Pallone & Walden on Short-Term Extension of Substance Use and Mental Health Demonstration Program
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) released a statement today after Congress passed a short-term extension of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program through September 13, 2019:
“While we are relieved that the Senate acted on the request we made to restore funding for the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic demonstration program, we remain concerned that this short-term extension once again kicks the can down the road, potentially imperiling access to treatment for thousands of people with substance use disorders and mental health conditions in the foreseeable future. A longer extension of the program would give us time to fully evaluate how the program is working.”
“We urge the Senate to pass a longer extension of the CCBHC demonstration program that provides guaranteed funding for the health centers on the frontlines of responding to the opioid epidemic. We cannot afford to keep kicking the can down the road in the midst of an epidemic.”
In June, the House passed H.R. 3253, which included an extension of the CCBHC demonstration program through December 31, 2021, by a vote of 371 – 46. After the Senate failed to act on a long-term extension of the demonstration program, both chambers passed a short-term extension that expired earlier this month. On Thursday evening, the Senate passed a short-term extension of the demonstration program through September 13, 2019, which passed in the House today by unanimous consent.