Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mental Health Parity

Although I am not a policy wonk about healthcare like some friends are, there is one piece that I feel like I know enough about to be truly concerned. Mental health parity is something that I believed in and had hoped hope to fight for through GEO's next contract and is a practice that I find deeply troubling. For those of you who don't know, mental health can be legally treated different than other kinds of health in employer-provided healthcare benefits including things like caps on the number of visits, lack of coverage for "chronic" conditions and limits on in-patient care that would be unthinkable for (almost) any kind of physical health condition. If you would like to know more about it, I suggest reading the material at Mental Health America and National Alliance on Mental Illness.

One of the lasting legacies that Paul Wellstone left was an effort to combat this discrimination as he proposed legislation that would make mental health discrimination illegal. Now, the Senate has cleared this legislation through committee but the bill, which now bears Wellstone's name, needs to clear three committees in the House and be approved by the full membership of both Chambers (oh, yeah, and get signed by our the President). I have included a link in the sidebar if you want to contact your legislators (particularly those in the House) to pass this legislation (or, click here). For more details on the legislation itself, you can find information at the Wellstone Action or Mental Health America websites.


wobblie said...

Oregon recently passed legislation for mental health parity. I think it kicks in with the renewal this fall.

sy said...

Depression only man makes unhealthy. So we try to control it otherwise we may face more problems.

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