Love it or hate it, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), widely known to many as “Obamacare,” was upheld by the Supreme Court in a history-making ruling. In recent history, there has been little legislation that has garnered such mixed reviews. Americans seem to either think the legislation is groundbreaking or they despise it, but there is one thing for certain: Few people hold no opinion about the issue. This is most likely because it is a rare piece of legislation that directly affects every individual in the country; however, Obamacare is just such a law.
Untreated Addiction Costs Taxpayers an Untold Number of Dollars
Will you lose money or gain healthcare services with the new legislation? The answer to this question seems to define whether or not people are for or against the new rules of healthcare. One group that may benefit monetarily, physically, emotionally and, some would say, spiritually are those suffering from addiction. Historically, this community has been misunderstood, shoved aside, belittled, and jailed by a society that viewed them as either weak, morally corrupt, or both. However, Obamacare legislation works to change this view of addiction and individuals struggling with it, by making mental health and addiction issues equal to physical health problems by providing the same insurance coverage for each.
Currently, it is estimated that 40 million Americans have some form of addiction, however, only 10 percent get any treatment for the problem. Untreated addiction creates many issues that taxpayers must make up for, including extra costs for law enforcement, court systems, and prisons.
The Positive Impacts ‘Obamacare’ Will Have for Individuals With an Addiction
The legislation, as it is currently written, stands to have the following effects for those struggling with an addiction:
- Mental health and addiction parity. In other words, Obamacare will attempt to make insurance providers cover addiction and other mental health issues comparably to physical ailments.
- Coverage through age 26. Mandating that children be allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 is important for addiction treatment. As the vast majority of addictions develop in the teen and young adult years, so having healthcare during this time can allow young adults to get intervention and treatment they otherwise might not be able to afford.
- No restrictions on prior health conditions. Individuals with pre-existing conditions are exactly the people who need healthcare coverage, so they can receive care and prevent further damage from occurring. In the past, this has been an obstacle for individuals seeking treatment for addiction.
- Supports prevention. It is said that prevention is the best medicine. Obamacare backs the use of preventative measures such as SBIRT, which has been shown to reduce and prevent substance abuse problems. It also provides coverage for early intervention and treatment for addiction.
What are your thoughts about Obamacare’s support of addiction prevention and treatment? Tell us below.