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Wellstone bill

The Wellstone Mental Health Parity Bill is supposed to help children with autism and other disorders get the funding they need from their parents' health insurance! It started in 1999 but the sponsor died. It is back up but finding CURRENT information about is pretty hard. Here is a good article on the bill: Ideas & Trends; Minds Over Money Although old, it refers to the need to cover autism:
House Republicans promised to hold hearings on parity proposals next year. One question sure to arise is whether the requirement should apply to all mental problems or just the more serious illnesses. The Domenici-Wellstone legislation applies to ''all categories of mental health conditions'' listed in the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, with the exception of drug and alcohol addiction. Even Dr. Hyman, a supporter of parity, said, ''There are many, many diagnoses in that book for which there is no certainty, no empirical validation.'' As an example, he cited histrionic personality disorder, defined as ''excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior.'' By contrast, Dr. Hyman said, ''we have 150 years of good empirical information about schizophrenia, manic-depressive illness and major depression, and 70 years of good empirical information about autism.''
Will a parity act, if not in Oregon, then nationwide help?
Parity is no panacea. A parity requirement would not guarantee treatment for every mental ailment, but would mean that mental disorders could no longer be set aside in a separate class, to be treated differently, with less coverage.
Here's how you can help. First, click here to see if your representative has already signed on as a co-sponsor. Next, call the toll-free mental health parity hotline: 1-866-PARITY4 (1-866-727-4894) to reach your member of Congress and either urge them to sign on as a co-sponsor or thank them for already doing so (part of successful organizing is thanking elected officials when they do the right thing!).


Just a followup/more info on the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (HR 1424), which was introduced to US Congress on March 7. 218 cosponsors were needed. 254 cosponsors joined Reps. Kennedy and Ramstad. ========================================================= ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 7, 2007) - Leaders in the House of Representatives, with the support of a majority of House members, today introduced the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (HR 1424) that would afford millions of Americans and their families coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders - ending decades of discriminatory practices. Mental Health America commends the leadership and determination of Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) in crafting this measure, which would offer insurance protections to the nearly 60 percent of Americans who rely on employer-sponsored coverage. Another 254 House members joined Kennedy and Ramstad as original cosponsors. For more info on the bill