Friday, January 3, 2014

Rep. Murphy Responds to White House Proposal on Background Check Rules

Chairman Tim Murphy welcomes discussion on treatment side of mental illness!

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 3, 2014

(WASHINGTON, DC) — House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (PA-18) made the following statement today following the public release of a White House proposal for two new administrative rules on addressing barriers to uploading state records of the dangerously mentally ill into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
“I’m encouraged to see the assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) model of care being recognized as a legitimate and important way to help the mentally ill who are committed by a judge to treatment in the community. AOT saves lives, money, and makes sure treatment is accessed through the healthcare system rather than the criminal justice system, which is why my Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) encourages states and counties to utilize AOT programs.”
“While this proposal targets the HIPAA barrier preventing hospitals from communicating with the justice system, we must fix the HIPAA barrier preventing physicians from communicating with the parents and caregivers of the severely mentally ill.”

“I will be examining the details of this proposal in the coming days but I remain singularly focused on advancing my Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act and getting the 11-plus million Americans with serious mental illness the treatment they desperately need. Ultimtely, the most needed reforms in mental health policy must be debated and enacted through Congress.”

Last month, Rep. Murphy unveiled landmark mental health reform legislation, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717), following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system.

Praise and support for Murphy’s bill has come from parents’ groups, the nation’s leading mental health professionals, and newspaper editorial boards including the Wall Street Journal, which wrote that the legislation is “an informed attempt to overhaul a broken system” that “might even prevent the next Newtown.”

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