The White House today released the President’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. In it he makes numerous recommendations that support various aspects of substance use disorder treatment.
For the first time, a US President provides funds and directives to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity). Not only is additional enforcement funding provided for the Department of Labor, they are required to enforce the law to the greatest extent possible under existing language. The budget also requires Parity for all federally insured employees and expands it to Medicare patients. These are items NAATP and the field have been requesting for many years. If enacted, they would expand access to care for millions of Americans.
The budget also extends telemedicine for SUD treatment and expands the training and scholarships necessary to expand workforce development. The President also expands the federal government’s response to the Opioid epidemic by increasing prevention and treatment opportunities.
Throughout the budget proposal is a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion for all Americans. This is another NAATP priority, and we applaud its importance to the Administration.
Every President’s budget proposal must advance through the Congressional budget process. This takes months and a great deal of negotiation. These proposals do however signal the Administration’s priorities and how they may direct future resources once appropriated.
As the process continues, we will be asking our members to make their voices heard in Congress regarding these items critically important to the field. NAATP also appreciates the Administration’s recognition of SUD treatment as a federal government priority, which will benefit millions of Americans.