House Republicans recently introduced legislation called the American Health Care Reform Act of 2017, or the ACHA (H.R. 277) to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. We expect the bill to come before the full House for a vote this Thursday, March 23, 2017.
While we know the AHCA retains a number of important provisions within the ACA, such as coverage of pre-existing conditions and the 10 essential health benefits, including addiction and mental services, preventative services, and prescription drugs, we also know that with this bill, the rate of those who are uninsured will increase and access to sufficient healthcare coverage will decrease.
NAADAC is calling on YOU to raise concerns about two major components of the bill:
- Steep cuts to Medicaid; The Republican’s proposal to halt Medicaid expansion by 2020 means a reduction of $880 billion over the next ten years.
- Parity, which NAADAC and other allied organizations fought for over 18 years to enact, would no longer be mandated and required by insurance plans.
Last week, NAADAC signed on to the Coalition for Whole Health’s letter to Congress advising policymakers to ensure that SUD and mental health coverage is included in the new healthcare law. Specifically, we urged that:
- Parity mandates are put in place to guarantee care for mental health and substance use disorders is on par with coverage for physical healthcare.
- Medicaid expansion is continued in order to keep services and treatment at a lower cost for more accessibility.
- Medicaid’s current structure is maintained, which allows for flexibility (state-specific programs) and innovation (Medicaid waivers) in its treatment of adults and children with mental health and substance use disorders.
- Requirements to have adequate networks of mental health and substance use disorder providers are kept in place.
- ACA’s preexisting conditions clause is maintained; the importance of education, training and career development systems for the current and future workforce are emphasized in order to continue strengthening service delivery models for quality care; and support for the merger of mental health and substance use disorder care and the broader healthcare system are continued.
- The importance of education, training and career development systems for the current and future workforce are emphasized in order to continue strengthening service delivery models for quality care.
- Support for the merger of mental health and substance use disorder care and the broader healthcare system are continued.
The bill is being voted on this Thursday, March 23, 2017. We need your voice now to contact your legislators and advise them that Medicaid cuts and loss of Parity will severely curtail the ability of addiction-focused professionals to serve the over 20 million Americans with substance use disorders and help curb the addiction epidemic we now face throughout America.
Click here to find your legislators' contact information.
Call Your Legislator
703.741.7686 x 130
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 85,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused healthcare professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support, and education. An important part of the healthcare continuum, NAADAC members, and its 47 state affiliates work to create healthier individuals, families and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment and recovery support.