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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Stop the “Medicare Fix” Bill from Supporting Forced Treatment

NCIL stands consistently in support of consumer choice and for a Medicare program that meets the needs of consumers. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives has inserted a provision in H.R. 4302 that provides funding for states with outpatient forced treatment programs.

H.R. 4302 is considered by many to be a must pass bill. It modifies a SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate) provision that would substantially limit payments to doctors. The SGR provision was delayed until April 1 by prior legislation, thus creating this crisis.

Unfortunately, the bill includes $15 Million in annual funding for the Orwellian “Assisted Outpatient Treatment” program. Sec. 224 would require the Department of Health and Human Services to provide these funds for at least five years. This provision would be likely to increase people forced to take medication with dangerous side effects.

You Can Make a Difference

Please call today. The vote is scheduled for 2:00pm Eastern Time!

Ask both of your Senators to vote against H.R. 4302 unless it is amended to exclude Sec. 224. Consumers need access to treatment of their choice, not expensive forced treatment. Make sure your Senators know that forced treatment is traumatizing. It takes away the rights of people in crisis, as if they are criminals. It scares people away from seeking help. It is costly but not effective. Then get your family, friends, co-workers and other community members to call in as well!

Contacting Your Legislators

Online: find the Senators from your state and click on their contact form to submit your letter. In your letter, identify yourself as a constituent and urge your Senators to vote against forced treatment. Ask them to vote against H.R. 4302 unless it is amended to exclude Sec. 224.

Phone: call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senators’ offices or contact their offices directly using the link above. Once connected, ask to speak with an office aide who handles Health and Human Services. Make sure you give them your name and identify yourself as a constituent. Tell the aide to “Please tell Senator [NAME] that I DO NOT want [him / her] to vote for forced treatment. [He / She] should vote against H.R. 4302 unless amended to exclude Sec. 224.”

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