A bill proposing revisions to the nation’s tax structure is now in the Senate. That measure contains a provision that would negatively affect the clients professional counselors serve, in terms of their access to early intervention, preventative care, and affordable insurance and mental health care costs. Ultimately, that provision would affect the ability of clients and prospective clients to see professional counselors and to obtain mental health care.
The House of Representatives has already voted on a tax plan of its own, but that measure did not include any change to the current health care law.
What does this mean?
The Senate tax reform bill contains a repeal of the “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate, which requires that almost all Americans have health insurance or pay a fine, brings more people into the insurance marketplace, resulting in better costs and coverage for early intervention, preventative, and ongoing health care, including care for mental health.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated this repeal would result in 4 million people losing health insurance coverage in 2018—and 13 million losing coverage by 2027—as well as premium increases of 10% per year in the individual marketplaces.
To learn what the American Counseling Association is doing for professional counselors and their clients on this measure—and what you can do, read more here.