Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hillary News & Views 8.30: Mental Health, Debate Prep, Projection, and Emergency Contraception


Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with the rollout of Clinton’s ambitious agenda for mental health.

Here’s the plan:
Today Hillary Clinton announced her comprehensive plan to support Americans living with mental health problems and illnesses. Recognizing that nearly a fifth of all adults in the United States — more than 40 million people — are coping with a mental health problem, Hillary’s plan will integrate our mental and physical health care systems. Her goal is that within her time in office, Americans will no longer separate mental health from physical health when it comes to access to care or quality of treatment. Hillary has been talking about mental health policy throughout her campaign, since hearing directly from American parents, students, veterans, nurses, and police officers about how these challenges keep them up at night.
Hillary will convene a White House Conference on Mental Health during her first year as President. In addition, her comprehensive agenda on mental health will:
  • Integrate our nation’s mental and physical health care systems so that health care delivery focuses on the “whole person,” and significantly enhance community-based treatment opportunities.Hillary’s plan will foster integration between the medical and behavioral health care systems (including mental health and addiction services), so that high-quality treatment for behavioral health is widely available in general health care settings. Hillary will expand reimbursement structures in Medicare and Medicaid for collaborative care by tasking the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to create and implement new such payment models.
  • Promote early diagnosis and intervention, including launching a national initiative for suicide prevention. The overall rate of suicide increased by 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, and is now at its highest level in 30 years. Hillary will direct all relevant federal agencies, including Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Education, to research and develop plans for suicide prevention in their respective settings, and create a cross-government initiative headed by the Surgeon General to coordinate these efforts. She also believes we must redouble our efforts around early screening and intervention – and that means training pediatricians, teachers, school counselors, and other service providers throughout the public health system, to identify mental health problems at an early age and recommend appropriate support.
  • Enforce mental health parity to the full extent of the law. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which Hillary co-sponsored, requires that mental health benefits under group health plans be equal to benefits for other medical conditions, and the Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans in the individual and small group markets to offer mental health coverage as an essential health benefit. But while the right laws are on the books, they are too often ignored or not enforced. As part of her commitment to fully enforcing the mental health parity law, Hillary will launch randomized audits to detect parity violations, and increase federal enforcement. She will also enforce disclosure requirements so that insurers cannot conceal their practices for denying mental health care and strengthen federal monitoring of health insurer compliance with network adequacy requirements.
  • Improve criminal justice outcomes by training law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, and prioritizing treatment over jail for low-level offenders. As many as 1 in every 10 police encounters may be with individuals with some type of mental health problem, and our county jails today house more individuals with mental illness than our state and local psychiatric hospitals. She will dedicate new resources to help train law enforcement officers in responding to conflicts involving persons with mental illness, and increase grant funding to support law enforcement partnerships with mental health professionals. She will alsoincrease investments in local programs such as specialized courts, drug courts, and veterans’ treatment courts, which send people to treatment and rehab instead of the criminal justice system, and direct the Attorney General to issue guidance to federal prosecutors, instructing them to prioritize treatment over incarceration for low-level, non-violent offenders. Finally, she will work to strengthen mental health services for incarcerated individuals and ensure continuity of care so that they get the treatment they need, which will improve outcomes for them after they reenter society and will reduce recidivism.
  • Improve access to housing and job opportunities. As president, Hillary will expand community-based housing opportunities for individuals with mental illness and other disabilities. Hillary will launch a joint initiative between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HHS to create supportive housing opportunities for thousands of people with mental illnesses and disabilities, who currently reside in or are at risk of entering institutional settings. The employment rate for people with serious mental illness is below 20 percent, even though many of these adults want to work and more than half could succeed with appropriate job supports. Hillary will work with private employers and state and local mental health authorities to share best practices around hiring and retaining individuals with mental health problems, and in adopting supported employment programs. She’ll also expand HHS’s “Transforming Lives Through Supported Employment” program, which already assists states and communities in providing supported jobs to people with mental illness.
  • Invest in brain and behavioral research and developing safe and effective treatments. Hillary believes we need a pioneering, multi-sector effort to transform our knowledge of this field—from mapping the human brain to generating new insights into what drives our behavior to investing in clinical and services research to understand the interventions that work best and how to deliver them to patients. As president, Hillary will significantly increase research into brain and behavioral science research. She will provide new funding for the National Institutes of Health; build on cross-collaborative basic research efforts like the BRAIN initiative; scale up critical investments in clinical, behavioral, and services research; and integrate research portfolios with pioneering work on conditions like PTSD and traumatic brain injury already underway at DoD, the VA, and HHS. She will develop new links with the private and non-profit sectors to ensure that federal government efforts are aligned with those of other sectors to ensure that progress occurs as quickly as possible. She will also commit to brain and behavioral science research based on open data.
The full comprehensive proposal is available on HillaryClinton.com here.

