By Caitlin Owens
March 16, 2016
Congress has plenty of big-ticket battles to fight in the coming months. When it comes to a bipartisan mental health bill that eventually will be on the Senate floor, finding the money to get rid of a policy that most agree is flawed that could be the biggest problem.
The Senate Health, Energy, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a mental health and substance abuse package that didn't address the issue. Several senators said they wanted to get rid of an old Medicaid regulation that prohibits federal funds for clinics with more than 16 beds treating mental health and substance abuse patients. Originally created to deinstitutionalize mental health care, members argue now that it creates a barrier to providing Medicaid services for behavioral treatment outside of hospitals.