TennCare and the state budget process have been in the news. Cuts to funding for mental health in Tennessee have been proposed.
Gov. Bill Haslam said recently that he's talked with nine Republican governors who have expanded Medicaid for low-income people in their states. Haslam has been criticized for refusing last year to agree to $1.4 billion in federal funds to cover about 180,000 uninsured Tennesseans. After the TennCare state budget hearing, Haslam told reporters that he talked with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell this week and that he plans to make a decision about expanding Medicaid by Christmas.
Can we afford more cuts?
This week, the NAMI Tennessee Policy Committee reviewed the proposed state budget cuts. These proposed reductions call for the elimination of funding for our Peer Centers for a savings of $4.5 million as well as eliminating funding for adolescent outpatient substance abuse services and adolescent day and evening treatment services - cuts totaling $1.4 million. Additional proposed cuts will eroded our mental health system even further.
The next 12 days are critical
Please join NAMI Tennessee and other mental health advocates by saying yes to Medicaid Expansion and no to additional cuts for mental illness. Visit your local legislator and share this message now. We have a brief window before Christmas for our message to be heard. Your voice matters!
Day on the Hill will be March 18, 2015
Visits to legislators in their home districts make a huge impact. Visits now impact the budget process before the Governor presents his budget to the legislator and the public debates in the Statehouse begin. We also have a chance to impact the budget process and provide education to legislators by participating in Day on the Hill. We hope that you mark March 18, 2015 on your calenders and join us for this day of advocacy