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House Passes Health Care Reform Legislation with Licensed Professional Counselor Provision
On November 7, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an historic health insurance reform bill--H.R. 3962, the "Affordable Health Care for America Act"--including language establishing Medicare coverage of licensed professional counselors for the provision of medically-necessary outpatient mental health services. The Medicare coverage provision, which also applies to marriage and family therapists, is included in Section 1308 of the bill. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), H.R. 3962 would reduce the federal deficit by $109 billion over the next ten years, and would expand coverage to 96% of Americans. The legislation was passed by a vote of 220-215.
ACA applauds the House of Representatives for passing this legislation. ACA has long sought to establish Medicare coverage of counselors' services, and has consistently supported expanding health insurance coverage. Counselors can identify their Representative at the House of Representatives website at
The Senate is working toward a vote on health insurance legislation. Unfortunately, the legislation approved by the Senate Finance Committee does not include Medicare coverage of counselors.
Counselors are encouraged to contact their Senators to remind them that the Senate approved Medicare coverage of counselors in both 2003 and 2005, and ask them to work to include the counselor coverage language as part of health care legislation this year. Medicare beneficiaries need better access to outpatient mental health services, and deserve the same choice of provider currently enjoyed by those with private health insurance. Constituent contacts are likely to make the difference between success and failure on this issue!
For more information or for questions, contact: Scott Barstow, Director of Public Policy and Legislation at 703.823.9800 x234 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign of the Times: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Today in America 2.4 million grandparents are raising 4.5 million children, a statistic that has been rising steadily since the Census Bureau first collected grandparents as primary caregiver data in 2000. One-third of these caregivers live in "skipped generation" households where neither parent of the grandchild is present. This trend has spawned a number of information and support groups for grandparent-headed families. Counselors may benefit from using or sharing the American Association of Retired Persons and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy resources that follow:
Relevant Research: Lack of Sleep Affects Health and Mental Health
Despite being associated with numerous physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and mortality, sleep deprivation by Americans is growing as a public health problem. According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one-third of adults say they are getting enough sleep every night. Some 50 million to 70 million American adults suffer from sleep and wakefulness disorders, factors that are being associated with mental distress, depression, anxiety, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and certain risk behaviors including cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, and heavy drinking.
Conference Clipping: 39 Topics on Pittsburgh Pre-conference Learning Institute Agenda
ACA Adopts Sixth Edition Style of APA Manual
Beginning with the March 2010 issues of ACA-published journals currently in production, ACA is editing in accordance with the Sixth Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, published in July 2009. Therefore, ACA Publications requests that authors follow the style guidelines in this new edition of the APA Manual with all current and future article submissions.
To facilitate this transition, the new Manual has helpful bulleted lists and summaries highlighting the areas of change. There is also a new website that provides supportive opportunities to learn and review the new changes, including a summary of what's new in the Sixth Edition:
Reliable Resource: New Website Offers College Information and Assistance to Veterans
During this month when America celebrates the contributions and service of the men and women of the nation's military, ACAeNews is pleased to report that the American Council on Education (ACE) has created a new website to aid veterans in learning about the new educational benefits and assist them in navigating the college selection and application process. The site has been underwritten by the Lumina Foundation for Education/
ACA/ARC Foundations of Disaster Mental Health Pittsburgh Training Class Full
The ACA and American Red Cross Foundations of Disaster Mental Health Training class scheduled for the 2010 ACA Conference & Exposition in Pittsburgh is completely filled and registration is closed. Members interested in participating in this free class in their community or region should contact the local chapter of the Red Cross by going to
Fast Fact: Unemployed Outnumber Openings Over 6 to 1
According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 6.1 unemployed Americans for every position opening. At the outset of the recession in December 2007, that figure was 1.7
ACA Student Ethics Case Study Competition: Register by November 29
The Sixth ACA Student Ethics Case Study Competition is accepting registrations through November 29, 2009. This popular student activity has both a Masters Degree level and a Doctoral Degree level competition and is open to teams of students in counselor education nationwide.
This is a case study competition in which university counselor education teams analyze a hypothetical ethics case in order to create an appropriate ethical decision and a plan to respond to that decision. Teams of three or four students participate in either a Masters or Doctoral level competition. There will be four winning teams at each level. First place winners will win a $75 gift certificate to the ACA Bookstore for each team member and a certificate along with a letter of recognition. For second place, each team member will receive a $25 gift certificate to the ACA Bookstore, a certificate and letter of recognition. Third place winners will receive a letter of recognition and certificate and all participating programs will receive a letter of recognition. There will also be an "Honorable Mention" given to the fourth place winner. The competition is limited to one team per institution.
Winning entries - along with the winning team members and institutions - will be highlighted in Counseling Today and at the ACA Conference. Visit
JHCEAD Proposals for Social Justice Counseling, Education, and Advocacy Special Issue Due December 15th
The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development (JHCEAD) has announced a call for proposals for a special issue scheduled for Spring 2011, entitled "Social Justice Counseling, Education, and Advocacy." Michael D'Andrea has agreed to serve as the guest editor for this project, and the JHCEAD Editorial Board and Collette T. Dollarhide, Editor, will work with Dr. D'Andrea in the final selection of accepted manuscripts.
The special issue calendar follows: Deadline for Proposals/Abstracts (December 15, 2009), Decision on Selected Proposals (December 30 to Jan 15, 2010), Deadline for First Draft of Manuscripts (March 1, 2010), Decision on Selected Manuscripts (May 1, 2010), Deadline for Second Draft (July 1, 2010), and Final Decision on Manuscripts (August 30, 2010).
In addition to proposals, JHCEAD is interested in hearing from anyone who would like to serve as an ad-hoc reviewer for this issue. To submit a proposal or volunteer to serve as a reviewer for this special issue, direct an email to both Dr. D'Andrea and Dr. Dollarhide at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocacy Matters: Prepare Now for Counseling Awareness Month April 2010
Counseling Awareness Month is observed every year during the month of April. ACA has created a comprehensive guide to help you observe the month. Tips such as how to obtain official observance proclamations and interacting with print and electronic media are included to help call attention to counseling services. It's our month---start the planning now and pull out the stops in making it a success!
Calendar: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month and ID, ND, & NC Conferences
November is American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month - An observance fact sheet and related information can be found
January 21-23, 2010
February 1-3, 2010
February 17-19, 2010
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ACAeNews is published 24 times annually by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members across the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service, activity, or listing of a website in ACAeNews does not imply endorsement by ACA. Any views and opinions are those of the sponsoring organization and may or may not be shared by ACA.
Direct comments, questions, and submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness, and relevance to the readership and may be edited.
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Copyright 2009, American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703-823-9800. Email: email@example.com. Permission is hereby granted to reproduce anything contained in this newsletter as long as the American Counseling Association is identified as the original source of the information.
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