ACR-0098: SLU/Mental health and substance use treatment.

Session: 2019-2020
Author: Wicks
Status: Alive
AAP-CA Position: Undecided
To view the status of this bill on the State Website, click here.

Sample Letter from Steinberg Institute

From LB on 6/26

we have a support on SB 11 which was held in suspense

sample letter and ACR 98 attached

Lydia C. Bourne
Legislative Advocate
Bourne & Associates
lydiabourne@sbcglobal.net
916 801-0312 – cell
530 758-4158 – office phone/fax

Never, ‘for the sake of peace and quiet,’ deny your own experience or convictions.”
— Dag Hammarskjold,
Swedish diplomat

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: Holmes, Carrie <Carrie.Holmes@sen.ca.gov>
To: Adrienne Shilton <adrienne@steinberginstitute.org>
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2019, 4:54:40 PM PDT
Subject: ACR 98 – Mental Health Parity- please support!

Dear supporters of SB 11, I want to call your attention to a resolution that Senator Beall has joined as Principal Co-author.

ACR 98 which recognizes that all health plans subject to the jurisdiction of California should be required to maintain full compliance with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, its implementing regulations, and California law, and should not be allowed to improperly reduce the level of care for people needing mental health and substance use treatment or limit treatment coverage.

ACR 98 been assigned to the Assembly Health Committee for a hearing on July 9th at 1:30. We would love a big turn-out of support at the hearing, and support letters can now be submitted through the Assembly Health online portal here: https://ahea.assembly.ca.gov/

I’m attaching the Steinberg Institute’s letter as a sample, co-sponsors of the resolution.

Thank you for all you do!

Carrie Holmes

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Legislative Director

Senator Jim Beall

(916) 651-4015

ACR 98, as introduced, Wicks. Mental health and substance use treatment.
This measure would urge specified state departments and the Attorney General to use their authority to ensure that health care service plans and health insurers subject to their authority comply with the federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

WHEREAS, One in five American adults in the United States experience a mental health disorder and 1 in 13 individuals 12 years of age or older experience a substance use disorder; and
WHEREAS, Fewer than one-half of American adults with a mental health disorder receive treatment, and fewer than 1 in 10 individuals 12 years of age or older with a substance use disorder receive treatment; and
WHEREAS, The lack of health care coverage and associated out-of-pocket costs are principal barriers to attaining mental health treatment and substance use disorder treatment; and
WHEREAS, Individuals with behavioral health disorders are often diagnosed and offered treatment for the first time when they enter the criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, Between 2012 and 2017, California’s rate of fatal overdoses for all opioids increased 22 percent, while fatal overdose rates increased 85 percent for heroin and 425 percent for fentanyl; and
WHEREAS, Nearly 2,200 Californians died of fatal opioid overdoses in 2017 alone; and
WHEREAS, Suicide rates in California increased by 14.8 percent between 1999 and 2016; and
WHEREAS, The suicide rate from 1991 to 2017, inclusive, for children 10 to 14 years of age, inclusive, has increased by 225 percent; and
WHEREAS, Thirty-seven percent of students with a mental health condition 14 years of age and older drop out of school, and mental illness has the highest dropout rate of any disability group; and
WHEREAS, The federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 was enacted to end health care coverage discrimination against people with mental health and substance use disorders; and
WHEREAS, Separate studies have found that one in four people killed in officer-involved shootings nationally had untreated mental illness or were in mental distress; and
WHEREAS, The correlation between untreated mental illness, substance use disorders, and incarceration is substantial, as three in four jail inmates have been diagnosed with both a mental illness and a substance use disorder; and
WHEREAS, The correlation between untreated mental illness, substance use disorders, and incarceration in youth is an even greater problem, with 70 percent of the 2,000,000 youth arrested each year having a mental health disorder and 25 percent of those having a serious mental illness; and
WHEREAS, In 2016, approximately 6,000,000 veterans in the United States had private health care coverage subject to state or federal mental health and addiction parity laws; and
WHEREAS, State and federal mental health and addiction parity laws are thus critical to ensuring that veterans’ health plans cover treatment for the invisible wounds of war; and
WHEREAS, As many as one-third of the 130,000 homeless living on the streets in California suffer from a mental illness; and
WHEREAS, In Wit v. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently ruled that the generally accepted standards of mental health and substance use disorder care require the treatment of the individual’s underlying condition rather than just alleviating the individual’s current symptoms; and
WHEREAS, Communities of color generally experience inferior results from their mental health treatment and are often impeded by considerable barriers when they attempt to access mental health services; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Department of Managed Health Care, Department of Insurance, State Department of Health Care Services, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra should each use the full powers of their offices under California law to ensure that all health care service plans and health insurers subject to their authority are in full compliance with the federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, its implementing regulations, and California law; and be it further
Resolved, That no health care service plan or health insurer subject to the jurisdiction of the State of California should be allowed to improperly reduce the level of care for people needing mental health and substance use treatment or limit treatment coverage to only acute care, thereby denying people with chronic mental health and substance use conditions coverage of ongoing treatment; and be it further
Resolved, That all health care service plans and health insurers subject to the jurisdiction of the State of California should be required, through changes to state law if necessary, to use medical necessity guidelines that are fully consistent with generally accepted standards of care; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.