FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Led by the National Association of Counties (NACo), a bipartisan group of nearly 150 county elected officials urged congressional leaders to pass key behavioral and mental health policies before the end of the year.
In a letter to congressional leaders, the county officials wrote, “As a key intergovernmental partner, we urge you to work towards the passage of a bipartisan behavioral health package that enhances our ability to provide comprehensive behavioral health services in all settings, strengthens the behavioral health workforce and increases resident access to services.”
“In alliance with counties across the United States, this letter to our nation’s leadership details our shared goals of ensuring resources are provided to address the behavioral and mental health needs of residents,” stated Coconino County Board of Supervisors Chair Patrice Horstman. “I encourage everyone to read the letter sent to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, to learn more about the national policies we support.”
County leaders outlined support for policies that would:
- Amend the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP)
- Repeal the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion
- Fund direct and flexible grant programs to counties to support the recruitment, training, and retention of a sufficient behavioral health workforce
- Sustain federal funding to support local crisis response infrastructure through Medicaid, and
- Enforce policies that ensure equal coverage of treatment for mental illness and addiction.
Read the full letter and view its signatories.