Friday, December 29, 2006

Health Parity Legislation May Pass in 2007

The Capital Times has a brief article about the GOP stalled legislation about health insurance parity. With the new Democratic Majority the bill should easily pass. The Washington Post also has a version of the Associated Press story.

The Capital Times' money quotes:

"After years of trying, advocates think they have a good chance of getting Congress to pass legislation next year that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses, if their policies include both.

The legislation, named for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat who championed the cause, has strong support in Congress but has run into GOP roadblocks. In the last congressional session, 231 House members - more than half of the chamber - signed on as co-sponsors. The GOP leadership, which in the past had expressed concern that the proposal would drive up health insurance premiums, wouldn't bring it up for a vote."

And, from the Washington Post:

"A 1996 law already prohibits health plans that offer mental health coverage from setting lower annual and lifetime spending limits for mental treatments than for physical ailments. Backers of the new legislation want to see that expanded to co-payments, deductibles and limits on doctor visits.

"I'm very optimistic that 2007 will finally be the year that our health care system recognizes that the brain is, in fact, a part of the body," said Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat who sponsored the bill in the last Congress. "We've had majority support for this legislation six years in a row, and now we have a chance to bring it to the floor and pass it," the Associated Press reported on Friday."

Studies have shown that the costs to the insurance industry are minimal compared to the increase in employee productivity. With proper treatment folks that face brain disorders would miss less work.

Will the Michigan Legislature finally address insurance parity now that the Republican jerks will not be able to stop Michigan's current bill from coming to the State House floor for a vote?

Let's hope they do the right thing....


No comments: