National Alliance on Mental Illness
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For Immediate Release, December 6, 2000
Contact: Chris Marshall
In the final days of the 106th Congress, Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Sessions (R-TX) and Waxman (D-CA) are putting pressure on the House and Senate leadership, as well as the White House, to pass The Family Opportunity Act (S 2274/HR 4825) this year. Despite the time crunch, advocates for the Family Opportunity Act-including NAMI, continue to push for action before Congress adjourns, possibly by the end of this week.
It is expected that The Family Opportunity Act will be attached to Medicare "give-back" legislation, which includes payments to hospitals and providers. S 2274/HR 4825 has bipartisan Congressional and White House support, however, it is imperative that Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), as well as the White House hear from you how important this legislation is to families and children with severe mental illness. This is our last chance to get this legislation passed this year.
As described in previous NAMI E-News, The Family Opportunity Act of 2000 is intended to restore hope for children with severe mental illnesses and their families. This legislation would allow states to set up Medicaid buy-in programs for children with severe disabilities so that parents would not be forced to relinquish custody of their children or declare bankruptcy in order to get coverage for the treatment their child needs. More information on S 2274 and HR 4825 can be found at: http://www2.nami.org/update/S2274.html and http://www2.nami.org/update/000713.html.