Senate’s Rejection of Health Care Bill is a Vote for Mental Health Care

Jul 28 2017

Arlington, Va., July 28, 2017 – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) expresses gratitude for the Senate’s rejection of several proposed bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“In recent years, we have taken steps forward to improve access to mental health care in America,” stated Mary Giliberti, NAMI’s Chief Executive Officer. “If any of the bills before the Senate passed, this progress would have been compromised and countless individuals and families would experience daunting new barriers to mental health care.”

Mental illness affects one in five Americans. Stripping Medicaid funding would result in millions of Americans losing access to mental health and substance use services.  Stepping back from insurance protections in the ACA would also be very harmful to people with mental illness.

NAMI recognizes that our health care system in America is not perfect. Major barriers to accessing quality mental health care continue to exist. Mental illness frequently remains in the shadows, outside the mainstream of health care. Too many Americans with mental illnesses are homeless, incarcerated, or fall through the cracks because they don’t have access to needed services and supports.

“Solutions lie in improving our health care system and in promoting effective practices such as early intervention for psychosis, not in dismantling Medicaid and health insurance,” said Giliberti. “We urge Congress to work toward bipartisan solutions to fix the insurance marketplace. NAMI stands ready to help Congress increase access to affordable, quality mental health coverage for all Americans.”

About NAMI

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.