By Guest Columnist Chuck Ingoglia, Senior Vice President of Policy & Practice Improvement at the National Council
What impact can just one person have on Congress’ decisions about Medicaid cuts?
The answer is: a lot!
Last week, President Obama released his 2013 budget requests. They include $51 billion in Medicaid “savings” – that’s DC-speak for “budget cuts.”
Medicaid is the lifeline for most mental health and addictions safety net providers. If the President’s proposals were to become law, states could see their federal share of Medicaid dollars cut substantially. States have already been forced to cut over $4.3 billion from behavioral health during the recession, and they simply can’t afford more cuts.
Neither can behavioral health providers. And neither can the consumers who rely on the safety net for treatment.
That’s why I’m asking you to join the National Council and hundreds of your colleagues from around the country at this year’s Hill Day, to be held June 25-26 in Washington DC. We’ll be urging Members of Congress to preserve critical funding for Medicaid and behavioral health services.
I know that together, we can make a difference on Capitol Hill – because we’ve done it before. Last year, 500 advocates joined forces at Hill Day and successfully advocated for increases to the Mental Health Block Grant and the Substance Abuse Block Grant. We also successfully asked Congress not to make drastic cuts to Medicaid as part of a deficit reduction deal.
Senior Vice President, Policy & Practice Improvement