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Coverage of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Under a Single-Payer Health Care System
Ellen R. Shaffer; Andrew J. Cutler; Paul D. Wellstone
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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Office of Senator

717 Hart Building, Washington, D. C. 20510

University of Chicago

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Health care reform proposals based on a single-payer system of health care insurance were introduced in the U. S. Congress in 1992 and 1993 but were superseded by the Clinton Administration's health care reform proposal, which was based on managed competition. in a single-payer system, the government collcts all health care funding and pays private-and publicsector providers; similar providers are paid the same rate. Other features include consumer choice of providers, distribution of risk of high utilization over the entire nation, and control of health care expenses via an annual national health care budget. Such proposals cover outpatient, inpatient, and long-term care and case management services for mental illness and substance abuse disorders, call for periodic utilization review of continuing mental health care, and eliminate the distinction between public and private services based on limits of coverage. The last provision particularly affects severely or chronically mentally ill persons who are likely to exhaust their private insurance coverage.

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