So The Sunday New York Times:
The Murky Politics of Mind-Body
by Sarah Kershaw is a Roy article on mental health parity-- he loves this stuff, but I just couldn't add to his To Do List while he's unable to even make a Model Roy.
Ms. Kershaw writes:
This month, the House passed a bill that would require insurance companies to provide mental health insurance parity. It was the first time it has approved a proposal so substantial.
Great stuff, and I'm all in favor of parity bills. The article has some good stuff about the murkiness of mental health diagnoses. The catch to the bill:
The House bill would require insurance companies that offer mental health benefits to cover treatment for the hundreds of diagnoses included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, from paranoid schizophrenia to stuttering to insomnia to chronic melancholy, or dysthymia.
"That offer mental health benefits."
Oh, they can still not offer mental health benefits.
The next piece from he style section was "Why Blog? Reason No. 92: Book Deal"
And to think, I thought it was an original idea. Can the Shrink Rappers join the bandwagon?
Coming soon, the final installment of In Treatment.
The problem with mental health parity is that even insurance that NOW covers mental health may drop that coverage. At that point, an emergency mental health hospitalization would bankrupt some families. I have Blue Cross and they regularly drop coverage for things that used to be covered.
The blog "Half of Me" (Pasta Queen) resulted in a book about to be released. A well-written blog with wide readership demonstrates to publishers that a book is viable.
That any insurance company has the option of not covering mental illnesses is an embarrassing testimony to the level of influence these companies wield, as well as the sordid state of our healthcare system. Sadly, despite the recognition that any distinction between mental and physical illness is artificial (Last time I checked, my brain was a part of my body), parity appears to remain just out of reach.
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