House Passes Short-Term CCBHC Extension, Bill Now Heads to White House
On Tuesday, the House approved a short-term extension of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration in Medicaid. The legislation now heads to the White House for President Trump’s review and signature. The bill would extend the program until Friday, September 13, 2019. This extension is yet another legislative victory for the CCBHC program and one on which we will look to build momentum for a long-term extension and expansion in the fall. The National Council thanks Congress and the countless advocates whose work has expanded access to high-quality, community-based treatment through the CCBHC program.
Congress has shown its strong bipartisan commitment to ensuring continued access to care through CCBHCs. Earlier this week, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) released a statement following the House’s passage of the short-term funding solution, urging Congress to pass a longer extension of the program. “While we are relieved that the Senate acted on the request to restore funding for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program, we remain concerned that this short-term extension once again kicks the can down the road, potentially imperiling access to treatment for thousands of people with substance use disorders and mental health conditions in the foreseeable future,” said Reps. Pallone and Walden. “A longer extension of the program would give us time to fully evaluate how the program is working. We cannot afford to keep kicking the can down the road in the midst of an opioid epidemic.”
NEXT STEPS FOR ADVOCATES
Through your hard work and advocacy, you have expanded access to individuals in need, transformed how these services can and should be delivered in your communities and built a strong network of allies who believe in the promise of CCBHCs and have worked with us to support their continuation. Your calls, letters, your collective outreach and advocacy all played a part in this legislative victory.
The work to extend the program begins again with advocates thanking their legislators for their vote and urging them to support an extension and expansion of the program this September. Additionally, we hope that you will be able to join us in Washington, D.C. this September 17-18 for National Council Hill Day to do just that. Register today!