AFSCME Urges Congress to Extend Excellence Act

On March 31, behavioral health clinics in Oregon and Oklahoma stand to lose funding for mental health and addictions services with the expiration of the bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act. In Oregon alone, the end of the program could result in 9,100 patients losing access to medication-assisted treatment and 3,000 clinician layoffs, according a letter sent from impacted behavioral health providers to their Congressional delegation urging them to support a bill to both extend the program and expand it to more states.

Unless Congress acts to renew the program, by the end of June, programs in Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania will lose funding as well. That is why AFSCME President Lee Saunders coauthored a letter to committee chairs in both chambers calling for an extension. The letter, also signed by Families USA and the National Council for Behavioral Health, lays out the importance of the legislation.

Read the letter.