September 26, 2007
The final version of HR 976 did include a 6-month moratorium on implementation of new regulations developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that limit the ability of states to utilize the Medicaid Rehabilitation Option to finance critical community-based services for people living with mental illness. NAMI strongly supports this moratorium. This moratorium would run through May 28, 2008 and would give Congress an opportunity to exercise oversight and clarify which services are appropriately included in Medicaid.
An E-News message sent out on September 24 reported that this Medicaid moratorium had been excluded from the SCHIP bill. Just before the legislation was finalized, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell successfully pressed Senate leaders to include the provision. In addition, a letter signed by 20 Senators played a critical role in getting the moratorium into the final bill. Click here to view this Senate letter. Click here to view additional background on SCHIP.