Affordable Care Act Upheld, Features Increased Support for Mental Health

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mental Health America of Franklin County today released the following the statement from Laura Moskow Sigal, Executive Director, on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a tremendous victory for the American public, including thousands of individuals living with mental health and substance use conditions here in Central Ohio.

“The law represents an enormous step forward in our efforts to expand access to care for individuals with mental health or substance use conditions and in our advocacy for prevention of these conditions. Mental health and substance use conditions are among the most prevalent of health conditions, with the age of onset for these illnesses occurring in adolescence and young adulthood for half of all people with a mental health diagnosis. The law’s guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions will address barriers to care, lower costs, end discrimination, and dramatically improve health outcomes.

“It is estimated that one-fifth to one-third of uninsured Americans have mental and substance use disorders. Of the estimated 32 million people who will gain coverage nationally, about 4 to 6 million will have untreated mental illnesses or addictions. By including mental health and substance use services on the list of essential benefits that are to be covered in new plans offered to the uninsured beginning in 2014, the law recognizes how integral behavioral health is to overall health. The law also includes prevention, early intervention, and treatment of mental and substance use disorders as an integral part of improving and maintaining overall health.

“The law is providing Americans security, peace of mind and control over their health care. Now that the Court has ruled, it is time to end efforts to dismantle or repeal it, which will not serve the public interest. It is time to stand up for the health and well-being of our public including children, families and seniors and serve their interests.”

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Mental Health America of Franklin County is a private, not-for-profit organization, established in 1956. We help people navigate the mental health system. We are dedicated to promoting mental health in Franklin County through advocacy, education, and support services. Our programs include: information and referral to community mental health and alcohol/drug services; free support groups for people with mental illness and their families; an Ombudsman program that assists clients in navigating the mental health and alcohol/drug system; mental health screenings in English and Spanish; Pro Bono Counseling Program where underinsured and uninsured individuals can receive free counseling; community and professional mental health education including Get Connected; and a quarterly newsletter featuring legislative updates and new happenings at MHAFC. We receive funding from the Franklin County ADAMH Board and United Way of Central Ohio. To become a member or find out more information, please visit us online at www.mhafc.org.

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Contact information:

Laura Moskow Sigal, Executive Director
Lmsigal@mhafc.org
614-221-1441 (o)
614-975-9612 (c)

Greg Belhorn, Marketing/Development Director
gbelhorn@mhafc.org
614-221-1441 (o)
614-578-5579 (c)