Obey closed the morning session to a standing ovation. “The country you may save is your own.”
Tired behavioral health advocates shared stories from their Hill visits after having suffered the sweltering, near three digit temperatures and humidity. Their asks included a plea to oppose cuts to Medicaid as well as to support the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act and of Federally Qualified Behavioral Health Centers.
Though legislators consistently warn that the budget is the current priority in Congress, most were positive, such as:
- Colorado Senators Udall and Bennet who pledged support for all National Council initiatives during visit with the Colorado delegation.
- The Michigan delegation asked Senator Carl Levin what can be done to support behavioral healthcare: “Write the president and ask him to fight for revenue.”
While not all pledged support, legislators were receptive to hearing from their constituents about behavioral healthcare. Never underestimate the importance of Hill visits for even the most skeptical legislators. They need to hear from you!
500: The record-breaking number of passionate behavioral health advocates invading Capitol Hill
200: The number of legislators getting first hand reports on important issues affecting community behavioral health
310,000,000: The number of Americans impacted by behavioral health disorders. Roughly 125,000,000 directly and virtually everyone else indirectly through family and friends.
Hill Day 2011 came to a close with the Member Awards Reception. No one was surprised when Colorado won the award for having the largest delegation. State association executive director, George DelGrosso, graciously accepted the award, acknowledging that Colorado will soon lose out to other states as the state delegations grow. Several states doubled their size from Hill Day 2010, such as Connecticut.