Mental Health Awareness in December

A Light Month, Awareness-wise

So let’s take a look at what our
recently elected politicians have in store for healthcare

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Mental Health Awareness series

It takes one person to make a difference —
just think of what thousands can do.

~ Psychology Today 2016 Awareness Calendar

For your blogging calendars

Each year is peppered with a great many special dates dedicated to raising awareness about important emotional, physical and psychological health issues.

In addition to a calendar for the current month, each Awareness post usually offers a list highlighting important days and weeks that impact mental health, along with those that remain in place for the entire month.

In December, the only thing I could find remotely related was this:

National Aplastic Anemia Awareness Week — 
December 1-7
Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation

If I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comments below so that I can add it to the list.

Attention Bloggers: As always, if you write (or have written) an article that adds content to this post, feel free to leave a link in the comment section and I will move it into its appropriate category.

The Challenge Ahead
for Mental Health

Reblogged from Mental Health America

By: Paul Gionfriddo, MHA president and CEO
November 15, 2016

Reforming Obamacare

To contain costs, President-Elect Donald Trump has suggested replacing Obamacare with a package of benefits that might include:

  • Permitting Insurance to be sold across state lines
  • Retention of the mandate covering pre-existing conditions
  • Allowing young people to remain on parents’ insurance
  • Creating high-risk pools to provide insurance to people with chronic diseases
  • Using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as an alternative to tax credits
  • Expanding the use of high-deductible plans to lower premium costs

Several of the provisions could affect people with mental health concerns more than others. Let’s consider some of the challenges the President-Elect and Congress will face as they craft these – and other – possible changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Covering Pre-Existing Conditions

Trump has been clear that he would retain this provision. It is a lifeline for people with all chronic diseases and conditions. However, these conditions are often expensive to cover.

Unless you mix them in a plan that captures healthier people, too, costs will rise no matter what else you do.

Allowing Children to Remain on Parents’ Insurance
Until Age 26

Trump also favors this. It’s very important to families, because so many serious mental health concerns begin during childhood.

Here’s the challenge. What is life-saving for young people with serious health conditions is a provision that also keeps healthy, younger people out of the exchanges. That has helped to drive up the costs of the plans in the exchanges.

If you can’t figure out how to get healthy young people into the exchanges, you make insurance more expensive for everyone else.

Setting Up High-Risk Pools

Trump has also suggested that new high-risk pools could be the answer for people with chronic diseases who need insurance.

We had a high-risk pool in Connecticut when I was a state legislator in the 1970s and 1980s. It was expensive, and the only people who chose to be in it were the ones who absolutely knew that the insurance would pay out more than the premiums cost.

Unless these risk pools are heavily subsidized and include some incentive for healthier people to join them, they probably won’t work.

Expanding the Use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Coupled with High-Deductible Plans

Trump has suggested coupling HSAs with the use of more high-deductible plans to lower costs. In “exchange speak,” think more bronze plans. Here’s the way this might work.

Assume that a single male with high healthcare costs who makes $50,000 per year buys a plan with a $10,000 deductible and pays $250 per month for the insurance.

To use an HSA to cover those costs, he would deposit $13,000 into his HSA to cover the premium and the deductible. That would reduce his taxable income to $37,000.

If he is in the 15% tax bracket, at the end of the year he would get back 15% of the $13,000 he deposited into his HSA, or $1,950.

Spending one-quarter of his income on health care to get back $1,950 would not make him feel too good about that high-deductible plan, and he would probably go uninsured.

Rolling Back Medicaid Expansion
and Converting Medicaid to a Block Grant

Any debate about ACA change will include at least some discussion about rolling back the Medicaid expansion. This expansion has been a huge benefit to adults with serious mental illnesses.

Most states expanded Medicaid, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, and Arizona. The federal government is covering more than 90 percent of that cost.

Trump has said that he does not want to roll back entitlements. Neither would the voters in these states.

Trump has also suggested converting Medicaid to a block grant. This could be done, because the Medicaid program is in reality fifty different state programs.

But the question would boil down to this.  Would the federal government provide the full share of Medicaid payments to states in the block grant, or withhold a few percent, as it did with past block grants?

Withholding even 5 percent of $550+ billion Medicaid dollars would have an enormous impact on state budgets and people in need.

The Challenge Ahead

The goal of ACA was to get more people insured, using the health care financing system that was already in place. The challenge ahead will be to keep them insured if ACA is changed.

Probably the best way to do this –  Medicare for all – won’t happen anytime soon. But if the new President and Congress don’t walk a tightrope in making their changes, single-payer may come along a whole lot sooner than anyone imagines.

More ABOUT Mental Health America

Final thoughts from mgh:

I doubt that anyone who reads remains complacent about the impact of the projected to changes to the health care system in this country, regardless of your feelings about the diluted bi-partisan plan that was put in place and blamed on Obama.

However, most of us run into selfish individuals who don’t think very deeply about issues concerning anyone but themselves.

This CONCERNS them!

  • When health-care funding goes down, health-care jobs disappear.
  • When health-care jobs disappear, the competition for jobs in other sectors goes UP.
  • When preventative care is too expensive for the bottom 40% of the country, they don’t go to the doctor until the situation is advanced: the most expensive option by far.
  • Millions of Americans still won’t be able to afford doctors fees so they will flood hospital EMERGENCY rooms.
  • When insufficiently staffed Emergency Rooms aren’t be able to handle the influx of patients, ALL emergency care suffers as Emergency Room doctors burn out.  The number of physicians willing to enter this specialty is likely to decrease as well.
  • Hospital rooms will be filled with people who would NOT have ended up in the hospital with adequate, affordable preventive care insurance.
  • What if they themselves need a room when the hospital is full?  What if someone they love ends up in a bed in a hallway or dies on a waiting list as a result of America’s inadequate health care policies?

We ALL have a stake in what happens to health care in America,
and we ALL need to Sing Out Louise!
(as they say in the theatre).

Blog about it, talk about it, counteract the arguments of the intractably ignorant and selfish,
and write your elected representatives NOW – before it is too late.

© 2016, all rights reserved
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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on
(in case you missed them above or below)

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

8 Responses to Mental Health Awareness in December

  1. Pingback: Consequences of the Race to Erase | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Pingback: THANKS to all who read & commented on My Birthday Prayer | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. tmezpoetry says:

    Thanks for the more detailed information regarding healthcare. There are definitely so many challenges with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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