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In Congressional hearings this week, members of Congress will discuss the pros and cons of Medicaid and the health insurance marketplaces.

Nearly 1 out of 3 people covered by Medicaid live with a mental health or substance use condition. With Medicaid coverage, people have access to mental health services that support recovery.

The changes being considered would not just repeal provisions of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, but could cause Medicaid funding to dip below what it was prior to the expansion. Federal funds would be offered to states with a choice of a fixed allotment for each Medicaid beneficiary or a block grant for Medicaid. Either way, states would get less money.

Some proposals in play seek to replace the expansion of Medicaid with refundable tax credits for people to buy health care insurance. Other proposals would give states leeway to impose co-payments and work requirements for people on Medicaid.

Concerns over  the Medicaid block grant model include how the amount of the federal allotment would be set; whether it would be adjusted for the cost of newer medications or treatments, economic inflation, or increased population; and whether coverage would be guaranteed if medical and financial eligibility standards are met.

Your voice is powerful. Use it to protect mental health care.

Let your members of Congress know how Medicaid or insurance marketplace plans are helping you or somebody you know.

Give this message:

“As a constituent, I would like (the Representative or Senator) to protect people with mental illness who can’t afford to lose health coverage. Please preserve Medicaid and insurance safeguards that help people get mental health care. Thank you.”

Please ask other mental health warriors to do the same.

 

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