Warning! The Great Parity Hoax: Creating Mental "Wealth"
By June Parks
Reasons to Oppose Mental Health Parity
1) IT IS TOO COSTLY.
All mandates increase insurance costs, but mental health mandates have been the most costly of all. Mental health care is a staggering 150% percent to 300% greater than health care services. Michael Tanner, Director of Health and Welfare Studies at the CATO Institute says, "Mandating parity for mental health treatment amounts to a virtual blank check for the mental health industry...."
In a December 1992 study, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association documented cost increases in excess of 20% per year following mandated mental health in the state of Maryland: "The most expensive individual benefits were estimated to be substance abuse treatment services and mental health services..."
Neither government nor private industry has fared any better providing coverage for psychiatric and other mental health treatment. A 1994 article in Business Week stated, "When Xerox Corporation liberalized outpatient benefits to avoid the abuses of inpatient care, its mental-health spending soared 55 %." GTE's costs for psychiatric health insurance coverage for employees skyrocketed 67 percent in a single year.
Insurance plans that cover mental illness and do not have a lifetime limit on number of days of coverage and could end up paying for the "treatment" of a person for the rest of his life based on completely subjective psychiatric diagnoses.
2) SINCE THERE ARE NO OBJECTIVE TESTS FOR "MENTAL ILLNESS," ALL KINDS OF SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIORS ARE CONSIDERED MENTAL ILLNESSES.
The definition and treatment of a "mental disorder" is entirely subjective. The psychiatric industry unsuccessfully tries to depict itself today as a science similar to clinical medicine. Yet their efforts to establish as fact that mental health treatment is equivalent to clinical medicine, is not based on science and misleads government authorities in order to garner more funds.
Under psychiatric terminology, life has been medicalized. Recently TIME Magazine listed some 236 phobias, comprising about half of the more than 500 phobias psychiatrists give credence to and get paid to "treat." These include fear of: bathing, itching, garlic, walking, being scratched, men, Britain, peanut butter sticking to the roof of mouth, flutes, gaiety, colors, clocks, food, constipation, left-handedness, bicycles, trees, hair, nosebleeds, blushing, chins, knees, the sun, vegetables, meat, cooking, mushrooms, clouds, stepmothers, stepfathers, knowledge, hearing good news, marriage, school, justice, responsibility, church, Jews, freedom, and work.
Reportedly 50 million Americans suffer these so-called phobias at some point in their life. Additionally, adding up the total reported number of sufferers of 17 other different disorders alone, the number of Americans who are said to be "mentally ill" reached 560,950,000--more than double the population of the country!
Psychiatry's Billing Bible - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the book in which psychiatrists list and categorize mental illness. This is psychiatry's cash cow billing bible for such disorders. The new Mental Health Parity law will require businesses to cover all these so-called mental disorders, despite the serious criticism among medical professionals about the total lack of scientific merit of DSM. The DSM is the official manual from which psychiatrists bill private insurance companies and governments.
Dr. Loren R. Mosher, renowned psychiatric researcher and APA member for 35 years stated: "DSM IV is the fabrication upon which psychiatry seeks acceptance by medicine in general. Insiders know it is more a political than scientific document. To its credit it says so - although its brief apologia is rarely noted. DSM IV has become a bible and a money making best seller - its major failings not withstanding... It is the way to get paid. Diagnostic reliability is easy to attain for research projects... there are no external validating criteria for psychiatric diagnoses. There is neither a blood test nor specific anatomic lesions for any major psychiatric disorder." [emphasis added]
Psychologist Paula Caplan, who served as a consultant to some of the committees approving disorders for the DSM III Revised, writes of the process by which the manual is compiled, "I have been able to asses and monitor the truly astonishing extent to which scientific methods and evidence are disregarded as the handbook is being developed and revised."
Another psychologist attending DSM III Revised hearings said, "The low level of intellectual effort was shocking. Diagnoses were developed by majority vote on the level we would use to choose a restaurant. You feel like Italian, I feel like Chinese, so let's go to a cafeteria. Then its typed into the computer."
3) IT GIVES THE MENTAL HEALTH INDUSTRY A PROFIT DRIVEN OPPORTUNITY TO PASS OFF FRUAD AND ABUSE AS "THERAPY".
Mental Health Parity is costly to governments and taxpayers because it opens the door to even more psychiatric insurance fraud. In 1994, the U.S. Department of Justice collected $480 million dollars in fines and penalties for health care fraud. An astonishing 74.5 percent was from psychiatric health care fraud and abuse.
In September, 1998, Medicare barred 80 community mental health centers in nine states from serving the elderly and disabled after investigators found patients had been charged $600 to $700 a day for watching television and playing bingo.
Summary: People need proper medical treatment -- already available under health insurance -- which can find underlying physical problems that can often manifest as psychiatric symptoms. In this way, they can be treated without the toxic, addictive and potentially lethal psychiatric drugs and harmful treatments such as electroshock and psychosurgery. Write your Congressmen and State Representatives urging them to oppose mental health parity legislation before billions of dollars are poured into an already corrupt and obsolete mental health-care system.