this area, but we should make this a priority to prevent the violence and to protect our citizens.” QUIT STIGMATIZING PEOPLE WITH MENTAL DISORDERS! • Research from Johns Hopkins shows that people with mental illness, including those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression, are not more likely to pick up a gun and kill others than the ordinary person. • These bills will be promoted as ‘common sense,’ but they will contain definitions so broad that hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of regular folks who have been or are being successfully treated for common, minor, mental and emotional issues will be denied their right to arms as ‘mental defectives.’ People suffering from mild depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, even women treated for PMS, could be lumped in with violent schizophrenics and the criminally insane. And be banned from having a firearm. • The Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, warned: “Until the DOJ clearly defines and enumerates the types of formal commitments that can bar gun ownership, HHS should not amend its regulations to release sensitive mental health information to the DOJ.” Mental Illness Not a Factor in Most US Gun Violence, Study Finds • Beth McGinty, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, just completed a study showing that most people with mental illness in the U.S. are not violent toward others, and that mental illness is not a factor in most gun violence in the United States. • "Even if we had a perfect mental health system that treated everyone when they needed it, and gave them effective treatment, we would probably only prevent between 3 and 5 percent of gun violence, and 95 to 97 percent of gun violence would remain untouched." -- Beth McGinty, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health • Research shows that people with mental illness, including those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression, are not more likely to pick up a gun and kill others than the ordinary person. • The belief that mental illness is connected to gun violence only serves to stigmatize people with these illnesses and makes it harder for them to get treatment. Journalists don't know anything definitive about the mental state of Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old gunman who opened fire in an Orlando nightclub early Sunday morning, killing 50 people in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. But in an interview with the Washington Post his former wife, Sitora Yusifiy, has described him as "not a stable person" who "would just come home and start beating me up." The Orlando shooting is likely to reignite the debate about ways to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill but despite perceptions, mental illness and gun violence do not often go hand in hand. When President Barack Obama appeared on a CNN program on gun control in January, a sheriff mentioned that the "real problem" in stopping gun violence is getting criminals and "those with mental illness to follow the laws." U.S. leaders link mental illness with shooting deaths. Obama proposed $500 million to expand mental health treatment in an effort to curb mass shootings and gun violence. “We have seen consistently that an underlying cause of these attacks has been mental illness," said Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, "and we should look at ways to address this problem.” Yet research shows that people with mental illness, including those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression, are not more likely to pick up a gun and kill others than the ordinary person. Small percentage Beth McGinty, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, just completed a study showing that most people with mental illness in the U.S. are not violent toward others, and that mental illness is not a factor in most gun violence in the United States. http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2016/study-news-stories-often-link-violence-with-mental-health-llness-even-though-people-with-mental-health-illness-are-rarely-violent.html "Even if we had a perfect mental health system that treated everyone when they needed it, and gave them effective treatment, we would probably only prevent between 3 and 5 percent of gun violence, and 95 to 97 percent of gun violence would remain untouched," McGinty said in an interview with VOA. "We have good studies showing that news media coverage of mental illness really focuses on rare acts of violence, often very high-profile acts of violence like mass shootings committed by people with serious mental illness," McGinty said. She said it's gotten to the point that whenever there is a high-profile event involving guns, the first thought about the shooter, whether by officials or reporters, is if there is evidence that the shooter had a mental illness. "Violence helps sell newspapers and so that's often what gets focused on," McGinty said. Failure to seek other causes One of the problems with this line of thought is that, if the shooter has a mental illness, people don't stop to think about other causes. Paul Gionfriddo, president of Mental Health America, an advocacy group, said this knee-jerk reaction helps no one. "If we didn’t automatically think 'mental illness,' it would give us the opportunity to think about some other things," he said. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/positions/violence Gionfriddo and McGinty agree that the belief that mental illness is connected to gun violence only serves to stigmatize people with these illnesses and makes it harder for them to get treatment. Experts agree that the causes of gun violence are understudied and that the subject should be investigated as a public health threat so gun deaths can be prevented, or at least reduced. http://m.voanews.com/a/us-gun-violence-mental-illness/3373716.html SEE A SHRINK, LOSE YOUR GUN New 'rules' would suspend 2nd Amendment even for 'outpatient' treatment By Bob Unruh, 01/08/2014 at 10:05 PM In an end-of-week “information dump” often resorted to by political leaders to publicly release information they would like overlooked, President Obama formally has launched his much-feared expansion of the use of mental health diagnoses to crack down on gun ownership. The Obama Department of Homeland Security already is on record casting aspersions on the mental ability of returning veterans, third-party candidate supporters and people with pro-life bumper stickers – calling them potential “right-wing extremists.” It was also caught, through the IRS, targeting conservative organizations that might be critical of Obama. So critics of the administration long have warned the move would come. On Friday, it did. Obama announced that his Department of Justice is proposing a rule change that would “clarify” that being committed to a mental institution – a key red flag under gun ownership rules – would include receiving nebulous “outpatient” services from a professional, such as a psychiatrist. The president said his Health and Human Services agency is issuing a rule to pierce the privacy protections of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act so there would be “express permission” for “entities” to hand over to the federal government certain medical records – that is, “information necessary to help keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands.” WND reported six months ago on alarms raised by various groups over this issue. http://wnd.com/?p=457667 At the time, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, warned that the administration was widening the door for those subject to a “mental” deficiency definition, looking for ways to send people to a mental institution for “mental defectiveness or mental illness” or “for other reasons.” http://www.epic.org/ “The phrase ‘for other reasons’ is overly broad and vague,” EPIC said. “Although the DOJ has illustrated that drug use is an example of ‘commitments for other reasons,’ the nebulous language would grant the DOJ sweeping authority to prohibit individuals from possessing firearms, a constitutionally protected right.” The privacy advocates warned: “Until the DOJ clearly defines and enumerates the types of formal commitments that can bar gun ownership, HHS should not amend its regulations to release sensitive mental health information to the DOJ.” The Obama administration’s gun-control agenda accelerated after the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012. It then began to press for “closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” a ban on “military-style” weapons and some ammunition magazines, as well as “making schools safer” and improving mental health services. http://www.barackobama.com/gun-reform/ But the vague generalities used to describe the plans have worried #privacy advocates and #SecondAmendment supporters. ‘Wrong hands’ On Friday, Obama announced his executive actions to “keep guns out of the wrong hands.” “Too many Americans have been severely injured or lost their lives as a result of gun violence,” his statement said. “While the vast majority of Americans who experience a #mentalillness are not violent, in some cases when persons with a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, the result can be tragedies such as homicide or suicide.” That, he wrote, explains the need for the DOJ rule “to clarify who is prohibited from possessing a firearm” and the HHS rule change is “to address barriers preventing states from submitting limited information … to the federal #backgroundcheck system.” His statement noted that Obama already has directed federal agencies to hand over criminal records and other “information” about those who are prohibited from having guns “for mental health reasons.” And he spent $20 million to “improve incentives for states” to hand over background check information to the federal government. He’s proposing to spend $50 million on that in 2014. At the Washington Times, commentator Michael E. Hammond said, “The real agenda of the gun-hating Obama administration is to strip gun rights from law-abiding Americans, even if the result is to discourage people from seeking counseling.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/7/hammond-see-a-shrink-lose-your-weapon/ He asked: “Do you really think a hunter or gun owner feels somehow less violated when, as a result of sharing his deepest secrets in confidence, his name is turned over to government as either a dangerous or incompetent person and – as has happened – a SWAT team is sent to his house to seize his guns?” It was just a year ago that Obama announced 23 executive actions aimed at curbing gun rights. Then Congress handed him a massive defeat, refusing to go along with some of the more reaching plans to curb gun ownership. The federal government admits it already has banned from gun ownership those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, have been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity, or otherwise have been determined through an adjudication process to have a severe mental condition. Judicial records The mental health records come from the judiciary, not the health system. Now the federal government wants access to all such records from health care providers, too. The Electronic Privacy Information Center said the best way to handle the federal government’s plans would be to leave in place the protections provided for consumers under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s Privacy Rule, which doesn’t allow such discussions of diagnoses or treatment. EPIC said at the time if changes are made, there need to be clear protections. “HHS should assign liability to states that disclose excess mental health data for NICS purposes,” the comments said. “HHS should mandate states notify NICS as soon as possible but no [later] than 10 business days of an incorrect or outdated mental illness record.” Said EPIC: “There