December 24, 2009

APA Statement on Senate Passage of Health Care Reform Legislation

The American Psychological Association commends the U.S. Senate for its historic passage of legislation that holds the promise of more comprehensive coverage for Americans with health insurance and provides new options for those without.

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Psychological Association commends the U.S. Senate for its historic passage of legislation that holds the promise of more comprehensive coverage for Americans with health insurance and provides new options for those without. 

We are pleased that the amended Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is consistent with our association's principles for comprehensive health reform, and that the bill includes:

  • mental health and substance abuse services in all benefits plans, with coverage that is equal to physical health care

  • integration of psychological services with primary care

  • supports the training of psychologists

  • increased comparative effectiveness research, which compares treatments and strategies to help health care professionals and patients decide on the best treatment

  • initiatives to eliminate health disparities

  • the promotion of prevention and wellness, and

  • an extension of vital Medicare reimbursement for psychotherapy

The inclusion of these key areas recognizes what APA has long contended—the mind and body are inextricably linked. Psychologists provide vital mental and behavioral health services as part of primary and chronic care management. We are pleased that the Senate acknowledges the importance of the science and practice of psychology and its role in the health and well-being of Americans.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 150,000 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 psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.