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Health equity and access

APA responds to Senate Finance Committee call for mental health policy solutions

APA responds to a Senate Finance Committee request for legislative policy fixes to include in future mental health legislation.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, November 10). APA responds to Senate Finance Committee call for mental health policy solutions. http://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/mental-health-policy-solutions

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On September 21, 2021, the Senate Finance Committee—led by Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID)—requested input from stakeholders on legislation and policies to include in a future package of mental health legislation (PDF, 260KB). The letter requested input within five issue areas: (1) strengthening the mental health workforce; (2) increasing integration, coordination, and access to care; (3) ensuring parity of coverage for mental health services; (4) expanding access to telemental health services; and (5) improving access to care for children and youth.

On November 1, 2021, APA submitted a formal response to the committee’s request highlighting several of APA’s priority bills (PDF, 500KB). Given the committee’s exclusive jurisdiction over Medicare, Medicaid/CHIP programs, and mental health block grant programs, as well as its shared jurisdiction on parity oversight, APA’s response focuses on proposals concerning these programs and issues. It is not expected that the committee will release its legislation until next year at the earliest. Advocacy staff will continue to work with the committee to press for much needed reforms in several policy areas.

For more information, contact: Andrew Strickland, JD.