Healthcare Business News

Other Voices

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: February 23, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

Time to remove the stigma

From Aurora, Colo., to Newtown, Mass., to the apparent suicide of country singer Mindy McCready, the issue of mental illness has become a high-profile topic. Time after time, in tragedy after tragedy, we find people who have lost hope, become severely depressed, or who have displayed significant aberrant behavior and signs of mental illness. What can be done to intervene in these circumstances before tragedy strikes? In most instances, intervention will have to come from family and close friends, and be supported though local community resources.

Repeatedly, we read news stories where people close to the latest tragedy report they were aware of clear signs of mental illness. Too often, they failed to act, acted too late or were unsuccessful in their attempts to help.

Part of the problem with getting people the help they need is the stigma associated with mental illness. The recent attention being paid to mental health offers an opportunity to move beyond negative images and stereotypes, and to put more emphasis on treating mental illness as any other medical problem.

—The Jackson (Tenn.) Sun

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What about those lower costs?

Obamacare's advocates claimed that healthcare premiums would decrease for the average American, a near impossibility given the inefficiencies associated with its anti-market bias and huge new bureaucracy.

Today, even Obamacare's most ardent supporters acknowledge that premiums will continue to increase for many Americans. A new MIT study predicts average premium increases in the range of 19% to 30% in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado.

A leading actuarial firm (Milliman) forecasts premium increases in Ohio of between 55% and 85%. And a Feb. 4 story in Politico cites a new survey that predicts premium increases of up to 169% for young, healthier individuals.

Remember, Obamacare's stated goals are to shift generational costs from old to young, and poor to middle class. Both might be admirable but are wholly at odds with Obamacare's promise to lower healthcare costs for everyone.

—Baltimore Sun

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