Oct 16, 2011

Health Care Coverage Goes Down; Psychiatric Disability Goes Up

     From a press release issued by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health:
The prevalence of self-reported mental health disabilities increased in the U.S. among non-elderly adults during the last decade, according to a study by Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At the same time, the study found the prevalence of disability attributed to other chronic conditions decreased, while the prevalence of significant mental distress remained unchanged. The findings will appear in the November edition of the American Journal of Public Health.
For the study, Mojtabai reviewed data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey covering 312,364 adults ages 18 to 64 years. He found that the prevalence of self-reported mental health disability increased from 2.0 percent of the non-elderly adult population from 1997 to 1999 to 2.7 percent from 2007 to 2009. According to Mojtabai, the increase equates to nearly 2 million disabled adults. He also noted the increase in the prevalence of mental health disability was mainly among individuals with significant psychological distress who did not use mental health services in the past year. Findings showed that 3.2 percent of participants reported not receiving mental health care for financial reasons between 2007 and 2009, compared to 2.0 percent from 1997 to 1999.
     Beginning in 2014 when the Affordable Care Act fully kicks in, if the Supreme Court does not strike it down and if Republicans cannot find a way to kill it, almost all Americans will have health care coverage and this rate of psychiatric disability should decrease. If you are concerned about the number of people going on Social Security disability, you ought to be concerned about the state of health care in this country because they are directly related.


Anonymous said...

Reminds me mostly of the old story: There was one attorney in a town aqnd he was near starvation with no business, another attorney moved in town and they both prospered. Substitute psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health counselor, ..., for the same result -- now paid with goverment money.

Anonymous said...

"Beginning in 2014 when the Affordable Care Act fully kicks in, if the Supreme Court does not strike it down and if Republicans cannot find a way to kill it,"

We can only hope one or the other happens. Barry is running all over the country to stir up votes for his "jobs" bill and that health plan is the biggest jobs killer going.

Cheryl said...

I suppose the previous two posters believe that it is better to save a few cents by not providing health care, than to receive years of tax revenue from people capable of working.

Most people want to be self sufficient contributors to society. The investment in the health of our citizens is well worth the cost.

Anonymous said...

(First Poster) I wish that I could have your _faith_ in mental health providers and their ability to provide lasting "cures".

"Most people" does not include many abusers of alcohol/drugs, who only are seeking a more economical version of their adopted "lifestyle" -- including Methadone, with or without supplemental street drugs, or to be sold on the street for purchase of other abusable drugs.

For psychotics and seriously mentally ill, there are drugs to calm them down, let them live in a daze, and littel more than Mother Nature taking time.
For the run of mill, depressed, etc., there are presribed happy pills and provide a long term employment program allowing various type of counselors to chat with the people over the years and years and years ... and never discharge anyone as long as the money is flowing and there is some for of attendance at the clinic. Usually, the counselors have as messed up lives as the counselee, and frequently seeing their are own counselor.

At root, ignoring what in past ages was called sin and guilty conscience in messed up families and personal lives, what we call "mental health treatment" has little or no more validity (or true evidence of lasting cures) than Scientology, faith healers, diluted homeopathy, or staking rattels and dancing round practicioners. IMHO ...