Challenges to ACA and mental health for young people

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The U.S. Supreme Court hears a challenge to the Affordable Care Act and the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of young people. Ted Simons talked about both issues with Dr. Swapna Reddy of ASU’s College of Health Solutions.

Affordable Care Act

“It sounded pretty promising for the Affordable Care Act,” Reddy said. “What we saw, at least from Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh, really a predilection to maintaining the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.”

In 2012, the ACA’s individual mandate was seen as a “foundational lynchpin”, said Reddy. However, even without the tax penalty, people still depend on the ACA, the court found, leading Reddy to believe the legislation will stand.

Mental health for young people

“Arizona ranks among the worst in the country for access to mental health care providers in every single county,” said Reddy, who describes a “parallel pandemic” in mental health affecting young adults.

The Center for Disease Control recently released a study noting that 30% of 18-24-year-olds experienced feelings of suicidal ideation in the past month. Adjusting to the uncertainty of the future, a staggering job market, and isolation

Relly called the situation for college-age students “a disturbing pattern of depression and anxiety.” The uncertainty of the future, a staggering job market, and isolation from holiday events all come into play, said Reddy.

According to Reddy, emergency rooms saw a 30% increase in school-age admissions, particularly among adolescents, for depression and anxiety-related cases. With in-person schooling coming into question for kids, kids will be missing out on social-enrichment, development, and guidance opportunities from classmates and trained professionals.

Dr. Swapna Reddy, ASU’s College of Health Solutions

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