March 18, 2008
This past week, legislation was introduced in the House that would prevent implementation of new regulations that would severely hamper the ability of states to use Medicaid to fund critical mental health services. The bill (HR 5613) would prohibit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from moving forward on these harmful regulations at least through April of 2009. The bill would do this by imposing “moratoria” on the regulations, which is a technical term for stopping a regulation from going into effect.
The bill was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) and Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA), the Co-Chair of the House Mental Health Caucus.
Advocates are strongly encouraged to contact their House member to urge them to cosponsor HR 5613 and stop the implementation of harmful Medicaid regulations for rehabilitative services, case management, school-based services, and public hospitals.
Send a letter to your House member using NAMI's Legislative Action Center. If you can, please personalize the letter with a sentence or two to let your Member know why you care about this important issue (you are a family member, consumer, and/or advocate, etc.).
A NAMI E-News alert sent out on March 13th, noted that Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) was expected to offer an amendment to the FY 2009 budget resolution that would have limited the ability of Congress to move forward on legislation to renew and extend moratoria on these CMS regulations later this year. Under the Grassley Amendment, a “reserve fund” in the FY 2009 budget resolution that would facilitate moratoria on all of these Medicaid regulations would have been limited. Fortunately, the Grassley Amendment was not offered during debate on the Senate budget resolution. As a result, the “reserve fund” that would allow for legislation stopping these Medicaid regulations remains intact and available for Congress later this year.
Click here to read NAMI's letter of support for legislation that would impose a moratorium on these devastating changes to Medicaid.
For additional background, click below for our previous alerts on the proposed CMS Medicaid regulations.
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