Selena Gomez sat down for an Instagram chat with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, where she opened up about her own mental health journey and experience with lupus. Gomez was treated for anxiety and depression in 2018 and was also hospitalized in 2017 when she had a kidney transplant. Harris and Gomez also stressed the importance of voting on Election Day, Nov. 3. Gomez has already voted herself, noting it was the first time she has done so.
During their discussion on Thursday, Harris said she and Biden are fighting to "hold onto the Affordable Care Act and expand it." This left the door open for Gomez to discuss her own experiences with health care, E! News reports. "I myself have, you know, shared my story about my mental health journey and I just read too much, I think, about how deep that this country is being affected mentally," the "Loose You to Love Me" singer said. "I've had so many dreams about, you know, creating places that people could go to. I think there's a part of me that wishes we had some sort of place that felt like, okay, maybe you just need to get help."
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Gomez said the issue is "something that's important and important to me." Harris added, "We still have a lot of work to do, and it's something I care deeply about and I look forward to working with you on it." Since 2014, some individual and health group insurance plans were required to include mental health coverage, and the ACA notes that insurance providers cannot deny medical coverage or increase premiums for anyone with pre-existing conditions. That includes mental health conditions.
The chat with Harris came a few days after Gomez posted photos of herself filling out her mail-in ballot. She told Harris she was not "very educated" on the voting process, but she understands her vote "counts more than ever." Not voting "is just not an option" for a concerned citizen, she said. Gomez noted she was happy to see so many young people engaging politically.
"We are the ones that are going to trail blaze. And we are going to be the next wave of people that truly are going to decide our future," Gomez, 28, said. "And I plan on doing everything that I can to help and to just also encourage people to vote. I don't know if they're sick of me by now."
In her Voting Power Hour YouTube live stream on Tuesday, Gomez said this was the first time she voted. "Honestly, I'm not ashamed to say this, but I kind of, I kind of — this was my first time," she said, notes E! News. "And I'm going to say that because I've never felt — and this is so true — and I'm now like admitting it to people, like my vote counts. Like, every little thing counts, so I just think some people get in their head, and they're like, 'Oh well, what does it matter?' And then once I really, really started going in and diving into this, it's been all I can focus on."