Federal Legislative Agenda
Access to Healthcare
Current Federal laws and programs have supported access to health care regardless of income. This is undoubtedly a problem for large cities across the country, and we can predict that these programs are at grave risk under the incoming Administration.
- Maintain insurance coverage and associated regulatory protections for those enrolled through the Affordable Care Act
- Enforce legally-mandated parity in mental and physical insurance coverage
- Maintain Medicaid funding levels and existing Medicaid waivers, including supplemental payments that help support care for the uninsured
- Maintain funding for federally qualified health centers who help treat the uninsured
Preventing Opioid Overdose Deaths
Locally and nation-wide, we are seeing an untenable increase in opioid abuse and resulting deaths. This is a national public health crisis but hits home most immediately at the local level, requiring the advocacy and intervention of municipal leaders.
- Reduce risks/harms to active users: rapid screenings in shelters/supportive housing and jails
- Increase enrollment in effective treatment by expanding access to Medication Assisted Therapies including buprenorphine; reducing limitations for prescribers
- Expand affordable availability of naloxone in highest risk populations (shelter, jails)
- Directly fund local communities of greatest need, allowing cities and counties on the frontlines to innovate and take action
- Fully fund the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to expand access to treatment, strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs, and accelerate research on opioids misuse
Improving Mental Health Care
Despite the costs of untreated mental illness on people's health and economic productivity, our current healthcare delivery and financing systems do not prioritize mental health services and access. Cities provide an ideal opportunity to incubate best and promising practices to promote mental wellness and address longstanding treatment gaps.
- Encourage Congress to pass the bi-partisan Expanded Excellence in Mental Health Act
- Incentivize collaborative care – where mental health conditions and substance use disorders are treated together in a primary care setting through changes to Medicaid/Medicare reimbursement
- Fund pilot programs to increase access to mental health services, such as telemedicine to provide access to mental health in underserved communities; and mental health services in schools
- Advocate that Congress appropriate robust funding to the programs established under the 21st Century Cures Act