Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What is happening to Senate 757/H. 3586: Does a bill becomes law? (Updated)

Some of you may remember that last year, we got an omnibus children's mental health bill through the State legislature, at a fairly high cost: in order to get the bill passed, we withdrew a section that would have mandated payments for collateral contacts (ie your child's therapist could get paid a bit to talk to your child's teacher). This year, we have S. 757 (An Act Relative to Children's Mental Health Clinicians) and H. 3586 (An Act Relative to the Coordination of Children's Mental Health Services), both of which had their day of hearings before the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse back in May. (I testified in support, as you may recall). Well, that Committee has a hearing again tomorrow, and, while neither of these bills are currently on the agenda, many of us hope that the Committee wil choose to send this onto the Committee on Health Care Financing, so that it can come over to Ways and Means. That is the way that these things go. It feels a little like the introduction to Casablanca; now, we are all waiting, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

*****According to my friends at "A Healthy Blog", the bill has been favorably reported out, and should be moving over to Health Care Financing. Cool beans*****

Meanwhile, the "nibbling around the edges" of our new system has commences with the 20% cut to the funding for MCPAP. Latest plan I heard calls for them to shut down on Fridays, and then to try to get the insurer's to chip in a piece of the action. Makes sense, but we will see.

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