Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have introduced S. 3289, The Children’s Mental Health Accessibility Act, to expand and strengthen mental health services for children on Medicaid. This bill would expand Medicaid 1915 (c) waiver authority to allow for home and community-based services for young people which would otherwise be provided in a psychiatric residential treatment facility. In addition, the legislation amends the Social Security Act by striking the word “mentally retarded” from federal statute and replacing it with “intellectual disability.” The Children’s Mental Health Accessibility Act provides states the much needed flexibility to provide children and youth with intensive in home and community-based mental health services. CWLA is among 35 national advocacy groups that have endorsed the legislation.
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