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senate Bill S. 599

Extending a Demonstration Program for Emergency Psychiatric Care

Argument in favor

There’s no need to stop an existing pilot program for emergency psychiatric care. It’s relatively inexpensive, and a one year extension with the potential for a longer or permanent extension provides for flexibility in the program’s future.

operaman's Opinion
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11/16/2015
Keep the psychological problems off the street
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Mark's Opinion
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11/16/2015
This really needs to be a permanent measure and modified to allow non-emergency mental healthcare to be provided because not all men and women will show signs to their families that they're having problems; worst come to worst you have another mass shooting on your hands and people ask why.
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Wes's Opinion
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11/16/2015
There's not nearly enough done for mental health in this Country.
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Argument opposed

Congress should either extend this program permanently now, or allow it to expire. It is unnecessary to gather additional information by continuing to offer the services.

resistor's Opinion
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11/25/2015
The federal government must stop thinking that it is the solution for every problem. We are $18+ TRILLION in debt for this very reason. If government health programs are popular with the majority, then state and local governments should be the source. Federal government has no business in healthcare - just look at the fiascos called Obamacare and the VA.
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lcynicl's Opinion
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11/17/2015
Either do it or not. Stop kicking the can.
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GrumpyMSgt's Opinion
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11/17/2015
11 states receiving an additional $100K in funding? Appears to be feel-good legislation with little impact on a serious problem.
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What is Senate Bill S. 599?

This bill extends emergency psychiatric care demonstration projects that are currently limited to three years through fiscal year 2016 for any states that were selected for the program prior to March 2012 if they meet certain financial criteria to maintain budget neutrality. Under current law, the program will expire at the end of 2015 in the 11 states that have been participating.

An additional extension through 2019 would be available to states if the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines that their participation won’t lead to a net increase in Medicaid spending.

HHS must submit its recommendations to Congress on the following subjects:

  • Whether the demonstration project should be continued after September 30, 2016;

  • Whether it should be expanded to additional states, or be permanently continued after 2019 in one or more states;

  • If the demonstration project should be expanded on a nationwide basis.

Impact

People and doctors participating in the emergency psychiatric care demonstration program, state Medicaid agencies, and HHS.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 599

$100.00 Thousand
The CBO estimates that this bill would increase spending by $100,000 over the 2015-2025 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) cited hurdles faced by providers in delivering mental health care to those in need of it as a primary reason for introducing this bill:

“Too often Americans with emergency mental health needs are unable to receive the care they need due to bureaucratic red tape. This bipartisan legislation cuts through the red tape to make sure those in crisis have access to the specialized care they need to recover and lead healthy, productive lives. By working with the states, the federal government can be a partner in saving lives as well as vital resources.”

The American Hospital Association endorsed this legislation on the grounds that it would potentially relieve “the strain on community hospitals and improving access to quality psychiatric care for this underserved and vulnerable population.”

Currently this bill has 14 cosponsors in the Senate, including eight Democrats and six Republicans.

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Helga)

AKA

Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act

Official Title

A bill to extend and expand the Medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project.

bill Progress


  • EnactedDecember 11th, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed November 16th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The senate Passed September 28th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedFebruary 26th, 2015

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    Keep the psychological problems off the street
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The federal government must stop thinking that it is the solution for every problem. We are $18+ TRILLION in debt for this very reason. If government health programs are popular with the majority, then state and local governments should be the source. Federal government has no business in healthcare - just look at the fiascos called Obamacare and the VA.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    This really needs to be a permanent measure and modified to allow non-emergency mental healthcare to be provided because not all men and women will show signs to their families that they're having problems; worst come to worst you have another mass shooting on your hands and people ask why.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    11 states receiving an additional $100K in funding? Appears to be feel-good legislation with little impact on a serious problem.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    There's not nearly enough done for mental health in this Country.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Either do it or not. Stop kicking the can.
    Like (1)
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    I have family who are mentally ill. I support expansion of mental health services for the seriously mentally ill. Treatment before tragedy.
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    NO NO NO!!! THE PILOT HAD A DEFINED PERIOD AND DEFINED METRICS OF SUCCESS. If it was successful, implement it as a permanent program with follow-up review of effectiveness every 10 years. If it has failed per the terms of the pilot, THEN SHUT IT DOWN!!! Stop kicking the can down the road on black and white decisions!!!
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    Quit wasting time. Make a decision.
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    Big government once again, I want a smaller government.
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    Let's stop this program there is no need for this
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    Do this! NOW! It is insanity itself not to extend it. But no one thinks you Folks are either smart or sane. Just saying...
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    Not a national government concern. This should be dealt with at a local level.
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    This is your govt at work! Everything they do is halfassed. This bill is a feel good bill that does nothing to relieve the problem. Should Medicaid cover mental health? Absolutely. BUT it should be the health care that the DOCTOR deems necessary, not the government. Problem is that the Medicaid program was opened up so that more people qualify and so the money ran out... Just like every other program. The govt needs to stay out of the health care business and let the free market take care of rates. Open up the market across state lines, medical savings accounts with stop gap insurance is one solution that would bring rates and costs down.
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    Anything to improve mental health care is important. Even the NRA agrees (whenever another mass shooter goes berserk).
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    There is a crisis in mental Heath care in this country. Insurance companies won't pay and neither will the states. Incarcerating the mentally ill to keep communities safe is criminal!
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    Where is the money coming from?
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    Get government out of the health care system
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    Sounds like at least a baby step in the right direction. People who need psychiatric care should get it, preferably before they go off the deep end and shoot someone.
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    All monies have been stopped for mental care, so let's restart it. We don't need people in jails but in hospitals. Let's use our law enforcement for what it is not mental institutions. Keep monies going for mental health and mental health care.
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