As I listen to the news regarding the proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act, I ask myself how some in Congress could so casually request to remove mental health care coverage from the plan. As a firm believer in the connection between body and mind and spirit, as well as the importance of looking at one’s emotional and mental health first before one can understand the reasons for the physical manifestation of illness, I have never understood the insurance industry’s separation of the mind from the rest of the body.
Most medical professionals would agree there is some correlation between our mental health and our physical health. Therefore, it leaves me bewildered to think of how we can have a health care plan that does not cover the mind. It is like saying, “We are going to give you coverage for everything but your left foot,” to which any reasonable person would ask, “But why not my left foot?”
How are our brains not part of our physical bodies? How can we provide health care but not cover the brain? I gave the example recently of Adam Lambert, who gunned down 20 children at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lambert may have been “healthy” enough to run a 10K race, but it was the state of his brain that led to the insane thoughts that brought him to wipe out the hopes and dreams of 20 families the week of Christmas. (Those families are now watching Congress vote to remove the mental health safety guards currently in place before one can purchase a gun.)
I can only hope that the emotional health of American citizens can include our ability to get help when we need care for our emotional and mental health. Why some in Congress would think it is OK to not cover what can often be the most important part of our health leaves us at risk for more untreated cases of illness, and possibly, more cases like Sandy Hook, which cost our American citizens a lot more in additional emotional health issues in comparison to what it would cost an insurance company to cover all of the parts of our bodies that need healing.