SB 597 & 598
As you may know, the Senate Government Operations Committee approved Senator Shirkey’s 2-bill integration package on 10/26/21. The new versions of the bills continue to get worse and will most likely change again on the Senate floor. We believe Sen. Shirkey may try to bring these bills up for a vote in the Senate as early as next week.
Senate Bills 597 & 598 attempt to reboot the failed section 298 effort from a few years ago. This legislation would privatize all Medicaid mental health services by giving full financial control and oversight or decision making to for-profit insurance companies. Supporters of Senate Bills 597 & 598 make a lot of false promises, do not be fooled these bills are a shell game, just shifting who pays the bills for a small fraction of people in the Medicaid program.
A new poll commissioned by the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan and conducted by third-party survey provider EPIC-MRA found 67% of likely Michigan voters prefer the public mental health system to be managed by public entities who specialize in mental health care vs. turning the system over to private, for-profit companies.
REQUEST FOR ACTION: We are asking you to reach out to your legislators (House & Senate) and the Governor and URGE them to reject these bills when they come before them for a vote. We need to get as many Senators to oppose SBs 597 & 598 as possible. This approach is nothing more than a health plan money grab, these bills will not improve care for Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens, and it will give control to entities who have not proven they can do the job – this is BAD public policy.
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We also need you to ask that the members of your Board of Directors, your staff, and your community partners make those same contacts – SIMPLY FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO THEM. This will not be the last action alert we send out on this topic, but it is critical that lawmakers hear from us – there has been tremendous turnover in the Michigan Legislature since 2016 (when 298 first appeared) this will be the first time many lawmakers are hearing about this issue.
Thank you in advance for your support and tireless advocacy on this important topic.
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