House Passes Bipartisan Medicaid and CHIP Behavioral Health Provisions, Senate Committees Act: Here’s a Breakdown

Last week, the House of Representatives passed its Support for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act. Passing on a broad bipartisan basis, the bill would reauthorize certain provisions of the 2018 SUPPORT Act such as those supporting individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) like requiring state Medicaid programs to provide coverage for medication-assisted treatment in addition to including new provisions.

House passage of the Act also comes at the same time we’ve seen committee action in the Senate. This includes a bipartisan mark up last month by the Senate Finance committee (with jurisdiction over Medicaid and CHIP and the Social Security Act) of the Better Mental Health Care, Lower-Cost Drugs, and Extenders Act of 2023 well as a mark up last week of by the Senate HELP committee (with jurisdiction over programs included in the Public Health Service Act) of their Senate SUPPORT Reauthorization Act. The bills include language and policies that overlap as well as some differences. For those trying to keep track, below is a high level summary of the Medicaid and CHIP behavioral health-related provisions included in the House and Senate bills.

While there are differences across the bills, there is clear bipartisan interest in policies related to mental and behavioral health. Whether additional financial support or other policies such as those included in Senate Finance Committee discussion drafts from last Congress also come into play is yet to be seen. We will continue to watch closely - especially with another government funding debate expected early next year. As always, keep your eye out on Say Ahhh! for additional updates and the latest on all things Medicaid and CHIP.

Anne Dwyer is an Associate Research Professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families.