Glenn Close Heads to Senate for Mental-Health Measure

The actress is joining Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Roy Blunt.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Actress Glenn Close speaks about eradicating the stigma and prejudice around mental illness at the Social Innovation Summit May 2013 - Day Two on May 30, 2013 in New York City.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Dec. 17, 2013, 5:46 a.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
1 days ago

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Maher Weighs in on Bernie, Trump and Palin
1 days ago

“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.