Therapists shouldn't have to go on strike
in order to convince insurance companies to finally provide patients with the care they need.
Yet that's exactly what the dire situation has come down to in Northern California, where giant health insurance company Kaiser Permanente has been withholding proper mental health care treatment in order to keep costs low.
But the real costs of depriving people of therapeutic treatment are very high
-- including exacerbated depression, anxiety, panic, and even self-harming behaviors and suicidal ideation.The reason people pay into health insurance is because it is supposed to insure their health.
It is supposed to provide them with care. Holding back is unethical - and in the state of California, possibly even illegal. Kaiser Permanente is the largest HMO health insurance provider in the entire state of California. It has millions of members in the state. That's millions of people who are affected by its reckless counseling choices.Kaiser Permanente must provide patients with the therapy and mental health treatment they need! It's literally the health insurance company's job to do so.
Right now, upwards of 2,000 licensed therapists, social workers, psychologists, and addiction treatment counselors who work at Kaiser are on strike
in Northern California. And they're doing so because the current situation for patients is very, very bad. Right now, Kaiser patients who need to see a therapist are often forced to wait 1 to 3 months just to receive follow-up sessions.
That's 4 to 12 weeks between their appointments! A lot can happen in 4 to 12 weeks - including psychological disasters.
Clinicians have been on strike for more than 5 weeks now. Already, this is the longest-running mental health clinician strike in the U.S., ever. Yet Kaiser is refusing to consider addressing therapists' concerns: namely, hiring more clinicians to reduce patients' wait times between appointments.
Instead, it's offering to pay strike-breaker huge sums of money plus bonuses - providing it has the money to do what's right! It's just a company that chooses to do the wrong thing.
Luckily, California investigators are on the case. Regulators with the state's Department of Managed Health Care are currently looking into the possibility that Kaiser may have broken California laws
due to its huge wait times between appointments. Kaiser has a moral and legal obligation here. It must ensure that all patients are able to access mental health care in a timely manner, in order to avoid pain and suffering! Sign the petition now!