January 04, 2007

Mental Health Parity Bill to Face House Vote

The Associate press reported last week that:

After years of trying, advocates think they have a good chance of getting Congress to pass legislation... that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses, if their policies include both. The legislation [The Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act], named for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat who championed the cause, has strong support in Congress but has run into GOP roadblocks.

In the last congressional session, 231 House members more than half of the chamber signed on as co-sponsors. The GOP leadership, which in the past had expressed concern that the proposal would drive up health insurance premiums, wouldn't bring it up for a vote. In 2003, Senate Democrats tried to win passage of the bill as a tribute to Wellstone, who died in a plane crash the previous year. Republicans blocked an attempt to pass it by unanimous consent.

Read the Full Article: Mental Health Bill to Face House Vote (Washington Post)

More Information: Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act - Proponent Web Site

What is the Wellstone Act? - More information on the Wellstone Act, mental health "parity", links to the 1996 and 2003 Congressional bills and list of co-sponsors


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