Legislation Archives

Legislative Update Archive

February 2009 Legislative Update (PDF) 
• President Obama has appointed Mary Wakefield as the new head of HRSA.
  • President Obama Selects Top Rural Health Care Advocate to Oversee Key HHS Agency Dr. Mary Wakefield will be the next
    Administrator of HRSA



January 2006 Legislative Update
To check on a bill of interest to you, go to the THOMAS Legislative Information Website at http://Thomas.loc.gov and type in the bill number or title. You will find bill summary and co-sponsors and the status of the bill at that website.

The following are ISPN updates on legislative issues and bills of interest to members. Many are being sponsored by our organization.

Keeping Families Together Act (S.1152.IS and H.R. 823. IH) was introduced into the House and Senate this past year. It addressed the problem that families have when they are forced to relinquish their children to the care of the state in order to receive needed psychiatric services. This happens due to the families' inability to pay for needed services. The Bill amends this process to make it possible for the child to stay in the parental home and receive the needed services. ISPN, APNA and ACAPN signed a letter of support drafted by Anne Toro from the American Psychological Association's public policy office.

Medicare Mental Health Co payment Equity Act of 2005 was endorsed by ISPN and APNA this year also. This bill will reduce the current discriminatory coinsurance requirement from 50 to 20 percent for medicare outpatient mental health visits.

Children's Mental Health Workforce Bill was endorsed by ISPN and APNA also. This bill aims to address the national shortage of children's mental health professionals by encouraging individuals to enter the field through the creation of education incentives.

Other bills that our membership will want to follow are:

Eating Disorders Awareness, Prevention and Education Act of 2005 (H.R. 49.IH)

Medicare Mental Health Modernization Act of 2005 (S.1152.IS and H.R. 1125. IH)

Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Care Act of 2005 (S. 1592.IS)

We invite all of our members to contact the Legislative Council with any questions. Let your voice be heard individually and contact us if you want a more collective voice.

Noreen Thompson MSN, ARNP, BC
[email protected]



June 21, 2002 Legislative Update
Activities on Capitol Hill

(1) Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, chaired by Sen. Kennedy held hearings on 4/25/02 addressed adding school-based behavioral supports to special education students.

(2) General Accounting office releases report on School Discipline of special education students.  Report 01-210; "Student Discipline and IDEA".  Jan. 2001.
www.gao.gov, also www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/index.html

(3) President Bush signs Education Law Jan. 2002, "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001"
Also establishes "New Freedom Initiative Commission on Mental Health Services" to examine gaps in system, declaring support of Federal mental illness parity legislation.

White House comment line 202-456-1414
or e-mail [email protected]

(4) Bipartisan group in House introduce letter of support of Bush's National Commission to examine gaps in public mental health system. H. Con Res. 402.  Members can be reached at Capital switchboard 202-224-3121.

(5) Report from Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project  given to US. Senate
Diverse coalition concerned with over-representation of the mentally ill in jails provided comprehensive and practical recommendations to state and local government officials. 

(6) Funding
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: RFP for "Depression in Primary Care"  http://www.depressioninprimarycare.org/

“Local Initiative Funding Partners Program 2003: matching grant to establish partnership in innovative, community-based projects for underserved, at-risk populations”.  http://www.rwjf.org/

Hearings held May 2002 by House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and related agencies for Increased funding at NIH and NIMH for severe mental illness research, CMHS/SAMSHA for research on community-based care, quality and access.

  • PATH (Project to Assist Transition from Homelessness)
  • Mental Health Block Grants proposed increased, but may be frozen FY 2003 due to state budget cuts
  • CMHS Jail Diversion program
  • CMHS Discretionary Programs, including Community Action Grants may be eliminated.

Judy Hisholo
Legislative Chair