Medicaid & Law Enforcement
As Congress proposes changes to our nation’s health care system, it’s important for law enforcement to know about changes that may affect your day-to-day work. The American Health Care Act, Congress’ bill to reform health care, would impact Medicaid, the health coverage program for low-income and disabled Americans, including many people who have mental illness and substance use conditions.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Medicaid will cover 14 million fewer people and Medicaid spending would be reduced by 25 percent by 2026. Many more people with mental illness will be uninsured and cuts to Medicaid will limit states’ ability to provide crisis beds and mental health services to people with the most serious conditions, increasing the chances that they wind up on the streets and in our jails. The mental health crisis, which is already a challenge for many law enforcement agencies, could get much worse.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a national nonpartisan organization of people affected by mental illness, developed a fact sheet to explain how Medicaid provides mental health and substance use services to prevent crisis situations and arrests. NAMI Illinois will be reaching out to state and federal officials to share the importance of Medicaid to public safety. If you would like to partner with us, please contact NamiLivingstonMcLean@gmail.com