National Alliance on Mental Illness
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House and Senate Leaders Delay Action on Medicaid Proposals

September 13, 2005

As a result of the urgent need to respond to the Hurricane Katrina emergency, House and Senate leaders announced on September 12 that action on separate legislation to cut future Medicaid spending by $10 billion over the next 5 years has been delayed until at least October 26.  This means that Congress will not be taking up a Bush Administration proposal to significantly curtail the ability of states to finance assertive community treatment (ACT) programs under Medicaid.  However, it is likely that Congress will revisit the issue later in the year and advocates should continue efforts to educate their members of Congress about the importance of Medicaid for children and adults with severe mental illness and the need to shield the most vulnerable from proposed cuts to the program.

Action Required

Advocates are strongly encouraged to forward the attached letter to members of Congress urging them to:

  • oppose restrictions to the definition of rehabilitation and case management services recommended by the Bush Administration,
  • oppose increases in co-payments for non-preferred prescription drugs covered under Medicaid, and
  • oppose efforts to restrict access to medications to treat mental illness through prior authorization, step therapy and mandatory therapeutic substitution requirements implemented as part of state supplemental rebate programs.

Enter your zip code below to access a sample letter on this issue and a list of your representatives to contact now.  If you do not see the box for entering your zip code, click here.

At a August 18 hearing, NAMI offered testimony to the HHS Medicaid Reform Commission, outlining concerns about higher beneficiary co-payments, rehabilitation and case management services, restricted access to medications, the IMD exclusion and other issues. Click here to view the NAMI testimony.

Click here to view background information on actions taken by the HHS Medicaid Commission on August 18 and current Medicaid issues now before Congress.

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