are not enough adequate privacy protections in place, under state law or otherwise, for data collected by state entities for reporting to the NICS. … Many states do not have privacy laws that explicitly address privacy protection of mental health records and availability to the NICS.” WND also has reported on another anti-gun strategy, which is a possible explanation for why the Obama administration has failed to launch legal action against Colorado and Washington, where voters have voted to legalize marijuana under their state laws, even though federal law doesn’t allow it. Some have asked if there something about the idea of legalizing marijuana that Washington likes. The idea may have been borne out recently when the Congressional Research Service released its report on the “State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues.” As attorneys Todd Garvey and Brian Yeh wrote in the report, Washington has flexibility regarding drug prosecution, stating: “The extent to which federal authorities will actually seek to prosecute individuals who are engaged in marijuana-related activities in Colorado and Washington remains uncertain. President Obama himself has suggested the prosecuting simple possession is not a priority, while the Department of Justice has said only that ‘growing, selling or possession any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.'” What is more certain, they wrote, is that federal firearms regulators will be aggressive about banning anyone who uses marijuana from buying – or possessing – a weapon. “With the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in Colorado and Washington, it seems likely the ATF will … consider a recreational user of marijuana to be a prohibited possessor of firearms regardless of whether the use is lawful under state provisions,” they wrote. The attorneys said the ATF specifically has stated “any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.” They further wrote, “These individuals are to answer ‘yes’ when asked on the firearms transfer form if they are unlawful users of a controlled substance.” Targeting veterans Also, the government has been using its interaction with veterans to designate many of them – by the tens of thousands – incapable of handling their own financial affairs and, therefore, banned from having guns. A lawsuit was just filed by the United States Justice Foundation against the Veterans Administration for snatching veterans’ gun rights without “due process” or any “factual or legal basis.” WND has published reports about how returning veterans were being deprived of their Second Amendment rights without a court-based adjudication competency process, based on arbitrary VA agency decisions. The problem arises when the agency wants to appoint a fiduciary – someone to advise a disabled veteran or one receiving certain government benefits – to help with the management of the benefits. The government then routinely notifies the FBI’s NICS system, a federally maintained list of those whose competency has been challenged. That means they no longer can purchase a gun or even keep the one they may have. Michael Connelly, executive director of the USJF, told WND the initial lawsuit is to compel the VA to respond to two requests under the Freedom of Information Act. “The information requested included Veterans Benefits Administration rules, regulations and criteria for making ‘determinations of incompetency due to a physical or mental condition of a benefit recipient,'” the legal team explained. “The USJF has received numerous complaints from military veterans around the country who are being declared incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and then told that they can no longer purchase or own firearms or ammunition,” said Connelly. “This determination is being made without due process protections for the veterans and the basis for the incompetency ruling is often arbitrary and without a factual or legal basis.” Just a month ago, WND columnist Jeff Knox warning about Obama’s newly announced strategy. A front “The strategy is to use the wide acceptance of the idea that the mentally ill should not have access to firearms as a front for prohibiting a broad array of ‘normal’ people from possessing guns or ammunition. As with most things, the devil is in the details. What is mental illness? Who is mentally ill? How mentally ill must one be to warrant revocation of a fundamental human right? Who makes that determination? Who is ‘normal,’ and how ‘normal’ do they have to be to own guns? We all know people who have dealt with some mental health issues or who people consider a bit odd, but who are also fully functional, completely rational, good people who would never harm anyone. The new anti-rights strategy is to cast doubts on those people and deny them their rights to own guns and ammunition.” Knox also reported his sources confirm the strategy of using “emergency” legislation to “pass draconian bills with no hearings, no committee votes and no public input” that would further “control” firearms. “While this anti-rights sneak attack is just getting under way, you can be sure it is well-planned and well-funded, so expect to see a flood of bills dealing with mental health in general and firearms access by the mentally ill in particular introduced in Congress and state legislatures nationwide in the coming months,” Knox wrote. “These bills will be promoted as ‘common sense,’ but they will contain definitions so broad that hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of regular folks who have been or are being successfully treated for common, minor, mental and emotional issues will be denied their right to arms as ‘mental defectives.’ People suffering from mild depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, even women treated for PMS, could be lumped in with violent schizophrenics and the criminally insane.” And be banned from having a firearm. http://mobile.wnd.com/2014/01/see-a-shrink-lose-your-gun/#!
