Statement from Chuck Ingoglia, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Practice Improvement, National Council for Behavioral Health on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
WASHINGTON, DC (December 20, 2017) – The National Council for Behavioral Health is deeply disturbed by the negative impact that will result from passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Nothing about this bill says happy holidays.
It is disturbing that with virtually no input from the people who depend on entitlement programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, the bill cuts the federal revenue necessary to care for millions of Americans living with mental illnesses and addictions.
And during the holidays when Americans are encouraged to contribute to charities, the bill would disrupt the charitable giving National Council members rely on to make up the difference between what they are paid and the cost of services. Take away this funding stream, and the nation’s mental health and addiction providers may be forced to eliminate services and staff, in the middle of an opioid addiction epidemic.
Speaker Ryan has indicated that cuts to health care entitlement programs will be needed when the bill becomes law. The National Council does not support cuts to Medicaid, one of the most important sources of health coverage for people living with mental illnesses and addictions. Without coverage, these individuals would be stripped of access to lifesaving treatment.
Washington is not embracing the holiday spirit, instead they have slashed funding to care for the most vulnerable Americans and may kill the jobs of the people we depend on to care for them.
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