Pete Buttigieg is the youngest of the Dems who are running for the 2020 presidency. Since the mayor is younger, he’s having to learn from a number of mistakes along the way – and he has had his share of stumbles.
Most recently, Buttigieg has been adding emphasis on the mental health crisis in the United States. He has a plan that would ensure that at least 75 percent of Americans who need mental health treatment will receive the care that they need.
Buttigieg is the only Dem who is focusing on mental health – but he’s not the only one running for president who is talking about it. It seems as though the Indiana mayor has borrowed a page from Trump, who is currently focusing on the mental health crisis as part of his re-election campaign.
Pete Buttigieg spoke heavily about a mental health and addiction services plan that could cost to somewhere around $300 billion. He spoke about this in New Hampshire, a state that has been hit particularly hard by the opioid crisis.
Buttigieg may be unaware that Trump already spoke to Manchester, New Hampshire about mental health – and it happened about two weeks before the Democratic hopeful got there. This is just further proof that this is a borrowed idea. Additionally, there were considerably more people in attendance during Trump speech than what Buttigieg was able to generate.
However, Buttigieg has a plan that calls for $100 billion in grants, integrating mental health treatment into primary care settings, and increasing the available treatment beds. He wants to make it easier for patients to get the medicine they need to treat opioid addiction. He also wants to invest in suicide prevention for veterans while also focusing on disparities in behavioral healthcare.
In a statement, the candidate talked about how Washington claims to prioritize mental health care but slashes funding for treatment behind closed doors. He feels as though many politicians are ignoring the growing addiction and mental health crisis in America.
Based on figures from 2015, only about 11% of the 20+ million people who need substance abuse treatment are able to receive it – and Buttigieg wants to change these statistics.
The plan would address the public health effects of loneliness and isolation. He wants to increase the workforce within behavioral health by looking at reimbursement rates and loan repayment programs. Further, he’d like to create a three-digit suicide hotline for veterans. Mental health workers and schools and investing in early intervention programs are also part of his plan.
Buttigieg Sounds a Lot Like Trump
When people have pressed Trump on what he thinks should be done about domestic terrorism in the United States, the president focuses heavily on mental health. He feels as though one of the reasons why people are turning to gun violence is because of not getting the mental health that they need. This means that there is at least one politician already in Washington DC looking to prioritize mental health care.
Additionally, Trump wants to create more psychiatric facilities. He has identified that a number of them closed throughout the 1970s and 1980s, making it difficult for people to get the mental health care that they need.
Buttigieg is starting to sound a lot like a certain Republican he doesn’t want to be associated with. However, he doesn’t have a new idea. While he may be looking to stand out from the Democrats that he is running with, he is actually agreeing with Trump and promoting an idea that Trump has been talking about heavily in the past several weeks.
It Takes Money, Pete
Pete Buttigieg seems to suffer from the same issues that so many of the other Democrats have. They come up with great ideas but have no idea how to pay for them. Kristin Gillibrand and her $10 trillion climate change plan is a perfect example of this. Throughout the plan that Buttigieg promotes, there is no discussion as to how he plans to pay for it all. He’s talking about at least $100 billion in grants, not to mention increasing reimbursement rates as well as repealing a Medicaid law. All of this is going to cost a significant amount of money – and fiscal conservatives are not going to hear the plan without knowing how the funding is going to happen.
Buttigieg is right to say that the United States needs to focus on mental health. However, since his plan is lacking serious details, he should simply default to Trump since Trump was the one speaking about it first.