ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today issued the following statement from APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., in response to today’s Senate vote to proceed with debate on repealing the ACA:
“We are disappointed that the Senate voted to continue on the path of ACA repeal. If they continue, Congress will effectively take health care away from millions of Americans. I am particularly troubled by provisions of proposed replacement bills that would allow states to opt out of including mental health and substance use disorders as essential health benefits. These bills would also make devastating cuts to the Medicaid program and roll back the Medicaid expansion, which has allowed 1.3 million Americans with serious mental illness and 2.8 million Americans with substance use disorders to gain coverage for the first time.
“Congressional leaders failed to involve physicians or patients as they drafted replacement bills. Instead of fixing the problems in our health care system, these measures will turn back the clock and make it impossible for millions of Americans to afford comprehensive health insurance. We need to come together to find a bipartisan solution to health care.”
The American Psychiatric Association is the oldest medical association in the country founded in 1844. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.