This petition to be delivered to:
President Donald Trump;
The Honorable Greg Walden, Chairman, Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives;
The Honorable Frank Pallone, Ranking Member, Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives; and
United States Senate
When will we put an end to the discriminatory policy that limits access to mental health and addiction treatment for the lowest income Americans?
As a citizen and constituent of this great country, I am asking that you put an end to the archaic policy blocking Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide from receiving the mental health and substance abuse care they need by repealing the IMD Exclusion.
Since 1965, the federal IMD Exclusion has prohibited federal Medicaid funding for most patients in need of mental health and substance use disorder residential treatment. The exclusion, found in Section 1905(a)(B) of the Social Security Act, is intended to limit federal responsibility for most types of inpatient and residential facilities with a behavioral healthcare focus (including substance use disorder treatment), leaving the financial burden solely on the states.
The IMD Exclusion represents an outmoded approach in mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and is inconsistent with the public policy reflected in the 2008 enactment of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the 2010 enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Both of these recognized the critical need to expand access to substance use disorder treatment and mental health to all Americans, including lower-income households that have historically had the least access to care. While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have circumvented the IMD Exclusion by negotiating state-specific waivers from its provisions, these time-limited and patchwork fixes are an incomplete “band-aid,” leaving many Americans without access and doing nothing to fix the long-term problem.
The Honorable Greg Walden and the Honorable Frank Pallone have released a discussion draft bill entitled the Limited Repeal of the IMD Exclusion for Adult Medicaid Beneficiaries with Substance Use Disorder Act. It is encouraging that these legislators are acting on behalf of America for positive change. This petition is intended to encourage forward motion with the discussion draft, to work with healthcare providers for the betterment of the terms contained within the discussion bill, and to encourage other governmental bodies to create action toward the repeal of the IMD Exclusion.
The time has come for Congress and the President to act and to remove the discriminatory and backwards IMD Exclusion provision from federal law. Please sign this Petition and help gather 5,000 signatures to register the need for change.
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