After twelve years frustrating hard work determined advocacy has finally produced the victory. Today Congress passed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 - comprehensive mental health and addiction parity legislation in honor of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. The bill was included in financial bailout package passed by the Senate on Monday and the House today. It now moves to the President's desk.
The parity bill does not require health-insurance plans to cover addiction or mental health, but insurers will now be barred from imposing any caps or limits on behavioral healthcare service that are not applied to other health conditions. Most insurance plans do include behavioral-healthcare coverage, and advocates say that past experience shows that passage of state-level parity laws has not led to insurers dropping such coverage.
We are still only half way there but that is better than not being there at all. The bill will start to pave the way so that all Americans can receive help for their addiction.
NAMA salutes Faces & Voices for their strong support of this bill and medication assisted treatment.