Over the last several weeks, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the “Supercommittee”) has continued to hold its negotiations behind closed doors, leaving healthcare advocates with few clues as to where the committee’s $1.2 trillion in budget cuts might fall. Concern is rising that these cuts could fall heavily on Medicaid or other programs that support community mental health and addictions treatment.
With the Supercommittee still debating options for deficit reduction, right now we have a window of opportunity to influence the outcome of their negotiations. The National Council has drafted a letter to the Supercommittee asking them not to cut Medicaid, restructure it into a block grant, or take any other actions that would strip funding from the program.
Please lend your voice to the fight for Medicaid by signing on to this letter today. Together, our signatures will show Congress the nation’s strong support for preserving the behavioral health safety net. You can sign as an organization or as an individual. The deadline for signatures is October 28, 2011.
If you’ve already signed on to the letter and are looking for more ways to make your voice heard, the National Council encourages you to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Members of Congress monitor local media to get the pulse of public opinion in their districts, and your letter to the editor can help sway opinions.
The National Council has drafted two templates for a Letter to the Editor that you can personalize for your community. Whether this is your first time writing a letter to the editor, or if your letters are published on a weekly basis, the process is simple:
- Pick the letter template you want to use: we’ve written one with a consumer focus and one with a provider focus. Or, draft your own from scratch.
- Customize the letter where indicated in brackets [ ] with information or a story from your community. Feel free to modify or personalize it however you wish.
- Look at your most recent copy of the local newspaper to find out how to submit letters. You’ll usually find an email or mailing address in the small print on the back of the front page. Many newspapers also have easy online forms for submitting letters.
- If your letter is published, email Rebecca Farley at RebeccaF@thenationalcouncil.org to let us know!
Thank you for your tireless advocacy on behalf of Medicaid and the behavioral health safety net.