Current Legislative Issues
AAMFT is calling on members to begin working in their respective states to gather support for bipartisan legislation that would include licensed marriage and family therapists, as well as licensed mental health counselors, as Medicare eligible providers. Legislation has just been introduced in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate. The Mental Health Access Improvement Act of 2019, introduced in the House as H.R. 945 by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY) and in the Senate as S. 286 by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), would add MFTs and MHCs as independent Medicare Part B practitioners.
Several bills have been flagged to date concerning Marriage and Family practice in Colorado. HB1129 would ban conversion therapy. COAMFT supported this in the past though it did not pass last year. HB1120 lowers the age of consent to 12 year old children. It was introduced last year but did not pass. SB 010 is a revision and update of the current law authorizing use of marijuana funds for school behavioral health. The revised bill will allow Department of Education, to grant funds to school districts to contract with behavioral health providers to provide therapy in schools.
Please watch for communications, within the next several weeks inviting you to participate on-line or in-person in a focus group for the framing of a state-wide survey. Also, encourage your colleagues to sign-up for Family TEAM membership to assure that all who have an interest in advocacy for our profession are receiving updates and materials throughout this important next year. Finally, please consider adopting one or more advocacy projects. Although we will have a lobbyist for the Sunset Review, we all need to be involved in advocating for or against each piece of legislation we take a position on. Perhaps, more urgently, we need to be meeting with our congressional delegation soliciting co-sponsors for federal legislation.