A Long Struggle for Mental Health Parity
The ACA's language in this area may prove its most profound contribution to the national welfare.
As much as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) profoundly changed the health care system in the United States, at least one thing has clearly remained the same: the central role played by private health insurers. Although the discussion surrounding the ACA has focused on health care exchanges, individual mandates and coverage for the uninsured, much less talked about are the profound changes that the ACA and related statutes have made to the coverage that private insurers are legally required to provide. If these legal mandates were followed — particularly as they relate to mental health parity — it would do more to improve the health of everyday Americans than all of the other provisions of the ACA put together. However, it appears that they are not.
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