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Community Behavioral Healthcare Associaton of Illinois

Posts Tagged ‘Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois’

Pat Quinn Should Not Sign Illinois Doomsday Budget, Mental Health Advocates Urge

Posted by Frank Anselmo on June 16, 2009

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Pat Quinn should not sign the Illinois Doomsday budget approved by the Illinois General Assembly on May 31, Illinois’ leading mental health advocates today urged.

“Increasing teen suicides, abandoning recovering mothers onto the street, and jailing the mentally ill are the

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

Frank Anselmo, CEO, CBHA

outcomes that the legislature’s budget offers,” said Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois. Governor Quinn needs to clearly state he won’t sign the ‘Doomsday budget'”.

The legislature appropriated only 50% of last year’s budget to several state department for the coming fiscal year that begins on July 1.

As a result, the new budget guts human services, including mental health care and substance abuse treatment.

  • 175,000 people will lose community mental health services, dramatically increasing homelessness, institutionalization and incarceration rates.
  • 65,000 people with alcohol and substance addictions will lose treatment.

However, Anselmo noted that the legislature’s budget fully funds certain areas of state government operations and programs:

  • All state employee payroll costs, including funds for minimum 4% salary increases for union employees.
  • All Medicaid grants for Physicians, Hospitals and Nursing Homes.
  • All operation costs for public universities and community colleges.  Spending in these areas actually was increased.
  • Elementary and secondary education grants such as general state aid and special education.  Funding in these areas increases from last year.

Governor Pat Quinn and top legislative leaders–House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate President John Cullerton, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno–have been meeting regularly to seek solutions to the budget impasse. They meet again tomorrow.

The governor could instruct agencies to continue operating at current levels leaving lawmakers to agree on an income tax increase later this year, Anselmo says.

Leaders Radogno and Cross have said reforms and more cuts need to be agreed to before raising taxes.

At the moment, the doomsday budget (50% GRF in a lump sum for state departments) will not be sent to the Governor.  President Cullerton filed a motion to reconsider the vote on Senate Bill 1197–the budget bill, and Cullertons’ motion prevents the bill from being sent to the Governor at this time.

Posted in Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Budget, Illinois General Assembly, Illinois Mental Health Care, Illinois Politics, Illinois Substance Abuse Treatment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Wall Street Bailout Law Also Delivers Surprise: Mental Health Parity Benefit for All Americans

Posted by Frank Anselmo on October 6, 2008

(Washington, D.C.) — More than one-third of all Americans will soon receive improved mental health insurance coverage because of a new federal law included in the Wall Street bailout that requires equal coverage of mental and physical illnesses.

The requirement is the result of 12 years of mental health advocacy by friends and relatives of people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

President George W. Bush signed the law on Friday.

Most employers and health plans provide less coverage for mental health care than for physical ailments. Insurance benefits must now comply with the new law, which requires coverage parity.

For decades, insurers have set higher co-payments and deductibles and stricter limits on treatment for addiction and mental illnesses. Without those obstacles, the new law will make it easier for people to obtain treatment for depression, autism, schizophrenia, and alcohol and drug abuse.

Frank Anselmo, CEO of the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, said the law would create many improved changes at businesses across Illinois.

“A majority of Illinois insurance plans limit mental health hospital inpatient and outpatient visits for mental health treatments, but impose no such limits on many physical illness care,” said Anselmo. “No more.”

The law would improve coverage for 113 million people, including 82 million in employer-sponsored plans that are not subject to state regulation.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the new law will increase insurance premiums approximately two-tenths of 1%. The law exempts businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

The effective date will be January 1, 2010.

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