Thursday, September 25, 2008

Congress Passes Mental Health Parity Bill

Bush says he'll sign. This is a big step forward for all children and adults with special needs, though the primary focus is on the adult psychiatric disorders ...

Health Blog : Congress Passes Mental Health Parity Bill

The long fight over putting the coverage of mental health on par with other health conditions is nearly over.

Both houses of Congress yesterday passed bills that would prohibit employers who offer mental health coverage from doing things like charging higher co-pays for mental health services than for other kinds of health care. That’s long been a common practice...

.... Kennedy, who has battled substance abuse, is a Rhode Island Dem. and a sponsor of the bill. His dad, Sen. Ted Kennedy, now battling brain cancer, has been a champion of the legislation in the Senate.

The legislation exempts businesses with fewer than 50 employees. That’s one of several compromises that won the bill broad support from the business community and the Bush administration.

The House passed the language as a stand-alone bill (online here), while the Senate included it in another measure. So they’ll have to come to a joint agreement about what form the measure will take to be sent off to the White House for the president’s signature.

People who suffer from chronic depression will pay much less for health care, but those who do not will pay slightly more. That's the way insurance works, it's a good thing.

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