Whether you call it Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, there's no denying that the legislation has sparked controversy. But it's a much-needed debate: are insurance companies a business or a service? If they're businesses, as is the current role, they function by denying as many sick people as possible. But if they're a service, as is suggested by the ACA, they need to man up and do the right thing by covering those who need it most. So here are my three hopes of the ACA's effect on insurance companies.
Psychiatric treatment is plagued by budget cuts and bed shortages. For example, Indianapolis has only seven beds for emergency psychiatric care for the indigent. In this video, I talk about why federal and state budget cuts and bed shortages are harmful and even deadly to people with Borderline Personality Disorder and other mental illnesses.
Borderline personality disorder does get better if you work at it. You are worth the wait.
I went for four months without medical treatment that I received within four days of my transfer to LaRue D. Carter Memorial Hospital. The major difference between the two state hospitals is that LaRue receives some private funding--which made for better conditions.
Recently I spent the night in the psychiatric emergency room. While I was there, the police brought a suicidal drunk woman in. Short version: she created a huge disruption, refused treatment, tried to leave and was eventually arrested for public intoxication. Mental illness, especially when combined with a substance abuse disorder, is an easy way to wind up in jail.
What angers me the most is that this doesn't have to happen. But it does, and most Americans simply don't care. It is easier to believe that people like me did something wrong than it is to realize there is soul-crushing injustice in America. It's ironic, but trying to recover has made my symptoms worse.
Although our obstacles are on a smaller scale, we too know what it's like to be stuck 100 years behind the rest of the country. We face discrimination and hostility because of a psychiatric diagnosis.
Lack of funding for the mental health system is not as visible as this bus stop, but it is just as real. The consequences include a lack of talented treatment providers, difficulty accessing treatment and an overburdened prison system.