Advocacy E-News July 14, 2017
July 14, 2017
LAWMAKERS WARY OF PLAN TO SHIFT ADDICTION, MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Officials from the Christie administration will be called to explain the benefits of a controversial plan the New Jersey governor outlined to shift addiction and mental health services to a different department during a legislative hearing scheduled for later this month. The July 25 session of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee and the Assembly Human Services Committee could also help lawmakers determine if they want to take formal action to block the move.
HOW WOULD REPEAL AND REPLACE OF THE ACA AFFECT YOUR STATE?
For many Americans, the debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) isn’t about political maneuvering or vote counting. For families, it’s about whether they will still have health coverage after the dust settles, and whether they will still be able to afford their prescription medications. For health care providers, it’s about being able to serve all the patients in their community without being overwhelmed by the costs of uncompensated care. For states, it’s also about preserving jobs and businesses, as well as having the resources needed to address the opioid crisis and other public health emergencies.
GOV SIGNS LAW TO HELP INTEGRATE PRIMARY AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
On July 13th Governor Christie signed S-2878/A-4523 into law. This law requires the Department of Health to permit certain health care facilities to use shared clinical space when providing primary health care and behavioral health care for mild to moderate behavioral health conditions. It is intended to better facilitate the integration of primary health care services and behavioral health care services in the State, and reduce any potential stigma associated with the receipt of behavioral health care for mild to moderate conditions.
SUPPORT GROWS FOR CIVIL COMMITMENT OF OPIOID ABUSERS
Amid an opioid addiction epidemic that is killing more than 90 Americans every day, there is a growing movement to make it easier for relatives and health care providers to quickly secure court orders to forcibly confine and treat people who are addicted to drugs. Most states have civil commitment laws primarily designed to protect people with mental illness from themselves and others. But in practice, most commitment laws have been ineffective when it comes to people who use heroin and other opioids.
SOME MENTALLY ILL FEDERAL INMATES RECEIVE LITTLE TO NO TREATMENT, AUDIT FINDS
Federal prisons keep some mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement for at least 22 hours a day, sometimes for years, according to an audit released Wednesday by the in-house watchdog for the Justice Department. Amid a national debate over the economic and social costs of incarceration, a number of states have reduced their use of solitary confinement. In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation last year that would have allowed solitary confinement only as a last resort and not at all for the mentally ill.