Community clinics created by health reform law can help combat violence

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I am not a doctor or expert on medicine or hospitals, but I have studied psychology at Northwestern and University of Chicago and feel strongly that well educated and motivated clinicians could have spotted the potential psychotic behavior of many recent mass murderers.

Our nation currently has a lack of doctors and nurses and an over-extension of emergency room services at our hospitals, with many facing financial devastation from the oncoming tsunami of an additional 40 million insured citizens. The Affordable Care Act has provisions for the establishment of community clinics, which could be used to screen individuals referred by family members to trained psychologists capable of identifying mental health problems. Community clinics connected to regular hospitals could relieve emergency rooms of the huge demands that the expanded coverage of ObamaCare will require.

I urge the Congress to consider the localized screening approach and support the funding of community clinics staffed by a newly trained and desperately needed group of doctors, registered nurses and well informed clinical employees. Neighborhood community clinics dedicated to treating patients at little or no co-pays should motivate families with psychological problems to seek guidance.

James is executive director of the Center for Global Governance, Reporting and Regulation at Pace University in New York City. He is also program director of Pace University’s Certified Compliance and Regulatory Professional certificate program.