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Napolitano Praises Mental Health Successes of Obamacare

January 13, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, DC) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano praised the mental health successes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), defending the health law from Republicans’ plan to repeal it.

“One of President Obama’s most critical successes has been increased mental health services for all,” Napolitano said in a floor speech. “Because of the ACA or Obamacare, over 48 million Americans are now covered by mental health and parity laws, and insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for patients needing these lifesaving services. We do need tougher enforcement on this, but I am proud of the hard work our mental health consortium did to ensure these protections for San Gabriel Valley residents and all Americans. Parity is working. It has reduced stigma and led to higher numbers seeking treatment for mental health needs.”

After listening to input from mental health professionals and advocates at her local Mental Health Consortium meetings, Napolitano inserted provisions in the 2010 health law to end discriminatory practices by insurance companies and make mental health an essential part of basic coverage. Now mental health and substance use disorders are covered equal to other medical illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure.

“Last month bipartisan reforms to strengthen mental health and substance abuse services were signed into law,” Napolitano added. “Repealing the ACA as my Republican colleagues want to do would harm these important advances. We must move mental health forward, not back.”

Napolitano is the founder and Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, where she promotes access to mental health for children and adolescents, improved mental health resources for veterans and seniors, and increased mental health coverage for all.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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