Tell Your Senators: Take Forced Treatment Out of Doc Fix Bill
Monday-March 31, the Senate is likely to
vote on a bill (H.R. 4302) to prevent a cut in payments to physicians
under Medicare (the “Doc Fix”) that includes funding for a totally unrelated
program that subjects people in crisis to forced psychiatric treatment.
The House passed H.R. 4302 on a voice vote with no debate last
Thursday. The Senate could do the same Monday and the President could sign it
The 123-page Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, H.R.
4302, includes a four-year, $60 million grant program (Sec. 224) to expand
involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) – also called Assisted Outpatient
Treatment (AOT) – in states that have laws authorizing IOC. The laws allow
courts to mandate someone with a serious mental illness to follow a specific
treatment plan, usually requiring medication, that is overseen by a judge.
The evidence demonstrates that involuntary outpatient
commitment is ineffective, increases costs with minimal returns and that there are more effective alternatives.
Contact your Senators today. You can either call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to their office or use the legislator form below to find your Senators and their office numbers.
them to take the funding for forced treatment out of the Doc Fix bill. Make these points:
- Section 224 has nothing to do with Medicare.
- It would use
Federal dollars to pay for forced psychiatric treatment in our communities.
- Forced treatment is traumatizing.
- It criminalizes people in crisis.
- It scares
people away from seeking help.
- It is costly and ineffective.
- Keep Section 224
out of the Doc Fix bill.