Richardson Campaign Press Release - Richardson to Unveil Behavioral Health Plan, Demand Better Care for Iraq Veterans
NEWTON, IA-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson will unveil his national behavioral health policy and detail his plans to improve behavioral and mental care for veterans later this afternoon in Newton, Iowa.
At the event, Governor Richardson will set forth a comprehensive behavioral health plan for every American.
"First of all, when I am President, every American will have access to high-quality, affordable health care," Richardson will say in his remarks. "Our veterans will have a Heroes Health Card so that they can get the care they deserve wherever they need it. We are going to treat mental trauma such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) the same way that we treat physical wounds-- like the battlefield injuries that they are.
"We need to stop treating people with a mental illness or substance use disorder like second-class citizens. I will ensure that every American has access to high-quality, affordable behavioral health care and reduce disparities in behavioral care."
Richardson also will speak about honoring our returning veterans.
"Too many of our veterans are not receiving the care that they have earned," Richardson will say. "Over 3,800 brave American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq. More than 60,000 have been wounded. Countless more suffer the lonely anguish of mental trauma. According to Army researchers, twenty percent of active duty soldiers and almost fifty percent of reserve soldiers are receiving or are in need of mental health services after combat. In 2005 alone, over 6,200 veterans took their own lives."
As the other Democratic Presidential candidates have shifted away from talking about the war in Iraq, Governor Richardson has continued to advocate his plan to get all of our troops out. He believes that the best way to take care of our troops is to end the war.
"I have been advocating getting all of our troops out of Iraq since the beginning of this race, and I have said that I will get all of them out within a year," Richardson will say. "Now Hillary Clinton apparently has shifted her position to say that she can get 'nearly all' of our troops out within a year. This comes after saying for months that she would leave thousands of troops in Iraq indefinitely and refusing to commit to getting all of our troops out by 2013.
"My disagreements with the other candidates in this race are not personal, but there is a profound difference on the war in Iraq. If we get all of our troops out and give diplomacy a chance, then we can give health care and other pressing domestic concerns a chance."
As President, Bill Richardson will:
- Ensure high-quality, affordable behavioral health care for every American and reduce disparities in behavioral health care;
- Support new investments in mental health and substance use research;
- Provide high-quality behavioral health care for active duty military, veterans, National Guard personnel, and reservists;
- Improve behavioral health care for young people; and,
- Strengthen community and peer support for people living with a mental illness or substance use disorder.
To read Governor Richardson's plan for behavioral health care, click here.
Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Richardson to Unveil Behavioral Health Plan, Demand Better Care for Iraq Veterans Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/295072