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February 04, 2005
NAMI Oregon Pushes Parity
Read more... Schizophrenia Advocacy
NAMI Oregon continues push for mental-health benefits
It was reported today in the "Statesman Journal" newspaper that NAMI Oregon continues the fight against health insurance discrimination against people with brain diseases like schizophrenia.
The newspaper noted that:
"Vincent Salvi got a chance Monday to experience a few of the sights and sounds of what his oldest son has gone through for almost five years.
But the machine in the Capitol galleria confirmed what Salvi already knew - that the brain disorder known as schizophrenia is not pleasant for the person with it or for his or her family.
Salvi, who is from Washington County, was one of about 100 citizen lobbyists who came to Salem to seek better state support for treatment of mental illnesses and advocate insurance benefits on par with those for physical illnesses or injuries."
The day was sponsored by the Oregon unit of NAMI, formerly the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
The newspaper article further noted that:
The machine was developed to increase awareness of schizophrenia by family members, law enforcement officers and policy-makers.
"Anyone who deals with mental illness, professionally or personally, gains a better understanding of what people with schizophrenia experience," said Stephanie Kendall, a manager with Janssen Pharmaceutica, a research and development arm of Johnson & Johnson.
Mental health is getting new attention from the Legislature, which is expected to consider many of the recommendations issued last year by a task force appointed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
Insurance companies are expected to oppose the bill that would require health-insurance policies to provide benefits for mental illnesses equal to other benefits.
Oregon lawmakers considered a similar bill two years ago. It cleared a Senate committee but never got past the Legislature's joint budget panel.
Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, has been a chief sponsor both then and now of what is designated in this session as Senate Bill 1.
"Parity is our big issue this session," said Monica Kosman of Florence, NAMI-Oregon president.
For More Information:
NAMI-Oregon, go to http://www.nami.org/oregon/
Posted by szadmin at February 4, 2005 09:27 PM
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