WASHINGTON -- Following is the statement of Antonio E. Puente, PhD, president of the American Psychological Association, in response to the president’s executive order to allow trade associations and other groups to offer their own health plans, threatening to destabilize the Affordable Care Act markets.

“We are in the midst of a public health crisis, in which 91 Americans a day are dying from an opioid overdose. This executive order, encouraging association health plans to pick and choose the services they cover, won’t help those who desperately need mental health, substance use and other critical services, and instead will upend the health insurance market. Before the Affordable Care Act, more than one-third of individual market health plans chose not to cover mental health services, and nearly half chose not to cover substance use treatment.  

“Today, health plans are competing on how efficiently and effectively they provide care, but the president’s executive order, if carried out, would take us backward by letting plans once again compete on how few services they cover and ignore state health insurance protections. We are deeply disappointed that the administration is continuing to try to dismantle our health care system, instead of trying to increase enrollment and stabilize insurance markets.”

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.


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