Understanding California’s proposed single-payer health care system - Sovereign Health Group
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06-05-17 Category: Mental Health

The California State Senate recently passed a single-payer health care proposal aiming to cover all the medical costs of a Californian. Led by Democratic Senator Ricardo Lara, who believes that health care is a basic right for all citizens, the move has infuriated business interests, fascinated liberal activists and overturned the political landscape in the United States. If the bill ever comes into force, California would become the first state in the country to enact universal health care coverage. The government seeks to replace private insurance companies, paying doctors and hospitals under a single-payer plan.

The single-payer plan differs from a public option, where the government offers an alternative to the existing insurance plans available in the market. In this case, the government would effectively step into the shoes of the insurance companies, paying all the health care bills. “Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays, and they often forgo care,” argued Lara while debating on the floor of the Senate.

Worldwide, several countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, have a robust single-payer system catering to the health care needs of their citizens. However, in the U.S., despite repeated demand for a similar system in the past few decades, the cause only gained momentum during the 2016 presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who insisted on a health care system, on the lines of the existing program for senior Americans aged 65 and older.

The recent proposal echoes the sentiments of Sander’s campaign as well as the California Nurses Association, which has long rallied in favor of a single-payer plan. Nevertheless, the proposal is a step forward for those seeking a broader blanket of medical coverage, even though it might be contrary to President Donald Trump’s agenda. Although the fate of Lara’s proposal is undecided, it will be forwarded to the state assembly for further action.

However, Republicans in California have opposed the bill citing reasons of unaffordability. “We simply cannot afford it,” said Republican Senator Tom Berryhill in the California State Senate. “Health care belongs in the private sector and should remain out of the hands of the government. I absolutely don’t trust the government to run our health system.”

Mental health problems should be treated on par with other conditions

Mental health problems are real and more people experience them than one can imagine. Millions of Americans nationwide are affected by wide-ranging psychiatric conditions every year. These problems are characterized by abnormalities in thinking patterns, feelings or behaviors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), research on mental health epidemiology shows that mental illnesses are common throughout the U.S., affecting tens of millions of people each year, and that, overall, only about half of those affected receive treatment. The downward slope indicates that in a society focused on economic development, and which has abandoned social and environmental objectives, the outcomes could have an adverse impact on human well-being.

Sadly, for one reason or the other, society has made it exceedingly difficult for those suffering from a mental health problem to be vocal about it. Innumerable Americans face concerns over manifesting mental health symptoms but the complex nature of these conditions prevents them from expressing what they are going through due to the fear of being misunderstood or ridiculed. Unfortunately, they may never disclose their conditions due to the attached stigma and shame. Moreover, most general health practitioners tend not to treat mental health issues in the same manner as other chronic physical health ailments such as diabetes and hypertension.

Mental illness is not something to be swept under the carpet or something to shy away from. If not treated early, the condition will most likely aggravate with time and pose a greater threat by bringing in more complications. Mental health professionals suggest that the approach to mental illness management should be on the same lines as in the case of other chronic conditions, which demand regular check-ups, monitoring treatment adherence, effectiveness and tolerability, and spreading awareness of the disorder to patients and their families. Reasons to invest in a trusted mental health service provider are summed below:

  • Every doctor doesn’t specialize in mental health: Connecting with the appropriate mental health expert is the first step to prepare a systematic and effective treatment plan. A general physician can never be a replacement.
  • Only experts can identify root cause: A professionally qualified and experienced mental health expert is the best person to recognize the external symptoms, their effect on an individual and suggest the most suitable recovery solution.
  • Only professionals can instill hope: An expert’s opinion can be highly effective and motivating, because they are not only optimistic but also reassuring, compassionate and always ready to lend an attentive ear and base their speculations on a proper diagnosis.

Another major reason, which makes people overlook the serious nature of psychiatric disorders is that there are still many who have limited access to specialty mental health care, in addition to the lack of insurance coverage. The truth is the right mental health expert, rather than any expert, can make a huge difference in eliminating an endless cycle of ineffective medications or treatments.

Way forward

With the lack of awareness on mental health ailments and the stigma surrounding such conditions, more and more Americans fail to identify the warning signs of a possible mental disorder and end up battling with chronic depression or anxiety. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2015, there were over 43 million people aged 18 years or older in the country – representing about 18 percent of all adult population — with any mental illness (AMI) within the previous year. In such moments, professional help from a trained, empathetic and licensed mental health service provider can help the suffering individual live a healthier and more productive life.

The Sovereign Health Group is one of the leading mental health institutions in the U.S., which provides treatment for all kinds of mental health disorders. Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California offers a variety of customized treatment options suited to treat the person holistically. Our residential mental health treatment facilities in California are among the best in the nation. Call at our 24/7 helpline number or chat online to know about our most effective recovery programs to treat them at the earliest.

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