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“Eleven years after Congress passed a law mandating that insurers provide equal access for mental and physical health care, Americans are actually finding it harder to obtain affordable treatment for mental illness and substance abuse... A report... found that patients were dramatically more likely to resort to out-of-network providers for mental health and substance abuse treatment than for other conditions. The disparities have grown since... a similarly grim study two years ago... Insurance plan networks are simply inadequate... which is no surprise, given that insurance companies consistently reimburse behavioral health providers at lower rates. The study found, for example, that primary-care office visit rates were on average 23.8 percent higher than rates for behavioral health office visits.”
“The most perplexing aspect of our current debate over healthcare and health coverage is the notion that Americans love their health insurance companies. This bizarre idea surfaced most recently in the hand-wringing over proposals to do away with private coverage advocated by some of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for president. Oddly, this position has been treated as a vote-loser.”