Republicans Block Effort to Increase Access to Mental Health Services, Substance Use Disorder Treatm

June 13, 2019

Contact Name: Sara Persechino

Phone: (603) 271-3479

Email: Sara.Persechino@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD—Today, Republicans blocked previously bipartisan efforts to increase access to mental health services and substance use disorder treatment by sustaining the veto on SB 5, which would have increased Medicaid provider rates. The override vote in the Senate failed to meet the two-thirds threshold on party lines, 14-10.

Following the vote, prime sponsor Senator Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) released the following statement:

“Today Republicans chose to protect their governor instead of the people of New Hampshire. While SB 5 originally passed the Senate unanimously, I am disappointed that today my Senate Republican colleagues put politics before people with their failure to override the governor’s veto.

SB 5 would have increased access to mental health care and substance use disorder treatment by increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates—the first recommendation in the 10-Year Mental Health Plan and a key building block of the Medicaid Expansion agreement. This veto and today’s action to sustain it was predicated on a misunderstanding of my bill, which clearly stated that these sorely needed funds are non-lapsing. Contrary to the governor’s incorrect statements, these funds could have been dispensed immediately to support providers and continued to do so for many months. Furthermore, because of the SB 5 veto, emergency shelter and stabilization services for people experiencing substance use disorders in Manchester are now in jeopardy.”

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