New Congress, What Now?
By Happy Carlock | Jan. 27, 2017
America is in a time of transition. And any major transition—whether in politics or in our personal lives—is often accompanied by a range of emotions. Just log into your Facebook or scroll through Twitter, and you’re likely to be flooded by alarming headlines and heated commentary. With a new president and members of Congress, our political landscape is shifting. New laws and regulations are being proposed and the future of health care is at the center of the action.
NAMI pledges to be here every step of the way, fighting to make sure that your mental health care is protected and keeping you informed of new developments. Below are some frequently asked questions we’ve been receiving from our members and HelpLine callers. Find our answers here, and don’t forget to join the fight to protect America’s mental health.
Does NAMI support the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
NAMI is a non-partisan organization. We work across the political spectrum to build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI opposes the repeal of the ACA. The patient protections and increased access to insurance that were included in the bill have supported millions of people living with mental health conditions in their recovery. We acknowledge that there is still more work to do to improve access and quality of services.
I’m worried I’m going to lose my health insurance. What’s happening in Congress? What’s going to happen to my insurance?
Congress is debating the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which resulted in many people getting health coverage. However, repeal of the ACA is very complicated. It’s important to remember that any changes to the ACA or Medicaid must move through Congress in a process that will take time and require negotiation. We anticipate that there will be time for people to plan before any changes in coverage take effect.
What is NAMI doing to protect mental health coverage?
Ensuring that people have the mental health coverage they need is NAMI’s number one advocacy priority. This includes protecting Medicaid. We are working every day with Republican and Democratic members of Congress and with partner organizations to preserve important insurance protections and health care coverage for people living with mental health conditions. Some of this work is very public—like our advocacy alerts and public statements—and some is behind the scenes on Capitol Hill.
Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have long supported our mental health priorities. For example, in December, a major mental health reform bill passed with strong support from both parties. We have members of Congress on record supporting our issues and we are reminding them that we must protect access to mental health care in order to keep the progress that they voted for.
How can I help protect health coverage for myself or my loved one?
- Sign up for NAMI’s advocacy alerts. We will email you when key votes are coming up and ask you to call or email your members of Congress.
- Contact Congress and tell them you support mental health coverage.
- Share your story about how mental health coverage has helped you get better, get back to work, get back to school or meet your goals. NAMI will share these stories with members of Congress, governors, media and others who can help us in this fight. We won’t share your name unless you give us permission.
- Register for NAMI’s 2017 Hill Day and National Convention, to be held June 28-July 1 in Washington, D.C.