State pushes gun control yet ignores mental health

Thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Albany representatives for their Pavlovian gun law response to the tragedies in a Connecticut school and a Colorado movie theater. It is just what New Yorkers are used to seeing – more fluff. These quick changes hint of a PR stunt more than a meaningful beginning to a solution.

It is self-evident that these crimes are committed by very unstable minds. How about some critical thinking in Albany? Can they explain why the state health care plan called Healthy New York, which insures 178,000 people, excludes all mental health coverage? It excludes psychiatrists, psychologists, antidepressant and anti-anxiety prescriptions and even ADHD medications.

Also, it does not cover alcohol and substance abuse programs. How does New York State exempt itself from its own Timothy’s Law? This law was passed in 2006 by Gov. George Pataki and requires that health plans sold in the state provide comparable coverage for mental health ailments, as they do for physical aliments.

In light of these recent tragedies, this coverage denial is shameful, dangerous and negligent. No one wants to see another similar incident, so get with it, Albany! Cover these patients. What’s the saying? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

John Vinti

Orchard Park