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article imageCongress Passes Mental Health Parity Bill

By Sadiq Green     Sep 26, 2008 in Health
After a long hard fight, earlier this week both houses of Congress passed bills that would put the coverage of mental health patients on par with that of other health conditions.
The bill, if signed into law, would prohibit the common practice of charging higher co-pays for mental health services than for other kinds of health care.
The House of Representatives passed its legislation as a stand-alone bill, while the Senate included it in another measure. The two houses will have to come to a joint agreement about what form the measure will take before being sent to the White House for President Bush's signature.
A familiar Washington name played a major role in both houses passing its bills. Senator Ted Kennedy has long been a champion of the legislation in the Senate. His son, Representative Patrick Kennedy was the sponsor of the House bill. The younger Kennedy, who has had his share of mental health issues told the Washington Post:
“You go in there with a broken arm, you have a $200 deductible and your insurance kicks in. You have depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and you find out you have a $2,000 deductible, you’ve got limitations on your treatment and all kinds of co-pay.”
Patrick Kennedy has battled substance abuse, while his dad is battling brain cancer.
The triumphant news comes as we learn this evening that Senator Kennedy was taken to by ambulance to a hospital near his Cape Cod vacation home Friday after complaining of feeling ill. However, "The Lion of The Senate" was expected to be home in time to watch the Presidential Debate at Ole Miss this evening. According to his office:
“Senator Kennedy experienced a mild seizure at home in Hyannis Port today and was taken to Cape Cod Hospital for examination. Doctors believe the incident was triggered by a change in medication. Senator Kennedy will return home tonight and looks forward to watching the debate."
Apparently nothing can keep this lion caged. Best wishes to the longtime Senator.
More about Mental health, Ted kennedy, Legislative bill
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