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CSWA was honored to be invited with other members of the Mental Health Liaison Group to attend a meeting about the fate of the Affordable Care Act last Friday. We were represented at the 2-hour meeting by our superb MHLG Delegate, Margot Aronson, LICSW, Deputy Director of Policy and Practice, along with representatives from American Psychological Association, Mental Health America, Families USA, NASW, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – altogether nearly 50 health and mental health stakeholders.
Minority Leader Pelosi opened with her conviction that a strong and immediate grass roots effort can prevent the “Repeal and Replace Later” plan that is moving to a vote. There is no question that Repeal without a reasonable replacement will jeopardize coverage in current plans and throw the insurance market into chaos; a responsible approach to repeal would be to wait until a replacement plan has been developed, reviewed, and accepted. The great majority of Americans have indicated a preference for this approach: more than 49% want to keep the ACA (Kaiser Foundation) with some changes to improve coverage.
Representing CSWA, Margot spoke to the significant savings in healthcare and safety net costs down the road when mental health and substance abuse treatment are finally accessible and affordable when needed.
We need to show legislators how ACA coverage “prevented my family from losing our home because of a medical crisis”; how “a life-saving treatment was out of reach before the ACA but now I’m in full recovery and back at work”; and how “I was terrified if I got sick before I had ACA coverage” . Such stories – especially from constituents - resonate with members of Congress. Please gather these stories if you can and be prepared to send them soon.
Another email follows this one about what to do right now. We hope you are glad that CSWA is participating in the effort to protect health insurance (including mental health treatment!) for 30 million citizens through the ACA.
Laura W. Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice
Clinical Social Work Association
CSWA - "The National Voice for Clinical Social Work"Strengthening IDENTITY, Preserving INTEGRITY, Advocating PARITY
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