Advocacy Alert: Congressman Kennedy Unveils Universal Mental Health Care
August 6, 2020
On July 21, 2020, Congressman Joe Kennedy III unveiled a resolution calling on Congress to pursue universal behavioral health care and address the systemic inequities that plague the current system. The Behavioral Health Association of Providers was one of the organizations that endorsed this proposal.
According to a press release on Kennedy's website, "Kennedy's resolution outlines the disjointed federal response to the mental health and substance use disorder crisis, outlines the urgent policies needed to combat it, and demands an immediate, historic investment in the health system that focuses specifically on addressing behavioral health conditions. The resolution is co-led by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Paul Tonko, Congressman Tony Cárdenas, and Congressman David Trone." Kennedy plans to introduce legislation towards this resolution soon.
Kennedy had introduced the Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act in 2015, which would strengthen parity laws. He's also worked on increasing access to behavioral health for children and people with low income.
"People die on a daily basis in this country because we still treat behavioral health as an afterthought," said Congressman Kennedy in the release. "But in the wealthiest nation on earth, not a single person should ever be denied substance use disorder treatment and mental health care for any reason, whether it be cost, access, stigma, racial inequities, insurance coverage, parity violations, or an aging workforce. This resolution will show exactly where Congress stands and what we're willing to do about it."
As always, we want your input.
A reminder that BHAP members get regular access to our advocate in Washington, DC. If you have any questions about BHAP's advocacy efforts, please contact us.