Think Progress notes the silence from Republicans regarding Clinton’s speech calling out Trump’s racism:
Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. Branding him a racist is a fundamental threat to the viability of the party now and in the future.
You would expect the leaders and elected officials of the party to rally to his side, blast Clinton’s speech as a smear and demand an apology.
Instead, there has been silence.
Trump’s campaign press office has also been busy dutifully attacking Hillary’s speech, which a spokesman called a “desperation play.”
But the campaign seems to have trouble finding prominent Republicans to defend Trump. Right now his site features statements criticizing Hillary’s speech from luminaries such as Patricia Bober, Oz Sultan and Alfred Liz.
Some prominent Republicans might not be criticizing Hillary’s speech because they agree with it. Paul Ryan, for example, called Trump’s attack on Hispanic federal judge Gonzalo Curiel the “textbook definition of racism.”
Clinton is doing her signature extensive preparation in advance of the debates this fall.

New York Times reports:
Hillary Clinton’s advisers are talking to Donald J. Trump’s ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal,” seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him in four weeks at the first presidential debate, the most anticipated in a generation.
Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage.
They are undertaking a forensic-style analysis of Mr. Trump’s performances in the Republican primary debates, cataloging strengths and weaknesses as well as trigger points that caused him to lash out in less-than-presidential ways.
As Mrs. Clinton pores over this voluminous research with her debate team, most recently for several hours on Friday, and her aides continue searching for someone who can rattle her as a Trump stand-in during mock debates, Mr. Trump is taking the opposite tack.
Though he spent hours with his debate team the last two Sundays, the sessions were more freewheeling than focused, and he can barely conceal his disdain for laborious and theatrical practice sessions.
CNN reports:
"I am not taking anything, anyone or any place for granted. This is the most unpredictable electoral season that I certainly can remember and I am running against someone who will say or do anything," Clinton said. "And who knows what that might be. We have three debates ... I do not know which Donald Trump will show up." 
She continued: "Maybe he will try to be presidential and try to convey a gravity that he hasn't done before or will he come in and try to insult and try to score some points." 
"Somebody said to be, 'Remember, there will be about 100 million people watching and 60 million will be paying attention to the campaign for the first time. So don't assume they have followed anything,'" Clinton said. "They may vaguely have some information about Trump said this or Clinton said that or whatever. But there will be a lot of new impressions to be made that night."
The AP screwed up so badly that even the other screw-up media outlets are pointing it out.

Eric Wemple writes forWashington Post:
The Associated Press deserves credit for fighting for six-and-a-half  years to get the records of Hillary Clinton’s schedules when she served as secretary of state. The AP also deserves credit for analyzing that information and putting it alongside the database of donors to the Clinton Foundation, the better to sniff out any conflicts of interest. The AP, however, deserves no credit for the false tweet that it used to promote the resulting story, which covered her first two years in office.
As the article itself explains, far, far fewer people who met with Clinton when she served as secretary of state made donations to the Clinton Foundation. The AP article excluded all those who worked in the U.S. government and who were representatives of foreign governments. The tweet bypasses that rather critical detail, leaving the impression that Clinton was essentially running the State Department straight out of the offices of the Clinton Foundation. Upon seeing the tweet, the Clinton campaign asked for a correction. It hasn’t come.
There can be no dispute about the tweet. It is wrong, prima facie wrong. Clearly wrong. Patently wrong. Simply wrong. Had AP deleted it and published a follow-up tweet amending the record, we could move on to discussing the organization’s dogged work in digging up documents. Instead, the permanence of the tweet continues to stand as a monument to mainstream media bullheadedness.
Donald Trump is the master of projection.

