Letter: Closing the coverage gap right thing to do
Editor, Gazette Journal:
I am disappointed that the budget recently approved by the General Assembly did not include a plan to close the health care coverage gap. As someone who cares deeply about mental health, the General Assembly missed the mark to cover 400,000 Virginians, including 77,000 uninsured adults with a mental health disorder.
There is constant chatter regarding fixing the broken mental health care system in Virginia and nationally yet our General Assembly turns their heads when the opportunity arises to fix this system. It is estimated that $1.6 billion in funding would be infused in Virginia’s mental health care system if the General Assembly had acted responsibly to close the coverage gap. It is a shame that the General Assembly passed up the opportunity. They just blew it.
Closing the coverage gap is the missing link to mental health reform. Where does the General Assembly think these uninsured individuals will go for treatment? They will be treated, if lucky, at the hospital emergency room at a steep price to taxpayers or enter the criminal justice system if in a crisis and not treated in a timely manner.
The Golden Rule is “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Politicians are not following this rule by preventing 400,000 people from receiving health insurance.
Closing the coverage gap is the right thing to do.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI, Mid-Tidewater Affiliate