Friday, October 03, 2008

Mental health parity part of bailout bill

Lost among all the angst and hoopla over the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (a.k.a. Wall Street Bailout Bill, Economic Rescue Plan, Paulson's Folly, etc.) was news about an equally important aspect of the legislation considering health insurance. This is especially true if you and/or a loved one have struggled with mental illness. If statistics are accurate, that includes most of you out there. It includes me, my daughter, my father, and assorted siblings, nieces and nephews. If you choose to see the larger bill as a bailout, that's fine, but it also throws a lifeline to millions of Main Street families.

This news comes from the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health through a Mental Health Liaison Group "Action Alert" this afternoon:

The long campaign to pass parity legislation is over, with a stunning win in Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives has just voted to pass the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that includes the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. The vote total on H.R. 1424 was 263-171. The roll call will be posted at

This action clears the legislation for presentation to the President, who will sign it very quickly.

Thank you to all organizations that have worked with us since 2001! Thank you to the sponsors of the legislation: Senators Domenici, Kennedy and Enzi, and Representatives Kennedy and Ramstad. Their leadership on this vital issue has been stellar. We could not have had more energetic champions for our cause.

Text of the Parity Legislation is on pages 310 to 344. H.R. 1424 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 or at Section-by-Section of Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

Resources: Fact sheets, analyses of the parity legislation and past letters to Congress are posted at

A big cheer to Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming for being one of the original sponsors of the legislation. A chorus of boos for voting against the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 on Wednesday in the Senate. We expect Sen. & Dr. John Barrasso to vote against health care bills. After all, he hates Medicare and SCHP. When will you two get a clue? We already know that Rep. Barbara Cubin is a lost cause. But what do we have here? Cubin voting for the rescue plan? She voted for the original one on Monday. You never can tell...

P.S.: My original post said something nice about Enzi -- until I went to his web site and saw his vote.

No comments: