KENNEDY SLAMS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ON MENTAL HEALTH POLICIES
Washington, D.C. – This morning Congressman Joe Kennedy III took to the House Floor to highlight the breadth and depth of opposition to TrumpCare in the mental health and addiction community. The speech followed a letter he sent earlier this week to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, where Kennedy raised concerns about the Trump Administration’s failure to comply with critical mental health parity benchmarks as mandated by law.
Citing the National Association on Mental Illness and Mental Health America among others, Congressman Kennedy said: “These groups are not political organizations. They are doctors, health care professionals, patients, and advocates who dedicate their lives, day and night, to filling the gaps of a badly broken mental health system. Take it from them.”
He continued: “You cannot say you are committed to addressing the opioid epidemic and then stand behind a piece of legislation that gives insurance companies cover to deny addiction treatment, or tell those in the grips of addiction to just summon a little more will. You have to choose. Those families or this bill. Which side are you on.”
Under the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law in December 2016, the Administration is required to convene a public meeting of stakeholders to produce an action plan for improved Federal and State coordination on mental health parity within six months of the law’s enactment. In a letter signed by ten other members of Congress, Kennedy raised concerns that the Trump Administration failed to meet that requirement casting doubt on its commitment to hold insurers accountable for parity violations.
To read his full letter to Secretary Tom Price, please click here. To watch his remarks on the floor today click on the video below.
Kennedy has been an outspoken opponent of TrumpCare, with a particular focus on its assault on mental health care, substance use disorder treatment and Medicaid.