Obamacare will help state’s mental patients

July 17, 2013

mental healthImplementation of the Affordable Care Act will significantly augment this state’s ability to provide mental health benefits for millions of people, a new study by the nonprofit California HealthCare Foundation suggests. (Los Angeles Times)

According to details presented in the study, half of California’s adults and two-thirds of adolescents with mental problems are not currently receiving care.

The poorest regions of California also have the highest ratio and incidence of mental health issues that impact communities.

The new health law, dubbed Obamacare, is expected to fill in many of the financial gaps that exist in the California system, the study predicts.

During the last fiscal year, public money totaling $7.8 billion was spent on mental health patients because private insurance did not cover them. Of that total, $3.3 billion was spent on Medi-Cal beneficiaries.

The study also noted that more than 125,000 residents of this state who need mental health services will become eligible for Medi-Cal benefits this year.



  1. Jorge Estrada says:

    I wonder if Obamacare will make all medical plans afforded by your employer listed as taxable income?

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  2. fat chance says:

    It’s nice that we are going to take care of our politicians…….

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  3. slomike says:

    Did you see where New York insurance rates will drop by 50% thanks to Obamacare? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/health/health-plan-cost-for-new-yorkers-set-to-fall-50.html?smid=fb-share Oops! Wrong comment site!

    (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
    • r0y says:

      Because the cost of individual coverage has soared, only 17,000 New Yorkers currently buy insurance on their own. About 2.6 million are uninsured in New York State.
      Nice! …at least for those 17,000 people out of 2.6 million. Now that’s what I call news-worthy propaganda! Find the smallest group and give them the discount, but tout it as a success of the plan as a whole! Yipee!

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  4. Rambunctious says:

    This “study” was done at the California Health Care Foundation. This group has been pushing for single payer in this state for years. I do not trust their study and neither should anyone else. Expect more BS studies about Obamacare to appear over the next few months until the midterms.

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  5. isoslo says:

    Nothing will change under Obamacare. The mentally ill are not going to get health insurance, so they will be right where they are now, uninsured and waiting for the government helping hand. In fact we are going to have far fewer doctors due to the lower reimbursement rates under Obamacare. But we will have more stress for the average American trying to comply with this monstrosity of a law, which in turn will lead to more mentally ill citizens.

    (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
  6. lakerhater says:

    That explains why Obama got the mentally ill vote…….

    (10) 24 Total Votes - 17 up - 7 down
  7. Citizen says:

    Obamacare is not going to help mental health threatment. We have too few psychiatrists, and we will not have any more if they are controlled by the government and their salaries are limited. Psychiatrists have to get a medical degree first and then their psychiatric degree. Who will spend the years becoming a psychiatrist if the end result is to be trapped as a government employee on a limited income. Also, there is no incentive in Obamacare for medical research–and this is what we need in this field.

    Sure, more people may get some mental treatment by counselors and psychologists, but overall the field will suffer.

    (13) 23 Total Votes - 18 up - 5 down
  8. SLOBIRD says:

    Instead of just focusing on all the mental health patients, and lord know we have seen many make headlines in this County in the past few years, we should be focusing and the cause. Is this illness the result of family environment, drug environment, education environment, financial environment, or government environment. Something is wrong in our overall environment and no one is talking about it or looking for solutions. Maybe because it creates lots of jobs, costs a lot of money, and relieves a lot of responsibility for a lot of evil. I don’t know, but 30 – 40 years we didn’t have these issues!

    (5) 17 Total Votes - 11 up - 6 down
    • r0y says:

      Never going to happen. The profit is in the treatment, not the prevention/cure. Pretty much the case with ALL health care.

      (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      I think that there was almost as high a percentage of mentally disturbed people 30-40 years ago as there is now. There are some differences though. Back then, those that couldn’t function at least somewhat well in society were much more likely to end up in mental institutions — out of sight, out of mind. Constant media bombardment of every detail of most dramatic incidents also tends to make us more aware of them than we were before.

      Those that did function somewhat well were just viewed as somewhat odd, not mentally ill or dangerous (in most cases.) Not only was diagnosis of mental problems less rigorous. but there were far fewer “cures” available so there was less motivation to do so.

      I suspect (but can’t prove) that mental illness related to drug abuse is up somewhat. There are a lot more people strung out on meth now than there were on acid and other hippie hallucinogens back then. Alcohol & pot abuse (and possibly heroin use) have probably stayed the same. Cocaine use may be down somewhat but the overall effect of a large methamphetamine addict population is not doing wonders for the overall mental health of our society.

      Finally, there have been major changes in social/legal attitudes that tolerate more “acting out” by those who have problems. There has been too much emphasis on “rights” and not enough on “responsibility” in general and some people take this as permission to do what they please whether it affects others adversely or not.

      There has also been a movement away from mandatory treatment which has both positive and negative effects. The treatment drugs can have some pretty severe side effects and assistance in adjusting/monitoring psych meds is not always easily available or affordable to those who need them. On the other hand, some people on such meds present a clear danger to society when they go off them unless they are restricted to some sort of institution where they can be constantly monitored.

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down

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