The peculiar presidential politics of the Murphy Bill

DJ Jaffe at one point talked about how Hillary Clinton was the enemy of the “seriously mentally ill” and that the Republicans are much better advocates for the seriously mentally ill. Donald Trump is now the Republican nominee for President. Talk about an advocate for the “seriously mentally ill.”

The three articles linked above are just 3 of the first I found describing Trump’s views on mental health. There were plenty more. If you are not familiar with them you need to take a look and seriously consider them. Take a look and consider what his leadership would mean to the lives of millions of people with psychiatric diagnoses in this country. Really…. Take a look.

I sent these articles to a friend tonight. His response was quick, “If you take Murphy and take out the veneer of clinical appropriateness, if you translate Murphy into meanness I think you would get something that looks a lot like Trump.”

It will prove interesting how the Murphy Bill in particular and mental health reform in general navigate today’s coronation of Mr. Trump. He may be too busy with Mexicans right now and mental health may be buried deep on his agenda but nothing will save Rep Murphy from being a Republican and the notion that Donald Trump will approach anything as a bipartisan issue seems to me to be wishful thinking.

What will happen when Trump describes the Murphy Bill or any effort for that matter as the way the “looneys…. the nut jobs…. and the basket cases” should be treated? What happens to the Murphy Bill when it becomes a topic of discussion amongst presidential candidates?

I don’t know the answer to any of this. Perhaps Trump will remain too busy with Mexicans to notice. If I was Murphy I would cross my fingers and hope so.

I have wondered for a long time if mental health reform and particularly the Murphy Bill would survive a presidential campaign. Perhaps I am wrong and political ambition and partisanship will be frozen out of the discussion but seeing is believing.

I know several people who hope there is no mental health bill this year. They are appalled by the Murphy Bill and see the Senate bill as the lesser of evils.

Somehow I think some of them might be smiling a little tonight. Donald Trump is running for president.


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