Mental Health Parity - I'm delighted to report that I voted for, and
the House passed, H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction
Equity Act. This bipartisan bill, which I co-sponsored and strongly supported,
is designed to end discrimination against patients seeking treatment for mental
The legislation ensures that group health plans do not charge
higher co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles, or impose maximum out-of-pocket
limits and lower day and visit limits on mental health and addiction care than
for medical and surgical benefits.Passing this legislation was a high priority
of mine and the House leadership.
The Senate mental health parity bill (S.558) passed that body by
unanimous consent on September 18, 2007. There are differences between the
Senate-passed bill and the bill that the House passed this week. So we’ll move
to a conference committee stage where the differences between the two bills will
be reconciled. Then both the House and Senate will have to pass the agreement
that comes out of the conference committee.
There's been a lot of chatter in opposition to providing mental health services across the board. Our friend Capper has spent some time parsing those arguments and I hope you'll go see what he has to say.
I just wonder why the "more guns in more places" crowd isn't burning up the phone lines to support this. If it would make it easier and more efficient to identify and get help for those who have been misusing guns in a flare-up of their illness it should be a desirable result for them.