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posted: 11/13/2013 4:40 AM

Why 'affordable' health law isn't

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Why 'affordable' health law isn't

Are you wondering why the "Affordable" Care Act is turning out to be so unaffordable? Perhaps if you look at the recent "equality" regulations on mental health coverage you will begin to understand the federal government's expansive role at your expense.

Mental health coverage is being extended to 62 million Americans who previously lacked coverage. Uncle Sam has expanded the definition of mental health to include an estimated one in four Americans who experience mental illness or substance abuse.

One of the reasons for all the insurance policy cancellations is that ACA requires individual and small-group plans include the expanded mental health coverage. Insurers sometimes did not include coverage for facilities such as psychiatric day programs and stays in rehabilitation centers.

For "equality" the government now says if a plan offers intermediate care for medical problems, coverage must now include mental-health and substance-abuse treatment centers. New regulations say patients, families and doctors can demand to see reasons for denying coverage for treatment or admission and appeal for coverage.

While ACA is expanding coverage, Medicare will continue to impose a lifetime limit of 190 days of inpatient psychiatric care, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Why the inconsistency even though Health and Human Services' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is involved in the administration of both programs?

Do we really need to cast such a large "safety net" with ACA to catch one in four Americans? Given the crackpots running the federal government, I hope the net is first cast in Washington D.C. After treatment they may be clearheaded enough to understand the enormous cost of their out of control regulations.

Mike Tennis

Sleepy Hollow

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