The Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2019, legislation that would add MFTs as Medicare-eligible providers, reached record-level support in the House of Representatives late last Friday. On December 6th, Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), became the 100th cosponsor to support H.R. 945, the House’s version of the Mental Health Access Improvement Act. AAMFT would like to extend our gratitude to the 100 Representatives that have shown support for MFTs in Medicare, as well as the 30 Senators that have cosponsored the Senate version (S. 286).
The level of support shown in the current (116th) Congress has surpassed our most recent record of 74 cosponsors during the last Congress (115th). This trend of increasing support shows that Members of Congress recognize the need to prioritize mental health policy, especially as data indicates critical mental health workforce shortages and increasing suicide rates. News of reaching 100 cosponsors follows another important Medicare announcement: the inclusion of MFTs as eligible providers in Medicare-funded, SAMHSA-certified opioid treatment programs (OTPs).
Given that there is still a year left in this Congressional term, there is still time for additional cosponsors to sign on to H.R. 945. If you haven’t already, please contact your Member of Congress, and encourage them to support the Mental Health Access Improvement Act.
If you’d like to learn more about AAMFT’s advocacy efforts around MFTs in Medicare, please join us on Wednesday, December 18, at 3:30pm for a live webinar featuring discussion on this very subject. AAMFT staff will be accompanied by AAMFT’s federal lobbyist, David Connolly, to discuss factors that affect support for MFTs in Medicare, as well as next steps for continued advocacy.