On March 27, the US House of Representatives approved by a voice vote with no debate a Medicare bill, HR 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. The purpose of the bill is to avoid cutting Medicare payments to physicians, and there was, and is, general agreement on both side of the aisle that the bill needed to pass.
However, tacked onto the bill was a rider which authorized $60 million to expand involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) in states that already have provision for commitments of this sort.
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment is widely advocated by organized psychiatry. Their general position is that people who are seriously “mentally ill” are often incapable of making prudent decisions, particularly with regards to the ingestion of neuroleptic drugs. For this reason, they contend, there needs to be legal compulsion to ensure “treatment” adherence, which usually means forced ingestion of neuroleptic drugs (sometimes in long-lasting injectable form.).
In this debate, psychiatry routinely ignores the truly devastating side effects of these products and the fact that their long-term use is associated with increased neurological damage, deterioration in quality of life, and reduced life expectancy. They also ignore the well-established fact that forced treatment is simply not effective.
There are also some very obvious civil rights issues involved.
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery has taken a strong position on this bill and have posted a press release.
The Senate is due to vote on this bill tomorrow (March 31). If you oppose this rider to the bill, please ask your Senators to reject this counter-productive amendment. You can contact your Senators through this link.
The APA has been developing their political lobbying machine in recent years. On their website you will find the following tabs: Congressional Action Network; Government Relations; State Relations; and Legislative Action Center. Obviously they’re taking this seriously. Psychiatry has received a good deal of criticism in recent years, but have consistently refused to take any of this on board. Instead, they have relied on spin, tawdry PR promotions, and now stealth legislation to promote their expansionist and destructive agenda.
Please contact your Senators today.