After Senate Democrats and the White House reached agreement on a $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said: “We know we have a long way to go.”
Indeed, lawmakers are doing it – especially with respect to the Medicare changes to the proposal.
While adding hearing, visual, and dental benefits to Medicare is a positive step, doing so without first correcting the program’s Discriminatory Mental Health and Addiction Disorder, or SUD, the coverage provisions are downright silly, infuriating. and just another example of how we marginalize mental health in politics.
Currently, there are approximately 60 million Americans over the age of 65 or with long-term disabilities who will greatly benefit from Medicare by providing them with access to better mental health care and SOUTH. Before the pandemic, a third of American adults with disabilities spent about half of their month “in poor mental health,” and suicides were particularly high among men, especially those over 85. During the pandemic, nearly half of adults 65 and older surveyed by Kaiser Family Foundation said worries and stress related to the coronavirus were negatively impacting their mental health. And that doesn’t even take into account additional beneficiaries on the Medicare roster as some have suggested.
Despite the clear needs of Medicare beneficiaries, the program currently has some of the most restrictive and exclusionary policies in place for mental health and SUDs. It only supports our country’s stigmatizing and ostracizing beliefs about people struggling with their mental well-being. For example: