The bill is now on its way to the U.S. Senate, and if passed, will be signed into law. Such an outcome is deeply concerning for the disability community, as the AHCA would significantly limit access to affordable healthcare coverage for millions of Americans. Its provisions would allow devastating...
When faced with the political power of money, the only antidote is numbers, numbers of people. As you may have read or heard, the Health Plans have increased their contributions to some of our key legislators.
The best hope we have to prevent the handing over of the Public Mental Health dollars to the private, mostly for profit, out-of-state Health Plans, through pilots or in wholesale fashion, is to have your State Senator at 517-373-2400 and Representative at 517-373-6339 hear from many people. That means you, your family, friends and anyone else you can get to call or write. Unfortunately this needs to be ASAP. We have a very small window of opportunity.
Please also make calls and/or write to the
Speaker of the House, Tom Leonard. Phone Number: 517-373-1778 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And Majority Leader of the Senate, Arlan Meekhof Phone Number: 517-373-6920 Email: email@example.com
They need to hear from as many of us as possible, as soon as possible.
The main points: • Keep our Mental Health System public. - Do not privatize or profit-ize through the Health Plans. - CMH Board Members are appointed by elected officials not shareholders. - CMH Board meetings are open to the public and the Open Meetings Act. Not true for Health Plans who have little transparency and no public accountability.
• The experiences Health Plans have with physical health care does not translate to the supports and services provided through the CMH system. Person-Centered Planning and individualized supports are not understood or practiced by the Health Plans.
• The current financial integration pilots for dual Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries in four regions of the State show 60-70% of those automatically enrolled take the steps to opt-out, withdraw, from the program so they didn’t receive their health care from the Health Plans. This could mean that a third or more of those people who would be forced to go to the Health Plans for their Mental Health supports and services, in a pilot, wouldn’t be integrated because they would not receive their health care from the Health Plan.
• If after the terms of a pilot, the Health Plan is not successful, fails or decides to leave, there will no longer be a CMH infrastructure to go back to. Dismantling of the CMH also leads to no safety-net for non-Medicaid or other emergency situations.
• All of the reviews of the original 298 proposal have come to the conclusion that we should not have pilots run by the Health Plans and should not consider turning the public system and dollars over to the Health Plans. The Calley Workgroup for DHHS which prepared the reports to the legislators all recommended that CMHSPs lead publicly funded mental health supports and services. ... See MoreSee Less
Last week the House and the Senate Appropriation Subcommittees each made the following proposals to the MDHHS budget:
• The House Subcommittee’s proposal was measured and constructive. It actually advanced concepts from the reports of the MDHHS Section 298 Facilitation Workgroup: 1. The state should move from 10 PIHPs to one; the Workgroup received several model proposals on this, including one from leading statewide advocacy groups;
2. The state should pilot a combined CMH-MHP program, without dictating specifics of how that would be run, instead appropriately leaving those details to MDHHS. This is consistent with a major recommendation in the March 298 Workgroup report.
• What the Senate Subcommittee did flies in the face of all the state-initiated review and analysis of the past 14 months. Three major review steps, all initiated by the state: Calley Workgroup; statewide affinity groups; and MDHHS 298 Workgroup. The Concept of HMO control was thoroughly rejected at each stage. It is offensive that a handful of people on one Subcommittee would decide they’re a better judge of what to do next than the thousands of people who were involved in the state’s review processes for over a year. The Senate Subcommittee was reckless, ill-advised, premature and unnecessary given it can’t legally bind future legislative sessions. The Subcommittee’s section 234 sentence stating a goal of HMO control of behavioral health by 2020, must be deleted if we are going to value the voices of vulnerable citizens over business profits.
Please Remove Section 234 from the Senate MDHHS Budget
• The 298 workgroup was fair and objective and reflected the voices of thousands of families and persons who depend on the system to survive. Section 234 ignores that process and those voices.
• Section 234 does nothing to lower costs, provide better outcomes or assure coordination of care at the level of the individual.
• The multi-year integration pilots, MI Health Link, in four regions of the state (the U.P., Counties in the Southwest of Michigan, Wayne and Macomb Counties) have been a failure with the vast majority of eligible individuals dis-enrolling from the project.
• Despite the fact that they have to actively opt out after having been automatically enrolled (60% - 70% choose to leave the Health Plan!).
• Putting the non-medical supports people with developmental disabilities need every day in the hands of the Medicaid Health Plans who have no experience or background makes no sense.
Please Support Key Concepts in the House MDHHS Budget Language
• Ensure that public policy and management role for Michigan’s public mental health system of supports and services for persons with developmental disabilities and mental illness remains public.
• Ensure that any savings realized are reinvested into the public mental health system.
• Fosters uniformity in the supports and services available across the state.
For Representatives (House)
Support Key Concepts in the House MDHHS Budget Language
• Keeps the non-medical but extremely critical supports people with developmental disabilities and mental illness need to survive each day in the hands of those who know and understand them. Does not turn them over to the Health Plans who have not expertise or understanding of their non-medical supports.
• Ensures that the public policy and management role for Michigan’s public mental health system remains public.
• Fosters uniformity across the state in supports and services available to persons with developmental disabilities and their families. ... See MoreSee Less
The Senate appropriations committee for health and human services approved language that could privatize the behavioral health Medicaid system and create a single contract between the state and Medicaid health plans. Mental health advocates said they would continue to integrate services, but …