Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling Program

to Provide Free and Confidential Support and Connections to Resources for Arizona Residents Impacted by COVID-19
Bilingual Statewide Program Accessible via 2-1-1 Arizona

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (republication of a press release)
Tempe, Arizona, [June 24, 2020] – In partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and made possible by Federal Emergency Management Agency Grant funding, Crisis Response Network (CRN) announces that the new Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling Program was launched on June 22, 2020 to provide 100% free and confidential support and connections to resources for Arizona residents impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Accessible via CRN’s existing 2-1-1 statewide information and referral phone number, the Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling Program is a bilingual (English and Spanish), federally-funded program that will connect callers to crisis counseling providers in their area throughout the state of Arizona. The mission of Resilient Arizona CCP is to assist individuals and communities in
recovering from the psychological effects of the Coronavirus pandemic through crisis counseling services which include community-based outreach, emotional support and
educational services. Crisis counseling seeks to prevent the onset of diagnosable disorders by helping individuals understand they are experiencing common reactions to extraordinary occurrences. All services are provided at no cost and are available to anyone who has been impacted by the pandemic. These services are provided in safe, accessible telephonic and virtual locations. Services can be provided in a group setting or one-onone and include supportive crisis counseling, education, development of coping skills, and connection to appropriate resources.
Crisis counselors help enhance social and emotional connections to others in the community, and promote effective coping strategies and resilience. The counselors also work closely with community organizations to familiarize themselves with available resources to then refer and connect individuals and families to other necessary services.

Crisis counseling services for the Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling Program will be provided by the following organizations:

  • Crisis Preparation and Recovery (CPR)
  • Empact – Suicide Prevention Center
  • Family Involvement Center (FIC)
  • La Frontera Center
  • The Guidance Center (TGC)
  • RI International

While counseling provider hours will vary, bilingual live-answer service on 2-1-1 is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days per week. On July 1, 2020, new funding from the Arizona Department of Economic Security will allow 24/7 operation of bilingual liveanswer service on the statewide line. Further information on the Resilient Arizona Crisis Counseling Program can be accessed through its website, www.resilientarizona.org.

“On behalf of CRN, I want to express our sincere gratitude to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System for the opportunity to provide access to these potentially lifesaving crisis counseling services to Arizona residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through 2-1-1,” said Justin Chase, President/CEO of Crisis Response Network. “We are also very grateful to the crisis counseling providers with whom we are working in this important program.”

This publication was made possible by Grant number FEMA-4524-DR-AZ. The views expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect the official policies or contractual
requirements of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Homeland Security; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Medicare for All Means Healthcare for All

Medicare for All Means Healthcare for All

By Eve Shapiro, M.D. and Richard Wiebe*

As paychecks disappear for millions of Americans, so does their health insurance — at the worst possible time.  

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes the most fundamental flaw of the for-profit health insurance system:  Lose your job, lose your healthcare. Over 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits; the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 27 million will lose their health insurance.

Medicare for All means healthcare for all – with or without a job.  It operates under the principle that healthcare is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it.  When you get sick, you go to the doctor with no worries about deductibles and co-payments. 

Dental, vision, prenatal and mental health care, women’s health and long-term care are included.  Patients would have greater access to mental health and addiction treatment. Hospitals would be paid under a global budgeting system, which would prevent the closure of many rural hospitals — a critical challenge faced in communities across the nation. 

Recent polling shows that most Americans now support Medicare for All, including a growing number of conservatives who recognize the gross inefficiencies of the for-profit system.

Twenty million more Americans have healthcare coverage because of Obamacare, but millions are still unable to afford basic preventive care and treatment for illnesses and injuries. Americans pay $1 trillion more for healthcare than the Swiss, who have the second most expensive healthcare system. This equates to $8,000 in costs for the average U.S. household, according to Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton.

The $8,000 can be viewed as a tax, the economists say, which is imposed on everyone regardless of their ability to pay.  We don’t get much for that $8,000; life expectancy is lower in the U.S. than in Europe.

Although more people have health insurance, a growing number of Americans are avoiding medical treatment because it’s still too expensive.  Dr. Laura Hawks of the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School found that even those with chronic conditions skip doctor visits because of co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Much of America’s medical cost burden is consumed by waste.  A study published last year by the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates 20-25 percent of total healthcare costs – $760 billion — are wasted.  This is comparable to what the federal government spends annually on Medicare.

Administrative costs – time and money spent billing and reporting to insurers and public agencies – are blamed for $266 billion in waste.  Removing that cost would be enough to insure 20 million people, or three of every four people uninsured before the pandemic. Traditional Medicare operates with administrative costs of about 1.1 percent, which increases to seven percent when private Medicare plans are included.  Both compare favorably to the 13 percent private insurers now spend on administrative costs.

It’s not that Trump has a better idea.  Republicans have never offered a viable alternative to Obamacare.  Let the free market determine what we pay, they argue.  Insurance and pharmaceutical companies can charge anything they want. The less fortunate can fend for themselves. 

Although we spend far more on health care than any other nation, the World Health Organization ranks the United States only 37th for affordable health-care availability and quality. Healthcare costs are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States.  This reality is costly and morally unacceptable. We don’t need to spend more on medical care; we need to spend smarter. The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to do the right thing and implement Medicare for All.

*Dr. Shapiro and Richard Wiebe are PC’s in LD 9. 

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