The Institute on Aging recently reported that 5.5 million people in the United States lived to the age of 85 or above by the year 2010. They predict that the age group of people 85 and older will reach 19 million Americans, or 5% of the population, by 2050. As we know, the older we get, the more health care is required. So if those numbers are accurate, we need a great health care system in New York state.
Along with the amazing life expectancy increases comes another hike that is not so great. The mental health incidence in this country just keeps growing. In fact, as many as one in four people experience mental or neurological disorders during their lifetime, according to the World Health Organization. Those people are also in need of a health care system that works.
Unfortunately, New York State has had a rocky road recently with its health care system. According to the NY Post, Congress has repeatedly attempted to scale back the use of Medicaid, and well as completely get rid of the Affordable Care Act. They are also allowing other health-related programs to slip by the wayside. New York state in particular has more to lose than many other states in the country because the state relies so heavily on federal health dollars.
New York state spends significantly more per recipient and per capita on health care than the national average, according to the NY Post. The state collects $4.4 billion annually from insurers through the Health Care Reform Act. This declares the customers to be the third largest source of revenue in the state. Hopefully the state will make considerations about the need of health care in NY, and try to make it more affordable.
There is some good news for those suffering from mental health issues, even if it’s not more affordable health care. New York State will be the first state in the nation that will require mental health education be taught in all its schools. Starting in the fall of 2018, the health curriculum for elementary, middle and high school students in New York will need to include a mental health component, according to the News Channel 5 Network.
NYS is also trying to create more mental health awareness through its license plates. That’s right. Remember, one in four people in the state suffer from a mental illness, and only a very small percentage of those people actually seek treatment. License plates will be available for both passenger and commercial vehicles. They feature a green ribbon, much like a cancer ribbon, with the phrase “Support Mental Health Awareness,” as well as “Healthy Minds, Healthy New York.” According to News 10 WHEC, a standard plate will cost you $85, $25 of which goes to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund.’