Bill would have devastating effects for Americans with substance use disorders and mental illnesses.
WASHINGTON – Shatterproof, the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) launched a six-figure radio campaign this week urging Senators to reject the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and protect vital health care coverage for Americans receiving Medicaid treatment for substance use disorders and mental illnesses. A study released by Harvard Medical School and New York University earlier this year showed that about 4 million Americans with a substance use disorder or mental illness would lose access to critical treatment if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
“Thousands of lives are at stake and this vote could decide whether Americans battling substance use disorders receive the treatment they need,” said Gary Mendell, the founder and CEO of Shatterproof. “Additional funding for opioid treatment won’t suffice if Medicaid is phased out. As we begin closing the treatment gap, the funds needed will only continue to grow. People with substance use disorders are also twice as likely to have other long-term diseases, increasing the need even further. Senators should think about the millions of Americans who will lose health care if they vote Yes on this horrible bill.”
“AHCA is not the National Council’s vision for health care in America,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council on Behavioral Health. “It takes us back to the days when individuals with mental illness, like depression or anxiety, could be denied coverage. To the days when insurers could stop paying for addiction treatment because someone reached their lifetime cap. If the Senate approves of this bill, they will be responsible for reversing our progress and putting millions of lives at risk.”
“The AHCA reverses all the recent gains we have made in granting coverage to those with mental health or substance use disorders,” said American Psychiatric Association CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “When we are in the midst of a national opioid epidemic, the last thing we need to do is remove coverage. Americans deserve better, which is why we strongly urge Senators to vote no on this harmful bill.”
The ads are running in West Virginia, Ohio and Maine. Audio of the radio advertisements can be heard here.
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support, providing evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance use disorders.
About the National Council for Behavioral Health:
The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with more than 2,800 member organizations, serving 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council was instrumental in bringing Mental Health First Aid to the United States and now has trained more than 1 million people. In 2014, the National Council merged with the State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS). To learn more about the National Council, visit www.TheNationalCouncil.org.
About the American Psychiatric Association:
The American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical association in the country founded in 1844. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.