Glenn Close is coming to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to make a push for mental-health reform.
The actress and mental-health advocate is joining Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to rally support for their proposal to give community mental-health centers more access to federal dollars for providing enhanced treatment and services. It will set up demonstration programs in 10 states.
Stabenow's and Blunt's measure, the Excellence in Mental Health Act, was added last week to legislation that would permanently fix the broken formula used to reimburse physicians for providing Medicare services. Congress is expected to take up that measure within the first three months of 2014, because the temporary "doc-fix" preventing a 20 percent cut to physicians' pay will expire in March.
The movement for mental-health reform falls near the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Close's appearance isn't the first time celebrities have lobbied for the Senate proposal. David O. Russell, who directed the award-winning film Silver Linings Playbook, appeared at the press conference introducing the measure, and the film's lead actor, Bradley Cooper, has also appeared at events with the senators.
Close founded Bring Change 2 Mind, an organization working to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. She attended a mental-health summit at the White House in the spring.
The press conference is set for 10 a.m. in the Lyndon B. Johnson room of the U.S. Capitol. Close is expected to meet with senators following the event.
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