Imagine my delight when a newspaper located in the ultra conservative side of Michigan calls on the Michigan Legislature to pass a comprehensive insurance parity law. The Grand Rapids Press even suggested that Governor Jennifer Granholm showcase the mental illness parity law as part of her State of the State Address.
Here are some quotes from the article in today's paper:
"For the afflicted, however, nothing could be more real than the mind and soul crimped by chemical imbalance, past trauma or bedeviling addiction. Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety can be debilitating, even deadly. Scientific advances of the last few decades have created sophisticated therapies for these illnesses, especially more effective drugs, making them all the more treatable and offering new hope.
But disparity persists in the way insurers cover such diseases. When it comes to mental illness, some impose higher co-pays and deductibles, mandate shorter hospital stays and put stricter limitations on lifetime coverage amounts. Too many patients have to draw down their bank accounts to receive the help they need, and too many go without any help at all."
"Offsetting the coverage cost, however, would be increased productivity and well-being for the currently under-insured. Mental illness takes a toll not only on lives but on the bottom line, especially in absenteeism and poor performance at work.
In addition, there would be a savings to the public health system, which bears the load when private insurance fails. When lawmakers consider the expenses -- and they must -- they need to consider all of them."
It's time to get off our butts and get this legislation passed!