Malliotakis, Goldman Introduce Michelle Alyssa Go Act

Malliotakis, Goldman Introduce Michelle Alyssa Go Act

In a bipartisan effort, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Representatives Dan Goldman (D-NY), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) have introduced the Michelle Alyssa Go Act. This legislation aims to expand access to psychiatric resources by allowing Medicaid to cover care in institutions with 36 beds or fewer, provided they meet nationally-recognized, evidence-based standards of care.

The Michelle Alyssa Go Act is named after Michelle Go, a 40-year-old woman whose tragic fate underscores the urgent need for improved mental health care. Michelle was pushed in front of an oncoming R train in Times Square by a schizophrenic homeless man with a long history of untreated psychiatric issues. Her story serves as a stark reminder of the consequences when mental health care falls through the cracks.

Expanding Access to Psychiatric Care

Under the proposed legislation, Medicaid would cover care in smaller psychiatric institutions that meet rigorous standards. Here are the key points:

  1. Bed Capacity Expansion: The Act seeks to address the shortage of psychiatric beds by allowing Medicaid reimbursement for institutions with 36 beds or less. This expansion would provide critical access to care for individuals with severe mental illness.
  2. Evidence-Based Standards: Institutions seeking Medicaid reimbursement must adhere to nationally-recognized, evidence-based standards of care. This ensures that patients receive high-quality treatment.
  3. Preventing Tragedies: By expanding access to psychiatric care, we aim to prevent tragedies like Michelle Go’s death. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can make a significant difference in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues.

Challenges and Opportunities

The mental health crisis in America has intensified, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals in desperate need of acute mental health care often face barriers to access. The Michelle Alyssa Go Act seeks to bridge this gap, providing hope for those on Medicaid who require treatment.

The bipartisan effort behind the Michelle Alyssa Go Act reflects a commitment to improving mental health care. By expanding Medicaid coverage for smaller psychiatric institutions, we can save lives, reduce emergency room admissions, and create a safer environment for all.