BPC Action Urges Passage of Better Mental Health Care, Lower-Cost Drugs, and Extenders Act in Health

BPC Action commends Senate Finance Committee leadership for their ongoing commitment to pursuing bipartisan solutions to address the behavioral health and opioid crises facing the nation. Ahead of the committee’s health legislation markup, BPC Action encourages all members to continue with this bipartisan cooperation in passing the Better Mental Health Care, Lower-Cost Drugs, and Extenders Act. This bill takes necessary steps to expand the mental health care workforce and increase access to much-needed services. 

The Bipartisan Policy Center has long been working on developing policy solutions to improve the federal effort to tackle the nation’s behavioral health and substance use crises. BPC’s previous work focused on addressing the opioid crisis, strengthening behavioral health integration with primary care, leveraging telehealth services to address behavioral health and substance use disorder, and establishing the nation’s mental health crisis response system. 

BPC Action is particularly pleased that the legislation being considered includes several bipartisan priorities, such as: 

  • Expanding the mental health workforce by building on incentives for rural providers and allowing licensed social workers to bill Medicare for certain behavioral health services. 
  • Supporting integration of behavioral health and primary care through increased reimbursement for behavioral health integration, including for the Collaborative Care Model. 
  • Improving access to services through telehealth. 
  • Ensuring continued access to mental health services and substance use disorder care via Medicaid. 

BPC Action applauds the committee for its steadfast commitment to addressing the behavioral health and substance use disorder crises. We look forward to working with Congress to advance these policies in a bipartisan manner. 

View the full letter to congressional leadership here.