House Passes Funding Extension for CCBHC Demonstration
On Tuesday, the House voted to pass the “Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act of 2019 (H.R. 3253),” which would extend funding for certain Medicaid programs. Under the provision, funding for the eight-state Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program would be extended for another two and a half years until December 21, 2021. There was overwhelming bipartisan support of H.R. 3253, passing with a vote of 371-46. The bill must now go to the Senate for a vote before the CCBHC demonstration program expires on June 30th, 2019.
Since launching in 2017, CCBHCs have dramatically increased access to comprehensive, community-based mental health and addiction treatment. Members of the House on both sides of the aisle have applauded CCBHCs for being a key solution to combat the opioid epidemic by reducing patient wait times, expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, hiring more staff specializing in addiction treatment and much more.
This bill arrives as the National Council continues to advocate for the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act (S. 824/ H.R. 1767). This legislation would extend the CCBHC Medicaid demonstration program in its original eight states for two years and expand the program to 11 other states that applied but were not originally selected. While H.R. 3253 does not expand CCBHCs to the 11 other states, the National Council supports the bill’s immediate passage to prevent a funding lapse in the eight demonstration states that would greatly harm both patients and providers. The National Council will continue to fight for solutions on Capitol Hill to bring the CCBHC demonstration to more states so that more communities across the country are able to benefit from the lifesaving services CCBHCs provide.
The National Council thanks Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and the nine cosponsors of H.R. 3253 as well as the sponsors and cosponsors of H.R. 1767, the House version of the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act, for their leadership and urgency to extend CCBHC funding. Under the lead sponsorship of Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), H.R. 1767 has bipartisan support with a total of 58 cosponsors.
The Senate is working to consider and vote on H.R. 3253 before funding for the CCBHC demonstration program expires on June 30th. The National Council asks all advocates to reach out to their legislators and speak up in support of CCBHCs. Taking action is easy – just click here!