During the lead-up to the election of US President Barack Obama, the administrative campaign was hailed as being one of the most marvelous to be conducted in the country’s history. Health care has been one of the most greatly discussed topics and most important issues for the President and his administration in recent months, with scores of people focusing their attention on changing the often inadequate and overly expensive system currently in place in the US. While the government’s efforts to address this problem have been lauded by some, others have begun to sound off about the administration’s treatment of the issue in terms of creating dialog with the public.
Principally, the matter of using what The Huffington Post refers to as “PolicySpeak” has been an offending action, as it is suggested that the real implications and consequences of important policy decisions are shrouded in language that obscures the basic points of information associated with new rules and structures. Though a website has been created to encourage discussion about the topic and to bring new information to the public in a clear and accessible way, some report that the site and other similar efforts are disconnected from the reality of basic facts, promoting confusion about the issues and ultimately leading towards a lack of public involvement in the change.
As budgets tighten despite growing numbers of those reporting experiencing mental health issues, the implications for mental health care services throughout the country may be substantial. Though many professionals remain confident in the current administration’s positive intentions to create a better, more accessible, and less expensive health care system, others are concerned that real change will fail to materialize in the place of an overabundance of empty words and a lack of public alternatives to insurance companies. The issue is sure to bring a greater number of therapists into social and political action in the times to come.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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