Upton welcomes Obama to mental health policies discussion

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) welcomed President Barack Obama’s entry into discussions on how to reform the nation’s mental health policies on Tuesday.

Upton and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have long worked to address mental health issues.

“We’ve been on the case to reform our mental health system, and we welcome the president to the discussion,” Upton said. “Mental health reform has been and continues to be a priority for 2016. The Health Subcommittee passed Rep. [Tim] Murphy’s (R-PA) bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Crisis Act in November, and with Congress back in town work continues at the member level to address a number of concerns that were raised during the subcommittee debate. We look forward to building upon the existing momentum and advancing meaningful reforms that will help countless Americans.”

In November, the Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), advanced seven bills to be considered by full committee, including Murphy’s H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis. That legislation, which passed by a vote of 18-12, addresses issues identified by the Energy and Commerce Committee’s review of the nation’s mental health system.

The legislation is centered on fixing the nation’s broken mental health system through refocusing programs, reforming grants and removing barriers to care.

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