Impassioned NAMI CEO Urges Members To Tell Senators “NO” To Graham-Cassidy Health Bill: Warns “It Will Make Mental Health Care Worse!”

(9-26-17) Saying “there’s never been a more dangerous time for people with mental illness,” the National Alliance on Mental Illness urged its members to tell their U.S. Senators to vote against the Graham-Cassidy health reform bill.

If it passes, NAMI CEO Mary Giliberti warned, the legislation “could take away your mental health care.”

NAMI joined dozens of other organizations urging members to contact their senators and vote against the Republican legislation hurried together by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy, (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI),  in an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The National Council on Behavioral Health stated the bill would “mean restricted access to Medicaid, restricted access to affordable coverage and restricted access to lifesaving mental health and addictions treatment” for millions of Americans.

The Corporation for Supportive Housing asked its supporters to “deliver a strong message to Members of Congress that they should oppose any and all efforts that could harm Medicaid beneficiaries residing in supportive housing and also block attempts to roll back expanded coverage.” How to contact your Senators. It added: “When repeal and replace deliberations began over 120 organizations joined CSH’s sign-on letter urging Congress to recognize the proven role supportive housing plays in reducing health care/ Medicaid costs.”

Ironically, it was Sen. Cassidy who championed major mental health legislation last year. Teaming with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Dr. Cassidy helped shepherd the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act through the Senate. It was signed into law during the final days of the Obama administration.

In a blast email with the title : THIS IS NOT A FIRE DRILL, Giliberti wrote: “Health reform impacts the lives of every American, so it needs to be done right. But the Graham-Cassidy bill gets it wrong for people with mental illness and the vote is going to be close.

She warned:

The Graham-Cassidy bill:

  • Allows states to change the rules so health plans don’t have to cover mental health care.
  • Slashes billions from Medicaid funding, which will make it harder for people to get local mental health services.
  • Ends the Medicaid expansion that covers adults with mental health and substance use conditions who don’t usually qualify for Medicaid.
  • Cuts financial assistance to buy health insurance, making mental health coverage unaffordable for many.

Tell Your Senator: Vote No

This isn’t a fire drill. We need you to speak up now and tell

your senators to VOTE NO on the Graham-Cassidy bill.


About the author:

Pete Earley is the bestselling author of such books as The Hot House and Crazy. When he is not spending time with his family, he tours the globe advocating for mental health reform.

Learn more about Pete.