National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Senate Approves Emergency Spending Bill, Rejecting Cuts to Medicaid!

May 23, 2008

On Thursday, the Senate, by a margin of 75-22, approved a package of emergency funding for the current fiscal year that includes an amendment stopping Medicaid regulations that would severely impair the ability of states to finance critical mental illness services.    The future of the supplemental funding bill is uncertain. A presidential veto has been threatened against any supplemental funding that is beyond the Administration’s requests for military spending. After next week’s Memorial Day recess, House and Senate leaders will be meeting to decide when and how to send the measure on to the president.

This is an important victory in the ongoing effort to stop the seven proposed Medicaid regulations, including those limiting case management and rehabilitation that are central to publicly funded mental illness treatment and support services for both children and adults.  Now bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate are on record in favor of imposing moratoria on these regulations.   Your voice has made a real difference!

The Senate package also includes a range of other funding for priorities important to NAMI.  Among these are:

  • $96 million rent subsidies for permanent supportive housing (PSH) units for Louisiana and Mississippi ($76 million for Louisiana and $20 million for Mississippi) – these are supportive housing units targeted to current and formerly homeless individuals with mental illness in communities still devastated by the 2005 hurricanes,
  • $475 million for VA Polytrauma Centers,
  • $400 million for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and
  • $275 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to upgrade safety and inspections.

How Did Your Senators Vote?

Click here to view the tally from the Senate's vote on HR 2642.

Learn More

For further background information on the proposed Medicaid regulations, click here.