January 13, 2017

Senator Hassan Highlights Importance of Medicaid Expansion at Riverbend Community Mental Health Center

Senator Hassan Highlights Importance of Medicaid Expansion at Riverbend Community Mental Health Center

CONCORD - Today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan visited Riverbend Community Mental Health Center, where she hosted a roundtable discussion with Riverbend leadership, clinicians and staff to discuss the harmful impact repealing Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act would have on New Hampshire's efforts to strengthen and integrate the state's behavioral health system, and to combat the substance abuse crisis.

Senator Hassan was joined by Bret Longgood, Chief Operating Officer of Riverbend Community Mental Health; Meg Miller, Board Chair of Riverbend; Sarah Gagnon, Director of Adult & Children Services at Riverbend's Franklin office; Sara Brown, Coordinator for Psychiatric Emergency Services for Riverbend; and Karen Jantzen, Riverbend's Director of Community Affairs. She was also joined by state Senator Dan Feltes and Concord Police Chief Bradley Osgood.

"I commend Riverbend Community Mental Health for providing important behavioral health services to Granite Staters in need, as well as for addressing the frequent co-occurrence of behavioral health and substance abuse," Senator Hassan said. "The efforts underway in Washington to strip away health insurance coverage from tens of thousands of Granite Staters and repeal New Hampshire's bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan would greatly hinder our ability to provide treatment to those experiencing behavioral health issues and would set back our efforts to combat the heroin, opioid and fentanyl crisis in New Hampshire. I will continue to fight on behalf of the people of New Hampshire and oppose any attempt to take away health insurance coverage or make it more expensive."

On Wednesday night, Senator Hassan voted against the Senate budget resolution to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while casting votes to protect New Hampshire's bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan and support efforts to combat the heroin, fentanyl and opioid crisis. As Governor, Senator Hassan worked to strengthen and integrate New Hampshire's behavioral health system by implementing the State's mental health settlement agreement, ensuring funding for behavioral health and substance abuse services and creating a behavioral health division of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

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