Recent Senate Healthcare Actions Are Outrageous

Thresholds Statement: Senate Bills to Repeal and Replace Affordable Care Act Threaten Access to Care for Millions Living With Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions

Chicago, IL – Yesterday, the Senate took a procedural vote to begin debate on healthcare repeal, moving us one step closer to gutting the protections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and making drastic cuts to Medicaid. This is outrageous. Though there have been several versions of the bill and countless amendments, all have one thing in common – they are catastrophic for access to mental health and substance use treatment.

These efforts amount to little more than taking away health coverage from millions of people and slashing hundreds of billions from Medicaid, the primary payer of mental health and substance use treatment. We thank Senators Durbin and Duckworth who stood strong for Illinoisans and voted no.

Roughly 1 million Illinoisans have gained coverage under the ACA, and nearly 348,000 of them are living with a mental health or substance use condition. The ACA was a game changer for American healthcare.

  • Medicaid Expansion extended coverage to 650,000 low income Illinoisans who were previously uninsured.
  • Essential Health Benefits made sure that mental health and substance use treatment and medication are healthcare services all plans must cover.
  • Protections for those with pre-existing conditions ensure that people living with mental health or substance use conditions won’t be denied coverage.
  • Removing lifetime maximums helped those struggling with chronic health conditions – including mental illness and addiction – maintain access to care.

These changes were huge steps in the right direction, and that’s why we are fighting so hard. Repeal efforts aim to turn back the clock on the assurances and coverage gained through the ACA, but they go even further by piling on enormous Medicaid cuts and caps. This is totally unacceptable.

This fight is not over. We must keep pushing back and stay focused on what’s really at stake – people’s ability to live their fullest, healthiest lives. We will keep you updated as the process unfolds and we look forward to working alongside you in support of home, health, and hope.

Mark Ishaug CEO – Thresholds
Press Contact: Emily Moen, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, 773-572-5172

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