National Alliance on Mental Illness
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April 1, 2003
NAMI Board Calls on Senate-House Conferees to Hold the Line on Medicaid
*Your Advocacy Is Urgently Needed!*
As detailed in our E-News of March 26, 2003 a joint House-Senate Conference Committee will shortly wrap up negotiations on the FY 2004 budget resolution. At issue is whether deep cuts to Medicaid and other entitlement programs such as SSI in the budget resolution passed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives will be retained.
The House’s budget resolution contains an estimated $92 billion in reductions to federal spending on Medicaid between 2004 and 2013. The Senate’s budget resolution does not contain these reductions.
The NAMI Board of Directors recently adopted a resolution expressing its strong opposition to any cuts to Medicaid in the budget resolution. Emphasizing that Medicaid is "the most critical safety net program" for children and adults who suffer from serious mental illnesses, the Board urged Congress to instead support state fiscal relief initiatives that will prevent states from having to cut Medicaid eligibility and services.
In a statement accompanying the resolution, NAMI board president Jim McNulty emphasized that the lives of vulnerable individuals with serious mental illnesses and other disabilities could hang in the balance. "People who struggle with mental illnesses have been neglected or abandoned too many times in the past", McNulty said. "Now is not the time to further erode the foundation of the current system." Underscoring the critical importance of this issue, the resolution was signed by each member. View the NAMI board’s resolution and accompanying press release.
ACTION NEEDED! Please call your Congressman or Congresswoman and urge them to contact House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R. IL.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R. IA.) to oppose the proposed cuts in Medicaid in the House. Please urge your friends to make these calls as well. All House members can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard toll free at 1-800-839-5276 or at 202-224-3121 or online at www.congress.org.
Thank you for your advocacy!