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How ACA repeal could impact mental health care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) led to the biggest expansion in mental health services in several decades, helping to close long-standing gaps in access and coverage for as many as 60 million people.

President Donald Trump promises to gut the federal law, which would include its substantial protections for people with mental conditions. Health care advocates warn that repealing the ACA would have a severe effect on the 43.6 million people living in the United States with a psychiatric illness and the 21.5 million with a substance abuse disorder, according to a 2014 government survey.

In this tip sheet, Sarah Ferris runs down the key ways in which repealing the ACA could affect people with mental illnesses or addictions. These are some important issues to consider when reporting about repeal and replacement efforts.

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