PsychOdyssey Reviews Presidential Candidates’ Mental Health Plans

Election Day is here tomorrow… finally! As a service to families navigating the maelstrom of mental illness, PsychOdyssey below provides links to the mental health plans of the candidates.

Mrs. Clinton’s plan is by far the more comprehensive, although it doesn’t sufficiently address the economic context (e.g., national debt, deficit, constrained Medicaid funding) in which the Nation’s public mental health sector finds itself. Mr. Trump’s plan has no specific mental health policy details, although his healthcare plan relates heavily to the economics of healthcare insurance.

Hillary Clinton’s Mental Health Plan: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2016/08/29/hillary-clintons-comprehensive-agenda-on-mental-health/. Well written and comprehensive, evidently prepared by an analyst knowledgeable of the current issues in behavioral health. Highlights include support for integration of behavioral and physical healthcare, early intervention, suicide prevention. Supports more police training for handling mental illness. Suffers from possible contradictions between, e.g., calls for more employment supports for individuals with psychiatric disabilities and pledges to increase minimum wage to unrealistic levels for supported employment. Supports more Housing Choice (“Section 8”) vouchers for those with psychiatric disabilities. Doesn’t sufficiently address the flooding of the Medicaid system with 25% more enrollees without commensurate increase in providers especially in high-cost states like New Jersehy. Also doesn’t address need to increase Medicaid rates overall to cover certain important supports like supportive housing.

Hillary Clinton’s Caregivers Plan: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2015/11/22/caring-economy/. Interesting ideas, like enabling a stay-at-home caretaker to earn Social Security credits for retiring. Clinton’s Caregivers Plan, however, contains no provisions for caretakers of loved ones with psychiatric disabilities.

Donald Trump’s Health Plan: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/healthcare-reform.  No specific mention of mental health issues, except for need for integrated care for veterans. Focuses on the troubled economics of Obamacare and ways to increase competition of insurance providers. Also advocates increasing Medicaid block grants to the states, which would presumably improve New Jersey’s highly constrained, lowest-in-the-nation Medicaid rate structure.

Business Insider’s Comparison of the Candidates’ Health Care Plans: http://www.businessinsider.com/clinton-and-trump-on-healthcare-2016-9

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