COMMENTARY: My name is David Alcon and I am a disabled son of a disabled veteran. My diagnosis came to light just recently, as the past 18 years of my life my hereditary mental health disability had gone undiagnosed and untreated and kept me in and out of jail for petty crimes.
After being arrested for assaulting my father I was transported by a deputy sheriff from Grants to Mesilla Valley Hospital in Las Cruces — a move that saved me from drowning further into my mental illness.
It was here that I learned I was in the midst of a mental crisis, and was diagnosed with a hereditary mental disability caused by war. My father served in Vietnam with the Americal Infantry Division. The Veterans Affairs Administration does not compensate hereditary mental health issues so I rely on Medicaid.
Mental health counseling has provided me the support I need to keep my disability in check; the medication helps and the counseling has turned my life around. Medicaid provided me the medication and staff at Mesilla Valley Hospital to bring me me from the functioning dream “Heisenberg” state and confusion my mind was in to making a 180-degree change.
Mesilla Valley’s clinicians prescribed an effective combination of medications and regular, rigorous counseling sessions, all of which were thankfully covered by Medicaid. Almost two weeks later I returned home. I continue my medication regimen and, until recently, counseling sessions.
Counseling is the most effective treatment for my disorder, but was casually told that I no longer needed to attend my regular counseling sessions — and if I have a mental health episode they will allow me at that time to make an appointment. Essentially they are asking me to get arrested to continue my Medicaid-funded counseling sessions, which had brought me clarity and support.
Health-care providers will now choose to treat mental health issues like a sudden heart attack or broken bone, not as issues that occur on a daily basis and require regular and consistent attention.
Trumpcare would treat mental health issues by episode. A person with a mental condition must be in a world of trouble or hurt before mental health counseling can be an option.
This is not an option that makes any sense, Mr. Trump. Please do not use the Office of the Presidency as a tool to combat and contradict Democrats. This is your moment of ethics. Your legacy as a political hit man will make you worse than Henry Kissinger.
Mr. President, please take your foot off the gas and begin to govern for all of us.
Members of Congress, Trumpcare looks to keep people in bed all day on medications with not even enough money to buy McDonald’s and not enough gas to get to the emergency room when their health inevitably declines.
Please dismiss Trumpcare as the president contradicting Obamacare for political points. Please keep in mind people like myself are asking for a chance to have a healthy, happy life.
David Alcon is a lifelong New Mexican. He served as president for the Associated Students of New Mexico, New Mexico field director for Dennis Kucinich for President, and has worked as a consultant for many campaigns including that of former House Speaker W. Ken Martinez. He’s currently a political consultant for his dad, state Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon, D-Milan.