When Obamacare goes into full affect in 2014, about 32 million Americans will finally have access to substance abuse and mental health treatments (video below).
Mental health and drug abuse treatment falls under the “Essential Health Benefit” section in Obamacare, reports the Associated Press.
“If they get into recovery and they’re taking care of everything as far as their health is concerned, then we’ll see less emergency room visits for just regular things, because substance abusers also have health care needs,” said a spokesperson for the Access Community Health Network..
Some health providers fear that this new feature of Obamacare will overwhelm the American health care system, however, some equity firms are already investing in health care systems.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 3.9 million individually insured people do not have access to drug rehab or mental health care, 1.2 million people insured under small group health insurance plans lack access to drug abuse and mental health care and 27 million Americans who have no insurance coverage at all.
"There is no illness currently being treated that will be more affected by the Affordable Care Act than addiction," predicted Tom McLellan, CEO of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute. "That's because we have a system of treatment that was built for a time when they didn't understand that addiction was an illness."
“This is probably the most profound change we’ve had in drug policy ever,” said Michael Botticelli, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. “We know one of the most significant reasons for the treatment gap is folks who don’t have insurance or who have an inadequate coverage package for substance use disorders.”