Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Dan Goldman and Rep. Jerry Nadler on Tuesday touted legislation aimed at strengthening access to medical care for people living with serious mental illnesses.
The “Strengthening Medicaid for Serious Mental Illness Act,” if passed, would generate new services under Medicaid designed specifically for people living with mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, the lawmakers said during a news conference at Manhattan’s Fountain House.
What You Need To Know
- A bill introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Dan Goldman in June, the “Strengthening Medicaid for Serious Mental Illness Act,” aims to strengthen access to medical care for people living with serious mental illness
- Gillibrand, Goldman and other New York elected officials touted the legislation during a news conference at Manhattan's Fountain House on Tuesday
- The legislation, if passed, would generate new services under Medicaid designed specifically for people living with mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder
The legislation would also set a national standard for care for people with serious mental illness and incentivize states to provide services to treat them.
“Those with serious mental illness have often found themselves in a devastating cycle: going from hospitals to jails to the streets, and back around again,” said Gillibrand, who first introduced the legislation along with Goldman in June.
“Frankly, it’s unacceptable and it’s inhumane,” she added. “It’s a major issue for public safety and it’s a major issue for caring for our families.”
The legislation would provide states with the ability to offer services that would help people with severe mental illness get and keep jobs. It would also allow states to provide access to support services and mobile crisis intervention teams.
States would also be required to abide by certain standards of care, such as tracking disparities in treatment, according to a news release from Gillibrand.
“We are still struggling in the aftermath of COVID, which interrupted mental health treatment for so many, especially the low-income and underprivileged individuals in our community who rely on government services, the community services that were halted,” Goldman said.
“And that’s why this bill is so important,” he added. “It’s important that we get people the treatment they need in a way that works.”