Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper

Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper

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The mental health crisis has been one of the issues facing most Americans, and thus, the need to find effective means to curb the condition. As a result, the United States Senate Finance Committee tabled a meeting on May 3, 2023, to address mental health access. The paper focuses on the meeting in terms of its purpose, background information, committee description, one topic discussed, committee process explanation, and critical interactions and outcomes. Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper


The Meeting’s Purpose

The Senate Finance Committee’s meeting aimed to assess the issue on Ghost Network directories that have impacted the growing number of mental health cases. The participants in the senate meeting included 17 members of the Senate Finance Committee. Consequently, the witnesses were Keris Jän Myrick- inseparable; Jack Resneck Jr., the M.D.- American Medical Association, Robert L. Trestman, the M.D.- Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Mary Giliberti-Mental Health America and Jeff Rideout, the MD-Integrated Healthcare Association (C-Span, 2023). The meeting happened on May 3, 2023, with the main activities introducing the members to the day’s topic: mental health access. From the opening remarks made by Senator Ron Wyden, mental health barriers have mainly been associated with insurance companies that aim at selling mental health services to American services. Senator Wyden highlights some of the problems encountered by mental health patients, which include no appointment booking and failing to pick up phones when patients call for help under the notion of “Ghost Network” (C-Span, 2023)Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper. The meeting conference room was well-organized and had adequate spacing, thus serving every member with adequate space. Another crucial aspect is that no language interpreter was visible in the video, and the meeting took approximately 2 hours and 9 minutes with no in-between breaks until its adjournment.

Background Information and Committee Description

The Senate Finance Committee involves issues concerning taxation, social policy, health, trade, and various revenue measures. As such, the Committee considers annual reports of the given departments and ministries that help evaluate the national basic long-term policies (United et al. Committee on Finance, n.d.). Hence, the Senate Finance Committee is an influential standing committee in Congress. Hence, it is understandable why the Committee set over two hours to assess the barriers surrounding mental health since it is part of the Committee’s duty. The Senate Finance Committee was first established on December 11, 1815, and was initially a select committee and regarded as a Committee on Finance (United States Senate Committee on Finance, n.d.)Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper. Its main aim during that time was to reduce economic issues that arose due to the 1812 War. Later, in 1816, the creation of the Committee on Finance came to be and was then transformed into a standing committee. The Committee’s turning point was in 1935 during the Social Security Act legislation (United States Senate Committee on Finance, n.d.). As a result, it gained jurisdiction on payroll taxes, leading to economic welfare for most older adults in America.

One Topic Discussed and Committee Process Explanation

One specific topic that the Committee members and the witnesses focused on was the Ghost Network Directories. During the meeting introduction, Senator Ron Wyden indicated that one of the issues that have significantly impacted mental health access in the United States is the issue of ghost network directories. From the description provided, such networks involve the patients seeking help from out-of-reach physicians since these physicians never pick up the phones nor make it easy to book an appointment for mental health patients. The statement was then supported by Keris Jan’s testimony, where she indicates such Ghost Network Directories create a significant impact on all individuals living with mental health illnesses. In her experience with Ghost Network Directories, Keris suggests that she was forced to change her health insurance due to difficulties navigating the Blue Shield provider directory in Maryland and D.C., including failing to find specific physicians (G-Span, 2023)Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper.

In such a case, Keris believes there is a need to form a policy dealing with Ghost Network Directories. Also, in his testimonial, Robert L. Trestman, the M.D.- Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, indicates that the individuals mainly affected by the ghost network directories use private and public health plans like Medicaid and Medicare. In his remarks, Robert Trestman suggests that all stakeholders must collaborate and formulate effective interventions that can lead to accurate directories and patient, employer, and clinician representation to enhance overall mental healthcare access.

Key Interactions and Outcomes

Senator Wyden was the meeting chairman and moderator and presented a very composed engagement level for all the members. He ensured that all present personnel were given enough time to express their feelings and attitudes towards the issue of mental health access and listened to all parties present. As a result, the Committee members also discussed the Safer Community Act. Senator Wyden assured them they would consider addressing the Gun Safety Bill with the one handling Ghost Network Directories (G-Span, 2023)Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper. Also, the questions addressed particularly to Keris on better policy proposal led to the member proposing the need to formulate a mental health policy that addresses mental health care for the marginalized and low-income patient populations, which Mary Gilberti supported. All the presenters were open-minded, thus enabling an active engagement.

Mary Gilberti and Robert Trestman provided excellent support to enhance telehealth’s utilization in addressing mental health access for marginalized and low-income patients. However, Jeff Rideout, the member, indicated that telehealth alone would not be sufficient to address the mental health access issue and thus proposed the need for all stakeholders to address the physician shortage issue to prevent instances of ghost network directories. Since America is suffering from a mental health crisis, as stated

by Elizabeth Warren, Mary Gilberti concludes that Congress has the potential to put in place strict regulations that will curb instances of ghost network directories through health insurance. Since the proposal had no objection, the senate was requested to submit their questions.


The mental health crisis has been one of the issues facing most Americans, and thus the need to find effective means to curb the condition. As such, one cause of poor access to mental health care concerns ghost network directories that disappoint patients who are covered by various health plans. Therefore, it is upon the stakeholders to come up with strict rules that will restrict instances of ghost network directories to ensure that Americans, particularly the marginalized and low-income patient populations, receive accessible and affordable mental healthcare services.


C-Span. (2023, May 3). Senate Holds Hearing on Mental Health Care “Ghost Networks.”

United States Senate Committee on Finance. (n.d.). Home | The United States Senate Committee on Finance. Retrieved November 23, 2020, from Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper


Write a 3 page summary paper on the public policy meeting linked above. Use current APA Style, proper grammar, and references as appropriate. Include headings in the paper that address these components:

1. The purpose of the meeting, key participants, key agenda items, and meeting logistics
2. Background information and a description about the committee
3. One specific topic that was discussed at the meeting and an explanation of the committee process
4. An analysis of the key stakeholder positions related to the topic discussed
5. Key interactions that occurred at the meeting
6. Outcomes of the meeting including the specific topic focus Public Policy Meeting Written Assignment Research Paper

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