Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 7666 - Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
(Rep. Pallone, D-NJ, and 2 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 7666, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022, and looks forward to working with the Senate on this critical bill which will provide essential investments to build up our mental health and substance use care system.
Our nation faces an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages, one that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and continuing acts of mass violence. At the same time, more than one million Americans have lost their lives to drug overdoses over the past two decades, devastating their families, our communities, and nation as a whole. That's why the President made tackling the mental health crisis and addressing the opioid and drug overdose epidemic key components of his Unity Agenda, laying out a vision to transform how mental health and substance use disorder are understood, perceived, accessed, treated, and integrated - in and out of health care settings. The President's 2023 Budget also invests in key initiatives to expand access to mental health and substance use care. To ensure we have a mental health and substance use care system that works for everyone, investments to shore up these systems are essential.
The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 will help build a more robust behavioral health crisis system in the United States by investing in crisis response and addressing mental health and substance use disorder needs in communities. H.R. 7666 will also ensure that at-risk youth and adults can be reached earlier by creating a new set-aside within the Mental Health Block Grant to support evidence-based programs that address early intervention and prevention of mental disorders. It also addresses maternal mental health and substance use disorders by continuing existing programs that treat people in need and further investing in the national hotline that provides information and other resources to pregnant and postpartum women. H.R. 7666 establishes a National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders to support the development and provision of training and technical assistance on the identification, effective treatment, and ongoing support individuals with eating disorders.
H.R. 7666 reauthorizes critical programs to deliver and support mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services, including those focused on people experiencing homelessness, underage drinking, and jail diversion programs. The Act also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to promote and strengthen the availability of high-quality recovery housing and services for individuals with substance use disorder. H.R. 7666 expands access to treatment of opioid use disorder by removing barriers to treatment and providing new treatment flexibilities. The Administration is disappointed, however, that the bill does not include recovery set-aside in the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program, as requested in the President's 2023 Budget.
The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 also expands access to mental health care and coverage by reauthorizing programs that integrate behavioral health and primary care and strengthen the health care workforce addressing the mental health and substance use needs of children and youth. We look forward to continuing to work with the Congress to ensure these programs can be easily adopted by states and training organizations. The Act also establishes a program to support critical mental health services delivered by peers - people who have had similar life experiences - including resources for them to deliver these services virtually which will broaden availability of these services. It also strengthens parity for mental health and substance use services by requiring self-funded, non-federal governmental health plans to comply with parity requirements and by funding state implementation efforts.
The Administration urges the House to pass the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022, and looks forward to working with Congress on this important legislation.
Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 7666 - Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/357942