From the Document: "COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] is taking a toll on the mental health of Americans and rapidly exposing the weaknesses in the way we pay for behavioral health care in this country. [...] Until the passage of the Affordable Care Act, behavioral health care was not considered an essential benefit and often not covered by health insurance policies. Even after being designated an essential benefit, behavioral health care is still frequently paid at lower rates than physical health care. Meanwhile, behavioral health centers and professionals are struggling with the massive increased need for their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. These centers have overwhelmingly shifted their business models to accommodate telehealth for clients while simultaneously struggling to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) for in-office visits. Despite these efforts, many Americans are unable to receive the treatment they need during this time. Social isolation and job loss are directly affecting individuals across the United States and increasing rates of suicide, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Nearly half (45 percent) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus. Additionally, our doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers are at an increased risk for developing mental illness, including post-traumatic stress syndrome. 'Congress must ensure that those with mental illness and substance use disorders are not left behind in this pandemic'."
Democratic Policy Committee: https://www.democrats.senate.gov/