How Would the Third Party Candidates Bring about Mental Health Care Reform?

It’s difficult to know, judging from their campaign websites.  Jill Stein, nominee of the Green Party, promises a “mental health system that safeguards human dignity, respects individual autonomy, and protects informed consent.”  She advocates for a single payer universal health care system.

Here is how the Green Party describes the merits of the system. ” Under a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health care system, the administrative waste of private insurance corporations would be redirected to patient care. If the United States were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer plan, as in Canada and many European countries, the savings in administrative costs would be more than enough to offset the cost of additional care. Expenses for businesses currently providing coverage would be reduced, while state and local governments would pay less because they would receive reimbursement for services provided to the previously uninsured, and because public programs would cease to be the “dumping ground” for high-risk patients and those rejected by health maintenance organizations (HMOs) when they become disabled and unemployed.”

There were strong and knowledgeable advocates for “single payer” during the discussions and lobbying that led up to the Affordable Health Care Act.  Medicare is a good example of a successful single payer plan.  However, opening that battle again would require abandoning the gains of the AHCA without much likelihood that single payer legislation could pass.  Click here for the Green Party platform.

Gary Johnson, nominee of the Libertarian Party, takes the opposite position.  He favors a free market health care system, which would “get the federal government out of the health care business.”

Unfortunately, he means what he says.  Johnson would “privatize all federally funded medical research…end all regulatory powers of the Food and Drug Administration…end all coverage mandates and restrictions on health insurance… end all state mandates and regulations on medical care.”   Click here for the Libertarian Party platform.



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