Take Five, Save a Life: Call Congress Today
As you may know, members of the House of Representatives are moving forward to recruit votes for the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) this week. If this legislation moves forward, the stakes will be high for patients in eating disorder treatment — regarding access to care and parity.
Here’s where things stand now: at least 50 individuals are undecided on this bill at the time of publication of this post.
And here’s how you can help
We are asking you to “take five.” Please consider taking five minutes today to reach out and call your member of Congress.
Here are the steps to take:
- Call your member of Congress.
- If you can, keep calling until someone picks up the phone so you can talk to a person directly. If no one answers, please leave a message.
- Express why mental health benefits are important to you. Encourage your representative to vote “no” on this bill on behalf of individuals with eating disorders and those who care for them.
If this bill passes, states would be able to waive the following very important benefits:
1) Essential Health Benefits — This provides mental health and substance use disorder treatment and mental health parity to all small, individual and Medicaid plans. If this is waived, parity (treating mental health conditions and substance use disorders equally to other chronic health conditions like diabetes) could be lost to people on those plans in many states.
2) Consumer ratings — This protection offered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) caps insurance companies from charging individuals more than three times the rate of their healthiest/youngest customer. If this is waived, insurance companies can charge sicker and older customers (for example) up to ten times more. These people, who may have pre-existing conditions, could be priced out of paying for health insurance.
Hypothetically, the 19 states that did not take Medicaid Expansion would likely try to take these waivers: Maine, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho.
It goes without saying that this bill could potentially impact those seeking treatment for eating disorders and other mental health conditions.
Please consider “taking five” today – make a call and make a difference.
Learn more about taking action to support treatment for eating disorders at the Eating Disorder Coalition website.