December 20, 2019 – This week, Congress approved the 2020 appropriations bill, which includes a five-month extension for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration and a $50 million increase for CCBHC Expansion Grants. National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia released the following statement in response.
“By extending the demonstration and appropriating a significant funding increase for CCBHC expansion grants, Congress acknowledged the program’s importance and the need to continue this effort, which has expanded access to high-quality addiction and mental health treatment.
“While we applaud lawmakers for taking those steps, we are deeply disappointed that they missed an opportunity to expand a program that provides so much value to people experiencing mental health and addiction issues. Congress neglected to add 11 states to the CCBHC program, as the Senate Finance Committee proposed, even though demand for the services CCBHCs provide is greater than ever.
“CCBHCs represent our nation’s best response to the ongoing mental health crisis and opioid epidemic, so it’s vital that Congress expand the CCBHC program. Expansion will allow more people in more states to receive access to mental health and addiction treatment. When the program is up for renewal in May 2020, Congress must not only provide a long-term extension – they must expand the CCBHC program once and for all.
“People whose lives depend on the life-saving services CCBHCs provide have waited long enough. It’s time to expand the program beyond the original eight demonstration states. It’s time to make mental health and addiction treatment a priority. We can’t wait any longer.
“Thank you to the congressional champions of CCBHCs – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Representatives Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Without their hard work, tens of thousands of Americans would suddenly find themselves without access to life-saving treatment.”