KENNEDY RE-INTROS MEDICAID BUMP BILL; DEMANDS CONTINUED MENTAL HEALTH REFORM EFFORTS
Washington, DC – As the first act of his third term in Congress, Congressman Joe Kennedy III today re-introduced the Medicaid Bump Act and called on his colleagues to commit to bipartisan, comprehensive mental health reform. Building off the progress made during the 114th Congress, his bill would increase federal Medicaid reimbursement rates by enhancing the federal match for new, state-based mental health spending.
“Congress took an initial step forward in addressing our broken mental health system last year, but troubling flaws remain throughout the full continuum of care,” said Congressman Kennedy. “Low Medicaid reimbursement rates are one of the greatest obstacles to care for the millions of American suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. By directing more money for the states to devote to behavioral health care, we can ensure that patients in every corner of our country receive the treatment they deserve.”
“In the year ahead, we can either use last year’s progress as inspiration to continue this fight or we can do irreconcilable damage to our mental health system by repealing the ACA,” he continued. “Reverting back to a system where mental illness and substance use disorders are disqualifying preexisting conditions and our most vulnerable cannot access care through Medicaid expansion would have a devastating impact on all of our communities.”
Since being elected, Congressman Kennedy has been a vocal advocate for systemic reform of the mental health system and needed investment in the full continuum of care. His Fair Care for Kids Act to remove barriers to mental health treatment for children in Medicaid was signed into law at the end of 2016. He also introduced the Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act of 2015, which would hold health insurers accountable for providing adequate mental health benefits and increase transparency for consumers seeking coverage for mental illness and substance use disorders.
For Immediate Release:
January 5, 2017
Emily Kaufman (617) 332-3333
Dan Black (202) 225-5931
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