National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Call Now to Preserve Vital Funding for State and Local Mental Health Services
June 9, 2010
This week, The Senate will begin work on a new version of the Jobs and Tax Extenders legislative package that passed the House of May 28. The bill, known as the American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act (HR 4213), includes a provision that would extend each state’s federal Medicaid match rate (known as FMAP) through June 2011. Without this extension, many states will very likely cut funding for Medicaid, which is the most important source of funding of public mental health services. The extended Medicaid FMAP was removed from the House bill, so getting it passed in the Senate is of particular importance.
The Senate bill also includes $1.065 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), a critical investment in development of rental housing for extremely low-income households (including people with serious mental illness living on SSI).
Call your Senators now to support restoration of Medicaid FMAP funds into the Jobs and Tax Extenders Package. All Senate offices can be reached toll-free by calling 877-210-5351 or 877-442-6801 or through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Or, you can e-mail a message to your Senators.
Urge your Senators to support the new version of HR 4213 and not to remove or weaken the Medicaid FMAP extension.
The American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act (HR 4213) includes dozens of "must pass" provisions that will extend expiring tax breaks, avoid deep cuts in physician payment rates under Medicare and extend unemployment benefits in the current economic downturn and provide assistance to states to avoid cuts in health care and education.
Of particular concern to NAMI are two provisions in the package that will help avoid additional cuts to Medicaid-funded mental health services and invest more than $1 billion in development of affordable rental housing targeted to individuals with extremely low incomes, including people with mental illness living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI).