Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bipolar Sunday -- New York Legislates Parity

Most of the States in our Republic have insurance parity laws. As noted in an earlier post, insurance parity may become Federal Law in 2007 and Michigan Law, as well. At there is an article about the insurance parity law passed by the State of New York. That law takes effect on January 1st, 2007.

"The law, passed unanimously by both houses of the State Legislature, is named for 12-year-old Timothy O'Clair of Rotterdam, who suffered from depression and took his own life in 2001. The legislation would require insurance companies to offer coverage for most mental illnesses, including a broad range of mental illnesses and conditions specifically related to children."


"The law directs the New York State Superintendent of Insurance to implement a system that would help small businesses meet the guidelines. A fund will also be created to fully offset any increase in insurance premiums on businesses with 50 or fewer employees resulting from this legislation.

The New York State Insurance Department and the Office of Mental Health will also be required to conduct a two-year study to determine the effectiveness and impact of mental health parity legislation in New York and other states. The law is slated to sunset at the end of 2009 so that the findings of the study can be examined and the law amended accordingly.

Timothy's Law includes the following provisions:

Coverage for 30 inpatient days and 20 outpatient days of treatment for all mental illnesses.

Full coverage for treatment of biologically-based mental illnesses, including the following: Schizophrenia/psychotic disorders, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Delusional Disorders, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bulimia, Anorexia and Binge Eating."

I really will never understand why a Republican Michigan Legislator would block an insurance parity bill that had enough co-sponsors for the bill to pass. I will never understand why a Republican Congressman from Texas would block the Combating Autism Act of 2006.

Why? Malice? Special Interest Bribes? Or are they just plain mean and ornery?

I thank God, my parents, my pastors, my Sunday School teachers, and the Public Education School Teachers in Port Huron for helping me to cherish love, kindness, and justice. Whatever they did -- I am thankful that I don't understand these jerks. I really don't want to peer into that "darkness".


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