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Dear CSWA Affiliated Society Members,
Yesterday the HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) passed S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. CSWA sent a summary of this bill last week and is in support. The bill was introduced by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Chris Murphy (D-CT), this bipartisan legislation provides vital reforms to mental health funding to increase patients’ access to effective and evidence-based care particularly focused to those with serious mental illness (SMI).
S. 2680 incorporates and builds upon S. 1945, the bill created last year by Sens. Murphy and Cassidy. Here is a summary of the bill:
There is more work to do but this is a significant step forward. Clinical social workers are included in S. 2680 as covered providers several times, as they were in the House bill H.R.1945 in 2014 after CSWA, with NASW’s support, first raised the issue of including LCSWs. Whatever bill emerges from the mental health bills being considered by Congress, the place of clinical social workers appears secure.
Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director, Policy and Practice
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