The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung developed the idea of synchronicity: The coincidental occurrence of events that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality. We have termed these events coincidence; recently such an occurrence caught my attention: But first, I must digress.
It has been requested of me to write more regarding mental health, and the steps necessary to obtain help. In a previous blog post, I described the process one may take to help someone who may be suicidal. Because of budget cuts, and the advent of the health maintenance organizations (HMO) mental health reimbursement has been severely limited. In many policies, this coverage is less than thirty days hospitalized care over a lifetime. Hospitals now employ their own utilization review managers to negotiate additional days stay with third party payers for needed care. After discharge, insurance companies and county mental health departments may refuse to reimburse hospitals if the severity of illness is not adequately documented.
This would be true even if the proceeding and succeeding days warranted care. For example is the following was noted upon documentation: Patient attempted to hurt self on Monday, Patient smiling and laughing on Tuesday. Patient depressed talking about ways to hurt self on Wednesday. The result is that the insurance company denies care for Tuesday. This example is not far fetched. Care for an outpatient therapist is similarly limited. In addition, in many cases the co-pay cost for such visits has doubled. It has become very difficult financially to seek and obtain help unless you are truly suicidal.
This is the reality, at least ten percent of the population suffers from Major Depression and combined with over diagnosis such as bipolar and schizophrenia that percentage grows. Every one reading this blog post knows someone who requires mental healthcare. No one can predict when he or she may need such help anymore than one may predict a car accident. Trauma in one’s life frequently triggers the need for such care. However, to the opponents of health care reform mental health services are “exotic.”
Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum has written this on Townhall.org:
“Instead of allowing insurance to compete by offering different benefit packages, the Democrats are considering insurance mandates to cover exotic benefits that individuals may not want to buy, such as in-vitro fertilization, hair transplants, rehab services, hearing aids, sex-change operations, prescription drugs, abortions, mental health and substance-abuse programs.”
Wow! That’s fair lumping prescription drugs, mental health care and rehab services with hair transplants. As for including in-vitro fertilization, sex change operations and abortion it’s obvious that Ms. Schlafly does not understand mental health, and wishes to employ the emotional pull associated with these issues to confuse and distort.
Health care is not an ala carte proposition such as including towing and rental coverage with automobile insurance. Those who view healthcare as a business rather than as a right continue to look at providing for one’s most basic needs as a luxury. No one who purchases health insurance has the understanding that he or she may not get the best care available when needed. Many find out that this is true, as their policy has been rescinded far too late due to an inadvertent omission unrelated to the care they have been scheduled to receive.
Let us have an honest debate. I repeat you cannot predict when one may require mental health services any more than one can predict a fractured bone. It would be foolish not to have mental health services included in any meaningful discussion of health care reform.
However, the distortion continues.
On August 4 of this year Thomas Sowell writing for the National Review Online wrote the following:
But politicians in the business of distributing largesse — especially with someone else’s money — cannot resist the temptation to pass laws adding things to insurance coverage. Many of those who are pushing for more government involvement in medical care are already talking about extending insurance coverage to “mental health” — which is to say, giving shrinks and hypochondriacs a blank check drawn on the federal treasury.
Given the publication date of August 4, 2009, most likely Mr Sowell finished this piece on August 3, 2004
August 3 was the anniversary of the famous General Patton face slapping of a young shell-shocked soldier in Italy. Shell shock is the condition that we now call Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD), many of our returning troops that Mr. Sowell and his ilk proudly claim to support suffer from such disorders. Alternatively, is providing mental health coverage really just an excuse for “giving shrinks and hypochondriacs a blank check drawn on the federal treasury.”
How is that for Synchronicity?
After 66 years to the day, this is how far conservatives have advanced in the understanding of people whom they claim to represent!