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Agreed that we need more resources but HIPAA needs to be enforced. There has to be a better way.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    We have about 15,000 homicides a year. 400,000 are killed every year in the US by bad medical care. Why make bad medical care easier and expand it to everyone that gets paid to have anything to do with a patient. And they are lying. Medicaid covers inpatient care. Medicaid covers prescriptions. Stop calling it mental health care because it is behavioral health care. They aren't even using the correct words. People need separate approval for behavioral health care covered by Medicaid. Not everyone on Medicaid is automatically approved for behavioral health care coverage. Plus a care giver in AZ can be almost anyone including felons sent by an agency. People with severe mental illness have a disability. We are not going to start passing around information about disabled people and make them vulnerable to abuse by cowards. As it is we have people being permanently injured by allowing court ordered care to include relatively new medications and medications known to have horrible side effects. People having side effects that are supposed to stop the use of a medication are told they have to take it or they will be arrested and committed where they will be restrained and given the medication by injection. Specifically? Arizona. Abilify. Akathisia. Permanent nerve damage that causes large jerking movements. Arizona. Prefers to give all in patients Resperdal the drug that causes boys to grow breasts. Medical doctors that do not do their job correctly have had patients incorrectly diagnosed by psychiatrists. The doctor decided there are no such things as mites. The woman would have gotten better care at a vet. Arizona. Tucson. Woman diagnosed with delusional parasitosis by UMC is committed against her will and then diagnosed with scabies by psychiatric hospital which treated and released her. We should not make it easier to abuse patients or discriminate against them. People that require care givers are ill, disabled, or elderly. All people that are in a more vulnerable position than a healthy adult. We are not going to mainstream their abuse because a few people were shot.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    We learn much about ourselves as people when we fail to cover basic medical costs for those in need. Emotional illness does impact many of us at some point in our lives. The impact can be devastating, not just to ourselves but to our family, our coworkers, and our community. It's time to cover these basic needs.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    We have turned our backs on mental health care and it is time to bring back the support for it. We need better access to mental health care than building more jails and prisons. A start is a beginning, so let's proceed.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    I have many friends that have mental health issues among other issues. Some are no longer with us because of this growing issue. Someone in their 20s do not deserve to die because of negligence nor not being cared for. Some of my best of friends if it not for the little help they get may not be here. PTSD and depression is real! We can not ignore this growing problem. People are more then numbers they are someone's loved one!
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    There needs to be parity between mental health and physical health services.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    LOTS of people are on Social Security Disability because of their mental health issues - it only makes sense to expand Medicare and Medicaid to cover mental health coverage.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Mental healthcare should not be a luxury for some Americans. All Americans should have access to care acute and routine.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I am a disabled Combat Veteran, I am being treated at VA for PTSD including nearly 3 years of personal and group therapy. I am Christian, a family man, love my children, and my grandchildren, I volunteer at the Red Cross, and am a Volunteer at our County Department of Emergency Management, I champion civil rights, respect for the constitution, respect for personal privacy, and I am a beneficiary of government funded medical care without which I would be in a wheel chair and a recluse. I am thankful for our government's generosity and concern for the unfortunate in our country and our world. I have much joy in my heart and I am a person of peace. I am not a threat to my fellow man, I would have died for my country, but I did not. I abhor violence, and I am not mentally ill. Yes, we can do more to help those in mental duress emotional and moral injury and pain. They deserve compassion and respect. They may not be able to afford the quality care they most need. A compassionate government and the good will of our citizens is a good thing. Remember the parable of the good Samaritan? He courageously helped and cared for a dirty, injured destitute person. Disability (temporary or permanent) is not the cause of violence nor disrespect for the rule of law. ((please read Loraki's well-researched and sage comments on this subject...he has spoken well of what also is in my heart))
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Mental health is an emerging issue that needs to be addressed more appropriately and shouldn't be delayed any longer. Increased access = better care and prevention
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This is something that should've been in the healthcare system a long time ago. There are people now a days who can't control there mental state. And it can result in shooting or suicides. This is crucial right now to America.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Mental health has been stigmatized for far too long in this country and needs to be treated like any other medical need.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    That fact that mental health isn't already covered extensively by Medicaid and Medicare is a blight upon our country.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE