Pubdate: Sun, 15 Jul 2007
Source: Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC)
Copyright: 2007 Daily Reflector
Author: David Ames


Thanks for the great editorial on July 6, "Sound minds -- Mental 
health gains focus in N.C."

When it comes to health insurance benefits for individuals suffering 
from mental illness and addictions, it's been a long and arduous 
fight to reverse discriminatory practices. Only slowly has society 
come to accept these conditions as medical disorders involving 
malfunction of the brain in the same way as diabetes involves 
malfunction of the pancreas. It is unfortunate that addictive 
disorders were excluded from coverage by the Legislature.

We know now that individuals are predisposed to addiction due largely 
to the genes they inherit and that the development of the disorder is 
due to changes in the brain. Numerous studies have shown that the 
added costs for insurance coverage are minimal.

We have little to lose and everything to gain by promoting treatment. 
Treatment results in saved lives and huge savings in other medical 
and social expenses. Hopefully we will not have to wait another 15 
years to see an end to discriminatory health insurance based on the 
patient's diagnosis.


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