Medicaid accounts for 25% of all mental health spending and 21% of all substance use disorder spending in the U.S. Approximately 29% of Medicaid beneficiaries have a mental illness or substance use disorder. Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides comprehensive health coverage to roughly 9 million children and pregnant women, including behavioral health care. The Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) advocates for public policies to protect and strengthen Medicaid and CHIP while ensuring robust coverage of behavioral health services and access to care for people living with these conditions.
Issue statements from the current session of Congress appear below. For statements from past Congresses, view the archives.
- MHLG supports the UNDERSTAND Act (S. 1323): The Mental Health Liaison Group wrote Senators Rob Portman and Bob Casey in support of their legislation to create a surveillance system to track how social determinants affect health care outcomes.
- MHLG supports bill H.R. 1329, the Medicaid Reentry Act, 5.8.19: The Mental Health Liaison Group wrote Representatives Paul Tonko and Michael Turner to urge support for granting Medicaid eligibility to incarcerated individuals 30-days prior to their release.
- MHLG Urges Support for the Excellence Act Expansion: The Mental Health Liaison Group wrote to Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy to extend and expand the current Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Medicaid demonstration via the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act.
- MHLG Supports Section 1003 of H.R. 6, 9.21.18: The Mental Health Liaison Group wrote to Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker of the House Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi in support of Section 1003 of H.R. 6, the Demonstration Project to Increase Substance Use Provider Capacity Under the Medicaid Program, which would help states address urgent workforce shortages and expand access to needed substance use disorder care.
- MHLG Supports Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion (CARE) Act, H.R. 2687, 12.19.17: a letter thanking Representatives Foster, Fitzpatrick, Ryan and Jenkins for their leadership in authoring legislation to modify existing Medicaid payment prohibitions to allow payments for certain residential treatment facilities to treat individuals with substance use disorders.
- MHLG supports the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act (S. 1950/H.R.3931), 11.14.17: the group sent a letter to Senators Blunt and Stabenow and Representatives Lance and Matsui thanking them for authoring this legislation to expand the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) demonstration program.
- MHLG Opposes Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Proposal (GCHJ), 9.19.17: A letter sent to Senate leadership expressing concerns about the impact of the GCHJ proposal on Medicaid, and asking them to instead focus on stabilizing the health insurance marketplace.
- MHLG Offers Solutions to Stabilizing the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace, 9.1.17: A letter sent to HELP committee leadership opposing eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments, the preservation of MH/SU benefit coverage in marketplace plans, and opposing reducing the Federal premium tax credits on insurers.
- MHLG Raises Concerns about AHCA to HELP Committee, 6.23.17: The Mental Health Liaison Group sent a letter to HELP Committee Chairman and a Ranking Member raising concerns about Medicaid funding cuts, their impact on mental health and substance use services, and allowing states to determine benefits via a pro forma waiver.
- MHLG Thanks Senators on Authorizing Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion (CARE) Act, 6.22.17: The Mental Health Liaison Group sent a letter to eight Senators thanking them for their leadership in authoring this bill that will improve access to substance abuse services for millions of Americans across the country.
- MHLG Voices Worry Over Outcome of AHCA Changes, 5.2.17: A Mental Health Liaison Group letter to House leadership opposing the restructuring and non-expansion of the Medicaid program, in that it would severely cut into critical mental health and substance use services and funding.
- MHLG Advocates Long-Term Funding Extension of CHIP, 4.28.17: The Mental Health Liaison Group sent a letter to Senate and House leadership urging them to enact swift legislation extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, ensuring millions of children do not lose coverage in FY2018.
- MHLG Warns AHCA Will Leave Millions Without Care, 3.17.17: A Mental Health Liaison Group letter to House leadership warns that the American Health Care Act’s Medicaid cuts and elimination of Medicaid expansion and essential health benefits would leave millions in need without mental health and addiction care.
- MHLG Expresses Concerns About Medicaid Per Capita Caps/Block Grants, 3.2.17: The Mental Health Liaison Group sent a letter to Congress expressing concerns that the American Health Care Act’s proposal to refinance Medicaid could damage mental health and addiction care.