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Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CICILLINE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

The reauthorization of the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education program is critically important and something we must do. But I rise today to express some frustration with the bill as presented.

Specifically, while our Nation faces an acute need for additional health professionals trained in psychiatry, this reauthorization continues a glaring mental health parity failure within the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education program: the failure to include children's psychiatric teaching hospitals in the program. Because Medicare classifies these hospitals as psychiatric hospitals rather than as children's hospitals, child psychiatric hospitals are ineligible to participate in CHGME.

This presents a particular burden to a spectacular pediatric hospital in my district, Bradley Hospital. And that is why, last Congress, I introduced the Children's Hospitals Education Equity Act, which was designed to fix this oversight by simply expanding the definition of a children's hospital to cover child psychiatric hospitals.

I'm disappointed, therefore, that the CHGME reauthorization is being considered under suspension of the rules today, as it prevents consideration of amendments to improve the program and to correct this omission in the bill.

Our Nation must fulfill its commitment to mental health parity, and Congress must do its part to enhance access to child and adolescent mental health care. Despite this shortcoming, I intend to support the bill, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in both parties and in both Chambers to correct this serious inequity. I thank the gentleman.

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