Act Now to Save Critical Medicaid Services
* Congress on the Verge of Decisions *
Congress returns from its August recess on Tuesday, September 6 poised to make decisions on Medicaid that will have a far-reaching impact on all state and local mental health services.The Administration has proposed changes to Medicaid that would have a crippling effect on the provision of community mental health services for children and adults. (For details, see the Bazelon Center's August 18 Action Alert, http://www.bazelon.org/takeaction/2005/8-18-05medicaid.htm
Act Today - There's No Time to DelayHouse and Senate Committees must complete work by September 16 on legislation to cut Medicaid spending by $10 billion over five years (although the Senate may shift some of these cuts to Medicare). This legislation, the budget-reconciliation bill, is required under the Budget Act in order to reconcile spending with the already-approved FY 2006 budget.
Decisions will be made soon, possibly as early as Tuesday, September 6.
Concentrate on SenatorsWhile both houses will vote on this legislation, the Senate is more likely than the House to reject the Administration's language. Key Senators who will hold the key the outcome are listed below.
Call these Senators and urge them to reject the Administration's proposed amendments to Medicaid Rehabilitation and Targeted Case Management services. Tell them that:
- Adults and children with serious mental disorders require the range of intensive, comprehensive community-based services now funded through the Rehabilitation and Targeted Case Management Medicaid service categories.
- These services foster recovery far more effectively than the institutional care they have replaced.
- The Administration's language would effectively gut your state's community mental health system
Senate Finance Committee Target List:
Charles Grassley (R-IA)- Chair
Max Baucus (D-MT)-Ranking Member
Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Call TodayCall the Capitol switchboard, 202-224-3121, or go to congress.org to find the Senator's direct line. If you're a constituent from the Senator's state, be sure to say so.
Email is less effective, but still counts, so if you can't call, use the email link you'll find on each Senator's page at http://www.congress.org.
For More Information
Talking Points on the Administration's Proposals to Cut Key Medicaid Services, at
The Bazelon Center's August 18 Alert at
Our Update on Mental Health-Related Legislation
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