Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy said President Obama “ought to issue an executive order on himself, because you see, the president of the United States is ignoring his own law” relating to mental health care.
Kennedy appeared on “MSNBC Live with José Díaz-Balart” on Wednesday.
“I don’t think anyone wants someone who is a violent person getting a gun. But to ascribe violence to the whole mental health community really does a disservice to the whole issue of destigmatizing a mental illness.”
“We can’t expect people to go get the help that they need if they know that they’re going to be pariahs in society and that government somehow is going to examine their medical records.”
“This is just a frightening thought,” Kennedy said. “I think the president means well when he says he wants to give extra money, $500 million, by the way, is contingent upon Congress. But I think the president, if he really cared about mental health coverage and making sure those with mental illness weren’t left out in the community without treatment, he ought to issue an executive order on himself, because you see, the president of the United States is ignoring his own law. The parity law that he voted for and is part of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] is going unenforced.”
“Insurance companies routinely deny those with mental illness any coverage. And the president is letting insurance companies off the hook,” Kennedy claimed. “Just like he’s letting these gun show dealers off the hook, hopefully now not anymore that he’s going to now put some additional enforcement in place. But if he’s going to put additional enforcement in closing the ‘gun show loophole,’ why isn’t he putting additional enforcement to closing the loophole that allows insurance companies to deny those with mental illness the care that they so desperately need? So I think the president needs to be consistent here.”