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We Need to “Disarm” Insurance Companies!

The true culprit.

We have heard and read “ad nauseum” about gun control, mental health, parenting, who is responsible for such tragedies as the Newtown, CT shootings, blame, blame, blame.  This is insanity.  Video games,  The NRA,  The Mental Health System, bad parents.  I am sure we are overlooking the true culprits for such a crime!

We live in a world where both parents normally must work to keep their family’s heads above water.  This, of course, limits parenting time.  Kids (mostly boys) play video games.  Is this a “babysitter” anymore than television was years ago?  I can’t say, but I do think parents that work would rather their kids home playing these games much more than out on the streets doing who knows what.  That being said, I’m not condoning it or condemning it, but its a reality.

Now, kids that do engage in such activity, are virtually socializing with others.  Let’s be real here.  They are not playing stick ball, or hide-and-seek with neighbors.  They are online playing now.  Interacting with God knows who.  Blowing away enemies or whatever else they do in these games….missing out on true relationships that help them learn who they are by human reflection.

With me so far?

Okay.  Without saying or speculating why more children today need medication or counseling, let’s assume a child needs such health care.  Is it readily available?  Can you afford it, or will your insurance cover it?  In most cases….no.  Why?

I’m here to tell you and educate you.  Insurance company’s coverage and policies are dictated by stockholders.  Stockholders want to make money.  They truly have absolutely no interest in helping people get better.  Think about this.  What do you think the CEO of any insurance company does all day?  I can tell you that they are either trying to reduce care or limit sessions.

Because of this greed, there is little in the way of benefits that adequately cover care that is needed for very emotionally sick people.  Treatment has become dictated by paraprofessionals, or under-skilled clinicians with the right degrees, but no experience or true skills and know-how to care for people.  Let’s face it, if you are a good Clinician, you will be busy.  If you’re not, you will look for any job you can get.

There are also psychiatrists, doctors, and psychologists who are hired by insurance companies, and Federal Disability Agencies to conduct second opinion reviews of those their real therapists or doctors deem deserving of such coverage.  Now, do you think a hired gun clinician who is paid well by such entities would ever agree with the primary care provider who truly knows their patient?  How in the world can they say “Yay” or “Nay” to a person after 45 (at best!) minutes when their true clinician has been with them for years in most cases?

A quick story from my personal experience.

I was seeing a court-mandated client who had been threatening to kill his ex-wife.  He was stalking her and their children, had a history of domestic violence, child abuse, and drug dependence.  His insurance company authorized 12 sessions per year for mental health services.  Really?  Twelve sessions per year for a psychopathic, predatory, drug-dependent abuser!  Wow!  I’m a good, even great therapist, but not that good!

This is the state of mental health services in America today.

Most insurance companies are limiting mental services.  They hire has been or ineffective therapists to challenge the real therapists to make these clinical reviews in order to justify continued treatment.  Are they serious?  Well, if you can’t be a good therapist, I guess you need work being you are ineffective as a helper.

When the bean counters reach a certain number of sessions a client has been seen, the ties at the insurance companies say “call the provider”. Why aren’t they better yet? Herein lies the problem.

My up-coming book will discuss this in great detail, but friends, let me tell you, insurance companies are “organized criminals”.  If children need help to stop them from brandishing guns and slaughtering 6 year olds, there is very little help if any at all. Insurance companies do not believe in long-term care anymore, and think medication should help make people better.

If you have no insurance and are seeing a therapist on a charity-care or reduced fee basis, you are seeing an under-qualified, paperwork-ridden cog in the wheel that has a caseload too high to effectively manage.  No offense to them, but any clinician worth their weight, has paid their dues and needs to make a decent living which insurance companies do not agree with.  They are only concerned with the bottom line and making the stockholders happy.  Very, very sad and very, very tragic!

This issue is what we need to address.  Stop already with gun control,  video games, teachers, and getting mental health care, until there is mental health care to be had!

Obamacare will not solve this problem.  Any government-issued payment to healthcare providers is a mere pittance.  They will also require much more paperwork than imagined!  Thus…less time for patient care.  Red tape and regulations!  It just will not work  If your children need help, they need people to help them.  This is the reason why healthcare providers have resisted Obamacare!

Forget the NRA!  Contact your senators about healthcare.  Their “organized crime” must be stopped.  Perhaps then proper and thorough mental health services will be effective!  You cannot cure a serial killer 12 sessions a year!

Leo Battenhausen, MSW, LCADC, is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.