Buttigieg pledges to direct $10B to mental health annually

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg released a mental health plan Aug. 23 that includes a 10-year, $100 billion grant program to fund community-based mental health services and innovation.

With the grant program and other actions, Mr. Buttigieg pledged to prevent 1 million "deaths of despair" by 2028. He categorizes deaths of despair as those related to drugs, alcohol or suicide. "Our healthcare system is so broken — and our approach to mental health and addiction care so fragmented and often punitive — that less than one in five people with a substance use disorder and two of every five people with a mental illness receive treatment," his website says.

His mental health plan includes enforcing parity for mental health and addiction treatment coverage across payers, meaning health insurance companies must offer mental health benefits comparable to physical health benefits, and requiring coverage for a free annual mental health checkup. Mr. Buttigieg's plan would expand programs to encourage more physicians to work in rural and underserved areas and expand residencies for mental health providers. He would also work to make opioid overdose reversal drugs universally available.

Read the full plan here.


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