The Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons

[Content Note: Disablism; violence; guns.]

Today, the Obama administration will "complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment."

Terrific! That is excellent news!

Less terrific is the justification the administration is offering for enacting this basic right for people with mental illness, because it's apparently not enough to straightforwardly say that parity in physical and mental health ends a contemptible bit of discrimination:
The rules, which will apply to almost all forms of insurance, will have far-reaching consequences for many Americans. In the White House, the regulations are also seen as critical to President Obama's program for curbing gun violence by addressing an issue on which there is bipartisan agreement: Making treatment more available to those with mental illness could reduce killings, including mass murders.

In issuing the regulations, senior officials said, the administration will have acted on all 23 executive actions that the president and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced early this year to reduce gun crimes after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.
Wow. Here is some long-awaited access to mental health care—and a heaping dose of demonization to go along with it!

People with mental illness are much more likely to be victimized by violence than be perpetrators of violence. And yet here we are again, conflating people with mental illness with "mass murders."

Related Reading:

In Pursuit of Doing Something Meaningful.

An Observation About Mental Illness.

Today in Terrible Ideas.

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