Today the College Republicans wrote an op-ed arguing that America should focus on fixing its mental healthcare system in response to the wave of mass shootings that has plagued the country.

I find this quite hypocritical, considering that the 10 states with the lowest level of access to mental health resources (as ranked by Mental Health America, an advocacy group) are all controlled by Republicans. Republicans have also viciously fought implementation of the standards for minimum essential benefits outlined in the Affordable Care Act that include coverage for mental healthcare and have locked over 4 million Americans out of this coverage by refusing to expand Medicaid in 22 states and failing to provide an adequate alternative.

If Penn’s College Republicans and leaders in the party with which they affiliate continue to respond to gun violence with rhetoric about mental health reform, then they need to put forward serious proposals to improve mental health care and invest the resources required to make that reform a reality. It’s time they put their money where their mouth is.

JACK HOSTAGER is a College freshman. His email is hostager@sas.upenn.edu.

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