E&C Passes Landmark Bipartisan Mental Health Reform Bill
Friday, June 17, 2016
The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), today passed bipartisan legislation to reform our nation’s mental health system by a vote of 53-0. H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, was introduced by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
Today the committee considered an amendment in the nature of a substitute (AINS) that was the result of Member conversations and stakeholder feedback since H.R. 2646 was passed by the Health Subcommittee in November. The committee has achieved important reforms – most recently funding for the Assisted Outpatient Treatmentgrant program in December’s year-end spending package, and CMS also expanded settings of care for mentally ill in April. This multi-year, multi-Congress effort now moves forward to the full House.
“This bill will make a real difference for countless Americans,” said Chairman Upton. “The 53-0 vote marks another important milestone to delivering meaningful reforms to families in mental health crisis. Those suffering from mental illness need the attention of this Congress, and I hope the House will swiftly follow our lead.”
“Here and now this committee jointly proclaims that the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness must come out of the shadows, we declare a new dawn of hope for the care of those with mental illness and we pledge our unwavering commitment to continued work to bring help and hope in the future,” stated Murphy.
The committee adopted an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 2646, which unanimously passed the full committee by a vote of 53-0.
An electronic copy of the bill, as well as a background memo, amendments, and votes will be available on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here as they are posted.