Today the US House of Representatives passed the long-awaited “Build Back Better” legislation using a process called reconciliation. That process requires only a majority vote, bypassing the filibuster in the US Senate.
NAATP has advocated for numerous items that were included in the House version of the bill. While there will undoubtedly be changes made in the Senate, we are hopeful our priorities will remain intact. Some of the items we support include:
Language giving the Department of Labor the authority to impose fines on insurance companies when they fail to comply with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity). This is the most important step toward enforcement of this critically important law since it was originally passed. It could dramatically increase access to care for millions of Americans.
The House version of the bill also contains Paid Medical Leave, which would provide 4 weeks of paid leave which would include treatment for SUD. It would remove a major barrier to access for care.
The Build Back Better bill also provides Medicaid coverage for inmates leaving incarceration giving them medical insurance once released. Additionally, it provides $5.5 billion for workforce programs and an additional $35 billion for housing for this population.
While we anticipate changes in the Senate, NAATP will continue to use this opportunity to support policies that benefit the field and provide much needed resources for our members and their patients. Your support and contacts made to your members of Congress helped keep these important policy items in the legislation. Thank you.