Tell Washington NOT to Turn Its Back On Behavioral Healthcare

by Rebecca Farley on June 8, 2011

Join us in Washington, DC on July 19 and 20 for the National Council’s 7th Annual Hill Day

By Linda Rosenberg, President & CEO, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Make no mistake — behavioral healthcare remains under threat. Decisions being made today in Washington affect the programs you provide — and the people dependent on them.

Fact: Congress is currently mulling over proposals to restructure Medicaid from a federal-state partnership into a block grant that would result in a total of 750 billion dollars in cuts to federal Medicaid spending over the next 10 years.

Fact: The unfolding debt limit debate — particularly the question of whether and how deeply to cut entitlement programs — has a profound impact on Medicaid and other programs that fund safety net addictions and mental health services.

Fact: We remain committed to passage of the Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011, a bill expanding federal health information technology payments to previously ineligible community behavioral health providers and organizations.

Fact: YOU have the power to protect and preserve the programs and services so many depend upon. Your voice can make a difference!

On July 19 and 20, join your colleagues from across the country as they call on Capitol Hill for the National Council’s 7th Annual Hill Day. The world is run by people who show up — and this is your chance to show up and tell your senators and representatives that you won’t let budgets be balanced at the expense of community behavioral health.

Last spring, more than 500 behavioral healthcare providers, consumers, and community leaders came to Washington, D.C. and joined the National Council’s daily fight to halt the erosion of your programs. Hill Day is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for you to get in the game and tell your elected leaders in person not to cut services that sustain society’s most vulnerable people.

There’s more to Hill Day than calling on Congress — it’s also a condensed conference experience, featuring great speakers and exciting breakout sessions. You’re invited to the free Public Policy Institute, on July 19, educating you about the power of personal advocacy, pubic communication, and the latest policy developments. Our guest speakers include key Washington insiders such as Pam Hyde, SAMSHA Administrator, talking about healthcare policy; Jim VandeHei, co-founder of POLITICO, looking at the political landscape; and Judy Solomon and Ellen Nissenbaum from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities addressing the attacks on Medicaid.

“We have a big impact on what happens in DC. You might think that showing up at the Capitol doesn’t make any difference, but it does,” says Carl Clark, CEO, Mental Health Center of Denver. “If you travel from wherever you are to get here, the congressional staff that you meet with think, ‘Wow, this issue must really be important if someone came all the way here just to tell us about it.’”

So tell them about it — at the National Council’s 7th Annual Hill Day. Show up — and tell Washington NOT to turn its back on community behavioral healthcare.

Register today and plan your visit to DC on the National Council’s Hill Day webpage.

Best Regards,
Linda Rosenberg, MSW
President and CEO
National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare


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