National Council for Behavioral Health Statement on President Trump’s FY19 Budget Proposal
Washington, DC (February 12, 2018) –The National Council for Behavioral Health welcomes President Trump’s commitment to expanding access to community-based addiction and mental health treatment via the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration. We also welcome the nearly $13 billion included to fight the opioid epidemic. At the same time, we are deeply concerned to see his proposed cuts to Medicaid, which would devastate this critical source of coverage for mental health and addiction care.
Since mid-2017, the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) initiative has supported community providers in dramatically expanding Americans’ access to timely, evidence-based addiction and mental health treatment in their communities. Just seven months into the program, participating clinics have been able to increase patient caseloads, expand or initiate addiction treatment services and implement new care coordination partnerships with hospitals and law enforcement agencies. The National Council applauds President Trump and his Administration for their commitment to this initiative and is eager to see more details about the proposed CCBHC activities or expansions his budget would support.
However, investment in important programs like CCBHCs cannot carry us forward if at the same time, we decimate programs like Medicaid that provide a crucial source of coverage for mental illness and addiction. Congress should reject the President’s misguided effort to revive last year’s failed proposals to block grant and gut Medicaid spending. The National Council remains ardently opposed to an elimination of the Medicaid expansion, which offers states a critical tool in their fight to keep people healthy and in recovery. We are also firmly opposed to the President’s proposals to permit states to strip Medicaid coverage from vulnerable individuals via work requirements, increased cost sharing and more. Investing in certain opioid treatment programs with one hand while stripping resources from Medicaid with the other will only result in a continued loss of ground against the tragic opioid epidemic.
We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the President’s proposed cuts to SAMHSA are reversed and that states have the support they need to serve their citizens living with addiction or mental illness.
The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 2,900 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1 million Americans have been trained.