A note from our Executive Director
Spring has arrived in our beautiful state. Redbud trees are blooming, and Bermuda grass is starting to grow. At the same time, we all know that it’s severe weather season and with it comes inevitable damage. Spring brings both hope and concern. The current Oklahoma legislative session is quite similar as it pertains to mental health advocacy, full of hope and concern.
NAMI Oklahoma’s 2019 Legislative Priorities include: 1. Medicaid expansion; 2. Limiting short term limited duration insurance plans; and 3. Support criminal justice reform efforts.
Criminal justice reform legislation is getting bi-partisan support and significant improvements appear to be very likely. This development is something to be extremely hopeful about as it reduces the likelihood of an individual’s mental health condition being criminalized.
However, concerns continue regarding short term limited duration insurance plans. Despite our best efforts overwhelming support continues among legislators to extend these plans from three months to three years. Often these plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, including mental health services, in exchange for lower premiums.
Both hope and concern simultaneously abound in Oklahoma on the topic of Medicaid expansion. Discussions continue to occur at the Capitol about the potential of extending coverage, but no legislation appears imminent. Hope is growing through the strengthening of the Coalition to Expand Coverage which will be hosting a rally at the Capitol on 4/24/2019.
Learn more at www.coverok.org
Out of hope and concern share your thoughts about the importance of mental health care services with your legislator. You will have a perfect opportunity to do so at the My Mind Matters Recovery Rally at the Capitol on 4/25/19 (see details below). I hope to see you there!
Executive Director of NAMI Oklahoma