Intercultural Human Rights Law Review

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On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which established significant changes to health care provisions in the United States. The goal of the PPACA was to return a realistic choice, as well as the right, of health care to all Americans. The PPACA was developed to provide health care that is affordable and accessible for all individuals across the lifespan. A novel change, in comparison to previous health care reforms, was the addition of mental health and substance abuse care as a right for all stakeholders. This population has consistently been ignored in previous attempts at health care parity, therefore, the PPACA has reached a new frontier in the treatment of a population that consists of approximately 18% of the US population. This paper will analyze the history of mental health care in this country, specifically the lack thereof, as well as why mental health has been ripe for the inclusion into the services to be provided. Lastly, an analysis of the disadvantages of the PPACA in mental health and substance use will be presented, with a particular focus on providers and the implications in the state of Florida.

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