Thresholds on the State of the Union Address and a Wish List for 2014
Tonight President Obama delivered his 2014 State of the Union. There is much to laude about last year in terms of greater awareness about mental health and support for certain populations, including veterans and young adults. However, much, much more needs to be done. The President called out this year as a “year of action.” Here’s Thresholds’ take on what went right last year nationally, and what we hope the Obama Administration means by action for the future:
Two notable steps forward last year included the full implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act, which ensures that people with mental illnesses or addiction issues receive the same health insurance coverage as those with physical ailments; secondly, the beginning roll-out of the Medicaid expansion and Insurance Exchanges, which will enable millions of Americans who cannot afford private health insurance coverage for the first time. Among those who benefit most are adults with mental illnesses.
Thresholds’ wish list for the rest of 2014:
- Continue working for effective implementation of a ground-breaking Medicaid expansion by ensuring that every state implements Medicaid expansion;
- Ensure that state Health Insurance Exchanges (HIE) issue benchmark plans that are at parity with other medical benefits.
- Meaningfully coordinate police departments and the courts with the community mental health care system.
We’ll be working hard to enact change in our mental healthcare systems, and we look forward to working with partners across the country to make this wish list a reality.