Melissa McEwan writes for Blue Nation Review:
Trump overtly talks and talks and talks about himself – and when he talks about other people, he’s still talking about himself. It’s just that he’s projecting his own flaws and failures onto them.
When he calls Hillary a “bigot,” he is really talking about himself. When he says that Hillary gives speeches that are devoid of policy, he is really talking about himself. When he accuses her of asserting that she has claimed to be able to solve systemic injustice, he is projecting onto her the claims he’s made.
Every negative thing Trump says about Hillary is a disclosure about himself. The answer to the ubiquitous rhetorical “how can he so utterly lack self-awareness” is that he doesn’t. He knows himself very well indeed. He just projects his worst qualities onto other people.
Hillary said in her powerful speech detailing his mainstreaming of white nationalism that “there’s no other Donald Trump. This is it.” He has, she noted, “shown us exactly who he is. We should believe him.”
And we should closely watch what he says about other people, because he is always telling us something about himself.
These unintentional disclosures are a warning to us about who he really is.
A look back on Clinton’s time in the Senate, where she was a champion for emergency contraception.

Susan Wood writes for Rewire:
Plan B emergency contraception is just like birth control pills—it is not the “abortion pill,” RU-486, and most people in the United States don’t think access to safe and effective contraception is controversial. Sadly, in Congress and in the White House, there are many people who do oppose birth control. And although this may surprise you, this false “controversy” not only has affected emergency contraception, but also caused the recent dramatic increase in the cost of birth control pills on college campuses, and limited family planning services across the country.  The reality is that having more options for contraception helps each of us make our own decisions in planning our families and preventing unwanted pregnancies. This is something we can all agree on.
Meanwhile, inside the walls of the FDA in 2003 and 2004, the Bush administration continued to throw roadblocks at efforts to approve emergency contraception over the counter. When this struggle became public, I was struck by the leadership that Hillary Clinton displayed. She used the tools of a U.S. senator and fought ardently to preserve the FDA’s independent scientific decision-making authority. Many other senators and congressmen agreed, but she was the one who took the lead, saying she simply wanted the FDA to be able to make decisions based on its public health mission and on the medical evidence.
When it became clear that FDA scientists would continue to be overruled for non-scientific reasons, I resigned in protest in late 2005. I was interviewed by news media for months and traveled around the country hoping that many would stand up and demand that FDA do its job properly. But, although it can help, all the media in the world can’t make Congress or a president do the right thing.
Sen. Clinton made the difference. The FDA suddenly announced it would approve emergency contraception for use without a prescription for women ages 18 and older—one day before FDA officials were to face a determined Sen. Clinton and her colleague Sen. Murray (D-WA) at a Senate hearing in 2006. No one was more surprised than I was. All those who benefited from this decision should know it may not have happened were it not for Hillary Clinton.
Clinton is reaching out to younger voters who have just returned to school.

Washington Post reports:
In the fall, as students head back to campuses, the campaign plans a push to launch new or reengage existing chapters of Students for Hillary, in an effort to mobilize young voters at about 280 college campuses across the country. It is part of an overall goal of registering more than 3 million new voters this election.
Student organizers will launch regular phone banks, voter registration drives and voter outreach efforts on their campuses. The efforts will be reinforced by celebrity surrogates and campaign staffers who will participate in voter registration drives and round tables as well as a social media engagement campaign.
Last week, the campaign also announced that it would launch a voter registration and mobilization effort at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
E.J. Dionne writes about Hillary Clinton Republicans for Truth Dig:
Not since Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign has there been such widespread public disavowal by Republicans of their party’s nominee. The Hillary Clinton Republicans will be one of the most important legacies of the 2016 campaigns. 
Any long-term electoral effect of the rise of Clinton Republicans is likely to be felt among the white college-educated whom Trump has so alienated. Trump’s turn to the hard right, reinforced by his hiring of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon as his campaign CEO, could further aggravate the GOP’s problem with such voters. Trump muddled his position on immigration to try to win some of them back.
Clinton’s hope if she wins is that the existence of Clinton Republicans will make her relations with the GOP in Congress easier. Especially if Democrats take the Senate, Republicans in the House—even if they keep their majority—might give her some room to win legislative victories, particularly on immigration reform and large-scale infrastructure investment. On the other hand, GOP politicians who opposed Trump or were lukewarm about him might seek to restore their bona fides with Trump’s constituency by being especially ferocious in their opposition to Clinton.
All this, however, is premised on a Clinton victory. If the race tightens, Republicans who know that Trump should not be president will have to be less grudging about lending their full support to Clinton. She tried to encourage them last week by declaring that Trump’s extremism represented neither “conservatism as we have known it” or “Republicanism as we have known it.” Her unspoken message: The stakes for the party’s dissenters are too high for halfway measures and bet hedging.


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