Federal News & Issues

Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 2021 — The American Psychiatric Association today apologized to Black, Indigenous and People of Color for its support of structural racism in psychiatry. Written and issued by the organization’s Board of Trustees, the apology acknowledges past practices and events in psychiatry that contributed to racial inequality, and expresses the organization’s commitment to developing anti-racist policies that promote equity in mental health for all. The apology is available to the public on APA’s website with an accompanying document covering some historical instances of racism in organized psychiatry.

“We...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 18, 2021

Washington, D.C., Jan. 7, 2021 — The American Psychiatric Association today condemns the violence that occurred during what should have been a peaceful step in the transfer of power in Washington, D.C., and offers resources for those whose mental health is impacted.

The world is still processing the unprecedented assault on democracy that occurred yesterday in the nation’s capital. The leaders of yesterday’s aggression and those that encouraged such anti-American conduct must be held accountable. The stark contrast between the government’s response to Black Lives Matter protesters during the summer and fall, a significant proportion of whom were Black, and its response to mostly white MAGA protesters yesterday, is deeply concerning.

These events coupled with the ongoing COVID pandemic continue to increase the anxiety...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Jan 7, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 22, 2020 – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today lauded Congress for passing the Strengthening Behavioral Health Parity Act (H.R. 7539) and including several key mental health and substance use-related programs in its combined $1.4 trillion year-end appropriations and COVID-relief funding package.

H.R. 7539 gives the Department of Labor new powers to regulate and audit health plans to determine if they are in compliance with the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The new legislation was introduced by Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Fred Upton (R-MI), as part of the overall year-end funding package, and was the product of negotiations between the House and Senate related to the bipartisan Mental Health Parity Compliance Act,...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Dec 22, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 10, 2020 – The Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on California v. Texas, litigation challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The suit seeks to have the ACA entirely invalidated now that the so-called individual mandate has been essentially removed.

In May, the American Psychiatric Association joined with the American Medical Association and 20 other medical societies in an amicus brief in the case. The amici argue that the law as it currently stands should remain constitutional, and if the Supreme Court decides that the individual mandate no longer qualifies as a tax, it should leave the rest of the ACA intact.

“To disrupt the law governing the...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Nov 10, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 7, 2020 – The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today congratulates Joseph Biden on winning the 2020 election as the next president of the United States, and Kamala Harris for becoming the first Black woman and first Indian American to be elected vice president.

“The APA congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their successful election, and we welcome the opportunity to work with the Biden Administration on concrete initiatives to increase access to high-quality mental health care for our patients,” said APA President Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H. “The APA has worked diligently this past year to expand the use of telehealth to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have pushed hard for enforcement of mental health parity and expanded funding for federal agencies tasked with addressing the...

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Author: mbourdase - Published: Nov 7, 2020

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