Government Affairs Newsroom

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) is committed to keeping counselors informed about public policy issues affecting the profession. Our regular posts will highlight legislative and regulatory initiatives relating to counselor employment, reimbursement, funding, and practice rights. Stay tuned to ensure that you are up to date on all the latest counseling initiatives.


Dust Settles After Midterm Elections

Last month, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, giving them more influence over the federal legislative agenda for the next two years.


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Preparations for FY20 Minority Fellowship Program Funding Underway

NBCC’s Government Affairs staff has begun preparations for the FY20 appropriations season.


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President Signs Opioid Legislation

On Oct. 24, President Trump signed the Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act into law.


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With a New Congress Coming, NBCC’s Federal Priorities Remain

With midterm elections completed, national attention is turning toward the next Congress. NBCC’s focus, however, remains unchanged.


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Final Opioid Package Ready for President's Signature

Congress has approved sweeping legislation to combat the opioid crisis, and the bill includes student loan repayment assistance to counselors and other behavioral health professionals. The bill now goes to President Trump.


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OPM, VA Language Adopted in Conference Report

President Trump signed legislation on Sept. 21 that directs the VA to work with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to create an Occupational Series for mental health counselors and a staffing plan for counselors to fill vacant positions in the agency.


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NBCC Priorities See Increases in Spending Bill

Three key programs supported by NBCC that benefit the counseling profession will receive funding increases under a federal bill signed by President Trump.


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First Issue of Counselor Advocacy Networker

Read the inaugural edition of the Counselor Advocacy Networker, NBCC’s exclusive monthly newsletter for counselors who have signed up to be members of the Counselor Advocacy Network. Inside this edition, you’ll find an update on Medicare legislation, a report on VA priorities, and much more!


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NBCC Launches Counselor Advocacy Network

NBCC is pleased to announce the creation of the Counselor Advocacy Network (CAN). Through this network, NBCC hopes to identify counselors who are committed to being advocates for the profession.


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NBCC Urges New VA Secretary to Use Counselors

NBCC partnered with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) to urge the new Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, Robert Wilkie, to make greater use of counselors and MFTs.


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Representatives Introduce Loan Repayment Legislation

Reps. John Katko (R-NY-24) and Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32) have introduced legislation to increase access to counselors and other mental health professionals and address the shortage of behavioral health professionals in rural and underserved areas.


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Occupational Series and VA Issues See Major Progress

NBCC made meaningful progress on the creation of a federal occupational series for counselors and increasing employment by the Department of Veterans Affairs in a recent spending bill released by Congress.


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Medicare Legislation Still Gaining Support

Congress remains focused on the opioid crisis ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.


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Summer Recess Presents Opportunities for Advocacy

The House of Representatives is in recess until September, and the Senate may have a similar break coming soon.


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Medicare Coverage of Counselors Remains a Top Priority

The opioid crisis has been in the spotlight on Capitol Hill for months, and NBCC has been pressing for inclusion of Medicare legislation in the package.


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SUD Workforce Loan Repayment Act Passes House

On June 13, H.R. 5102, the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act of 2018, passed the House.


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Progress Being Made on Minority Fellowship Program

The President’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposes eliminating SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), which provides scholarships to minority mental health and addiction professionals in counseling and other behavioral health fields.


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Driving the Pro-Counseling Legislative Agenda

The NBCC's Vice President for Legal and External Affairs has seen major legislative progress in advocating for board certified counselors in his decade with the organization.


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Medicare Coverage of Counselors in Spotlight at Mental Health Month Congressional Briefing

The NBCC is partnering with other counseling organizations in urging a coordinated grassroots campaign on Medicare legislation. The organizations are working hard to increase constituent contacts with lawmakers.


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Protect the Minority Fellowship Program

Lawmakers are currently setting funding levels for the 2019 fiscal year and it is important that they hear from their constituents about the importance of the Minority Fellowship Program.


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Medicare Coverage of Counselors in Spotlight at Mental Health Month Congressional Briefing

At a recent congressional briefing held by the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, Rep. John Katko (R-NY) gave an impassionate plea for attendees to support H.R. 3032 and expand access to mental health and addiction treatment for America’s seniors.


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New Opioid Crisis Bill Includes Medicare Coverage of Counselors

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16) has introduced H.R 5531, tThe Opioid Emergency Response Act. The bill contains a seven7-point plan to address the opioid crisis, including a section authorizing mental health counselors to serve as Medicare providers.


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Congress Recognizes National Rehabilitation Counselors Appreciation Day

The Senate passed S. Resolution 447 last week, which recognizes March 22, 2018, as National Rehabilitation Counselors Appreciation Day.


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Spending Bill Highlights the Shortage of Medicare Mental Health

On March 23, President Trump signed H.R. 1625, a massive spending bill that keeps the federal government open through the end of the fiscal year.


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Congress Funds Counselor Priorities in Budget Bill

The $1.3 trillion spending package passed by Congress and signed by the President contains increased funding for counseling and other behavioral health programs.


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NBCC Endorses Addiction Workforce Loan Repayment Legislation

NBCC is endorsing the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, which would offer student loan repayment to counselors and other treatment professionals.


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NBCC Co-Sponsors Congressional Briefing on Counselor Medicare Legislation

NBCC Co-Sponsors Congressional Briefing on Counselor Medicare Legislation.


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AARP Endorses Medicare Recognition of Counselors

NBCC Co-Sponsors Congressional Briefing on Counselor Medicare Legislation.


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HRSA Holding Virtual Behavioral Health Job Fair

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is holding a Virtual Job Fair on April 12 featuring over 100 health care organizations.


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NBCC Works With State Counseling Groups to Oppose Deregulation Efforts

The NBCC is working with state counseling agencies and licensing boards to fight against proposals by some state legislatures that would deregulate the counseling profession.


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SUCCESS! Arizona House Bill 2406 is dead!

Arizona House Bill 2406, which would have eliminated licensure for professional counselors and abolished the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners, is dead for the session.


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