Mental Health Cuts: The "Super Committee" Debate
A Congressional "super committee" currently is deliberating over how to reduce the federal budget deficit-to cut an additional $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Its recommendations are due Nov. 23, with a vote in Congress required by Dec. 23.
The Big Picture
The Kaiser Family Foundation and others recently held a special briefing by 11 leading experts to discuss Inside Deficit Reduction: What It Means for Mental Health Care. Individual video presentations can be viewed on line.
Mental Health Debate
Many leaders in Congress have already targeted Medicaid, other critical safety net programs, and other NAMI priorities such as mental health research, as part of the "super committee" process. The debate has already begun.
Take Action Now
Please take two minutes now to voice support for millions of Americans affected by serious mental illness. Contact your members of Congress and urge them to ensure that the "super committee" produces balanced deficit reductions that reject cuts to Medicaid and Social Security disability programs and critical needs-such as mental health research, housing and veterans programs.
Members of Congress can be called toll-free at 1 (888) 876-6242 and email messages to your senators can be sent through this link.
Ask them to:
- Protect the Medicaid program. Medicaid is a lifeline and the major source of funding for mental health care. Many critical benefits such as prescription drugs, case management and rehabilitative services are optional under Medicaid, but are not "optional" in the lives of individuals living with serious mental illness.
- Reject cuts to SSI and SSDI. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs are critical safety net protections for individuals living with severe disabilities, including serious mental illness. They survive on monthly cash assistance to meet their most basic needs.
- Avoid cuts in medical research at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIH). Cuts already have occurred at NIH. More cuts in biomedical research-as well as mental health services, housing and veterans programs in other budget areas--would be disastrous.
Please also share this information with family members and friends. Ask them to join you in speaking out.
Copyright Date: 09/16/2011
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