The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is chock-full of policy aimed at helping the country’s most economically vulnerable. Much has been made about the bill’s direct cash payments and the child tax credit expansion. But the legislation also made a substantial investment in behavioral mental health services.
“My goal is to say health care above the neck should be treated the same as health care below the neck, and that the funding systems should be the same so that people can get the help they need.” — Sen. Debbie Stabenow
The move is part of a broader push for public health and safety reform by the Biden administration.
Listen: Sen. Debbie Stabenow on the importance of mental health services.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) says that through legislation, she has secured funding for 24 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) across the state. According to Stabenow, CCBHC pilots that operated for a two-year period in locations outside of Michigan showed promising results.
“These models have decreased emergency room visits by 63% and jails by 60%, and homelessness by 41%,” says Stabenow.
The American Rescue Plan also allocates $4 billion toward mental health services, bolstering the push for more comprehensive coverage in Michigan.
“My goal is to say health care above the neck should be treated the same as health care below the neck, and that the funding systems should be the same so that people can get the help they need,” says Stabenow.
Another key element in the debate around public health and safety reform is the push for gun safety measures. President Biden has prioritized a massive infrastructure package over gun reform, angering some progressives. Stabenow says the focus on infrastructure will not take away from the fight for gun reform.
“We will definitely be putting bills forward on gun safety,” she says.