Analysis | Here are the likely mental health components of a gun legislation deal – The Washington Post


A newsletter briefing on the health-care policy debate in Washington.
with research by McKenzie Beard
A newsletter briefing on the health-care policy debate in Washington.
Welcome to Monday’s Health 202 — your author’s mind is blown after seeing “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Send us your best takes and tips at rachel.roubein@washpost.com
Today’s edition: Both vaccines for the youngest children are safe and effective, FDA said, clearing a major hurdle that could give way to a potential authorization by the end of the week. Public health officials are navigating a delicate but familiar balancing act in attempts to warn gay men about monkeypox without fueling hate. But first …
The Senate is a major step closer to enacting the most significant response to gun violence in decades.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers clinched a deal on a framework for modest new gun restrictions, as well as new spending on mental health and school security. 
The agreement could have enough GOP support to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But lawmakers aren’t finished hammering out the legislative text, and they haven’t announced an agreed upon funding level. That process could take at least a few days — and is often when new disagreements arise, our colleagues Mike DeBonis and Leigh Ann Caldwell report.
Some parts of the framework — which 20 senators signed on to — were vague on details. Here’s the top line of what we know so far about the mental health components of the deal: 
Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), the lead Democratic negotiator: 
10/ Drafting this law and passing it through both chambers will not be easy. We have a long way before this gets to the President’s desk. But with your help and activism, we can get this done. This time, failure cannot be an option.
On mental health, one major plank of the agreement centers on legislation from Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to extend a key funding mechanism for certified community behavioral health clinics to all states. Such clinics provide 24/7 crisis care; outpatient mental health and addiction treatment; care coordination with emergency rooms; and more. 
The backstory: In 2014, lawmakers passed legislation creating a demonstration program in eight states where enhanced Medicaid funds reimburse clinics for the cost of care. Proponents of the program argue this funding stream provides clinics with greater financial stability than one-time grants.
The expansion: As of now, Congress only allows 10 states to fully participate in the program. But the new gun deal would let every state participate. 
Details were minimal on other parts of the framework, such as on telehealth, mental health services in schools and other supports. A congressional aide — who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail the negotiations — said the framework is also intended to expand trauma-based programs, as well as those focused on community violence intervention.
The estimated price tag of the full package is not yet clear, and Republicans want any new spending to be offset with cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.
Kaiser Family Foundation:
1 in 3 nonelderly adults (33%) have a mental illness or substance use disorder. While a majority of such adults are covered by private insurance, mental illness and substance use disorders are most prevalent among nonelderly adults with Medicaid. https://t.co/e1zl7eU05m pic.twitter.com/izl5jZIkOU
Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and others had set an informal goal of passing the bill before June 24, when senators skip town for a two-week recess. But since the legislation isn’t fully written, that could be a tall order.
The framework falls short of President Biden’s wish list. And it excludes a provision to raise the minimum age to buy some rifles from 18 to 21, which congressional Democrats and some Republicans support, Mike and Leigh Ann note. 
But still, some advocates and senators touted the agreement as historic, saying it could break a decades-long impasse. Ten Republican senators signed onto the statement unveiling the deal, a critical number that overcomes a GOP filibuster if every Democrat is on board. 
And it received a warm reception from Washington’s political leaders. 
More from Mike:
McCONNELL stops short of endorsing the deal, but offers encouragement
(and before Twitter tells me this means nothing and he will just scuttle any deal — keep in mind he did not have to say anything here) pic.twitter.com/YjoADmQZBb
By next week, children under 5 years old may be able to get the coronavirus vaccine. But first, both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech will defend their shots — the first for children younger than 5 — before a panel of independent advisers for two of the nation’s top federal health agencies. 
The key dates:
If all goes as expected, the FDA will authorize the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for the youngest children soon after the advisory meeting. Assuming the CDC and its advisers sign off on the shots, the vaccines could be available beginning next week.
Over the last few days, the FDA deemed both shots safe and effective.
Meanwhile … Moderna is also seeking authorization for its vaccine for children 6 to 17 years old, which the agency gave similarly favorable reviews. The FDA’s independent advisers will review the company’s request on Tuesday. 
Public health officials nationwide are navigating a delicate but familiar balancing act as the country confronts its largest-ever monkeypox outbreak. They’re attempting to alert gay and bisexual men that they seem to be at higher risk for exposure without creating a false impression that heterosexuals aren’t susceptible, our colleague Fenit Nirappil reports. 
Public health authorities say they are shaping their response to monkeypox using lessons learned from the early days of the AIDS epidemic — when activists said officials failed to act with urgency as HIV decimated gay communities, who were subsequently blamed for the crisis. 
Now, officials are working to get the message out to gay and bisexual men. They’ve distributed prevention information at Pride festivities and worked with dating apps like Grindr to issue alerts about the virus.
As of Friday, the CDC has confirmed 49 cases of monkeypox across 16 states and the District of Columbia. In the 17 cases in which the sexual behavior of the patient is known, all but one involve men who have sex with men, mirroring trends in Europe. 
Jim Downs, a history professor at Gettysburg College:
The people at @grindr read my article in @TheAtlantic and sent me some of the promotional materials they are distributing about Monkeypox. I am very impressed with the work they’re doing. pic.twitter.com/CybYOFLeV3
It’s another jam-packed week in Washington. 
On tap this week: The Food and Drug Administration today and Wednesday will hold listening sessions on its proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and flavors in cigars, which could be finalized sometime after the public comment period ends July 5. 
Tuesday: A House panel probing the federal coronavirus response will meet to discuss pandemic relief fraud; the Senate HELP Committee will mark up its FDA user fee reauthorization package, among other legislation. 
Wednesday: A Senate Judiciary subcommittee will discuss how consolidation may have impacted the baby formula shortage; a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee will review Biden’s strategy to reduce veteran suicide. 
Thursday: Top federal health officials will testify before the Senate HELP Committee on the federal response to covid-19.
Lessons from Poland, the other developed country curtailing abortion rights (By Gordon F. Sander | The Washington Post)
The Billionaire Funding a Battle Against Hospital Monopolies (By Melanie Evans | Wall Street Journal)
Retired general resigns as head of Brookings amid federal probe (By Reis Thebault, Caroline Kitchener and Alex Horton | The Washington Post)
Biden Administration to Pursue Rule Requiring Less Nicotine in U.S. Cigarettes (Jennifer Maloney l The Wall Street Journal)
Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.

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