The Hill (2/2, Baker) “Healthwatch” blog reported, “President Obama should address the country when his administration finally implements a law requiring insurers to cover mental health services, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Mass.) said Friday. Kennedy joined Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and actor Bradley Cooper at a press conference to make the case that reducing the stigma associated with mental illness is just as important as a policy approach to mental health.” Both “Kennedy and Stabenow were…prominent supporters of a 2008 mental health parity law, which required insurers to cover mental health services in the same way they cover physical healthcare.”
Therapist Decries Lack Of Medicaid Funding For Kids’ Mental Health. In an opinion piece in the Washington Post (2/1), Alyx Beckwith, a licensed outpatient therapist in Raleigh, NC, wrote that “cuts to Medicaid funding in recent years” result in certain children with mental health issues falling “through the cracks. In the best scenarios, cuts to reimbursement rates result in shortened therapy sessions and restrictions on the number of visits clients are allotted; in the worst, practices that serve the poor are going under.” Beckwith pointed out that despite the fact the majority of Americans favor more spending for mental health programs serving children, “our states are moving in the opposite direction.”
— “Patrick Kennedy: Obama should address nation on mental health, “Sam Baker, The Hill, February 1, 2013.