Dear Congress: Don’t Forget About Americans with Mental Illness

Mar 9, 2017

Capitol Hill is abuzz with health care debate, and NAMI is ready to go to bat for Americans with mental illness. Join our fight to protect mental health coverage for millions of Americans.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee spent more than 24 hours marking up the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which seeks to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

NAMI is concerned because the bill goes much further than addressing the health insurance market. Instead, it strips funding from Medicaid, the most significant provider of mental health services for Americans with mental illness.

In a letter to House E&C Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-NJ), NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti emphasizes the importance of preserving enrollment in Medicaid expansion.

“NAMI is deeply concerned with proposed provisions to convert Medicaid financing into a per capita cap model,” Giliberti wrote. “This would limit federal funding to a lump sum for all enrollees and, instead of providing more flexibility, would shift financial risk for health care costs including unexpected costs, such as promising new innovations in treatment, to states.”

NAMI applauds that the E&C Committee included essential insurance safeguards in the AHCA. But there is much more work to be done.

Cutting corners in health coverage will keep people from getting the treatment they need and will push people with mental illness into costly emergency rooms, hospitals and jails.

Follow @NAMIAdvocacy ‘s coverage of the AHCA on Twitter, and join in our mission to #KeepWhatWorks.

Sign up for our alerts to find out how you can stand up for mental health coverage.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).