Cash-Only Psychiatry

Fox News psych pundit Keith Ablow warns that having affordable insurance makes America soft and infantile.

But Fox News’ resident psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow may win the prize for the most outrageous reaction. In a column posted on and during an interview Monday afternoon on the network, Ablow claimed that the court’s decision will “iInfantilize” Americans:

ABLOW: [T]oday it could be healthcare, tomorrow it could be a hybrid vehicle that you are penalized financially for not buying. It takes control of your behavior in the way that a parent would of a child, and it diminishes us in terms of our autonomy and ability to achieve things even for liberty on the world stage, quite literally.

I’m only a nurse, but in my observation, mental illness takes control of people’s behavior in ways that devastate their own lives and the lives of people close to them. Mental illness often strikes in early adulthood, turning promising students into people who struggle all their lives with disability. People with mental illness are likely to suffer loss of earning power, to the point of living in chronic poverty. It’s not that people can’t recover, but mental illness is common, difficult to treat, and often undiagnosed. Good psychiatrists and counselors are often not available to the people who need them the most. This care is expensive, and when states are cutting costs mental health treatment programs disappear while the need grows.

If Dr. Ablow has refused gummint insurance, such as Medicare, Medicaid, VA— then he gets credit for being consistent. He would only spend his non-TV time ministering to the wealthy, but the wealthy suffer from mental illness too.

If he takes the gummint money and goes on Fox to try to shame people for wanting affordable health care– I think there’s a name for that kind of thing. Projection? Reaction Formation? Denial? Snake Oil Peddling?

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