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Lawmakers push for legislation to enhance mental health services through Medicaid

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  • Staff Report 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Dan Goldman, and Rep. Jerry Nadler announced on Tuesday a push for the “Strengthening Medicaid for Serious Mental Illness Act.”


The proposed legislation aims to enhance medical care access for individuals living with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. If passed, the bill would create new services under Medicaid, set a national standard for care, and incentivize states to provide specific treatment services, according to a news conference held at Manhattan’s Fountain House.

The legislation emphasizes support for individuals with severe mental illness, including assistance in employment and access to support services and mobile crisis intervention teams. States would also be required to adhere to particular care standards, such as monitoring disparities in treatment. Highlighting the interruptions to mental health treatment due to COVID, especially among low-income and underprivileged communities, Goldman stressed the importance of the bill in ensuring that people receive the necessary treatment in an effective manner.