Kennedy: Bill Would Fix Gap in Mental Health Care for Kids

Joe KennedyBOSTON (AP) — U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy is pushing legislation he says will fix a gap in federal law by making sure children covered by Medicaid have access to both the mental and physical health care they need.

The Massachusetts Democrat said last week that unlike other Medicaid enrollees under the age of 21, children in certain in-patient psychiatric facilities are not guaranteed coverage for both mental and physical health care.

Kennedy says the result is that while undergoing treatment for mental illness, the children must forgo needed physical care.

Kennedy says forcing a child to choose between mental and physical health care is unacceptable.

He describes his bill as a step toward closing the “devastating gaps” in the mental health system that have had “tragic consequences for far too many American families.”


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