American Mental Health Counselors Association
801 N. Fairfax Street, Ste. 304
Alexandria, VA 22314
Reps. Rooney and McMahon Introduce CARES Act to Allow for LMHC TRICARE Independence
Alexandria, VA — October 16, 2009 — AMHCA commends Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Fl), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, and Michael McMahon (D-NY), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, for today introducing legislation that would strip TRICARE of its licensed mental health counselor “supervision and referral” requirement, thus giving TRICARE beneficiaries immediate access to licensed mental health counselors.
This legislation, appropriately titled the CARES Act, “The Counselor Accessibility Reform and Expansion for Soldiers Act,” would permit TRICARE beneficiaries the same direct access to licensed mental health counselors currently available to numerous beneficiaries of private insurance plans. Disturbing statistics about recurring incidents of post traumatic stress syndrome in soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan inspired Reps. Rooney and McMahon to introduce the CARES Act. Rep. Rooney says, “An important part of properly treating PTSD and other mental health problems facing our soldiers is to ensure them access to professional counselors.” Rep. McMahon identifies “face to face counseling with mental health professionals” as the means to ensuring America’s men and women of the Armed Forces “adequate, efficient mental health services.” Continue reading