Over 70 House Members Call For Strong, Timely Parity Regulations
In a follow-up to our successful effort in August in the Senate to direct a letter to the Administration calling for strong and timely regulations to the mental health parity law, Mental Health America joined in a similar effort in the House. With the help of our affiliates, grassroots and other national partners, we helped to secure over 70 House members on the letter, which was sent September 23rd to the three Departments (Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury) overseeing the development of mental health parity regulations.
Download and View the Parity Letter PDF
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) circulated the House letter and highlighted that "Congress carefully considered mental health parity legislation for over twelve years prior to its enactment, and we are hopeful that the promulgated regulations will clearly reflect Congressional intent." The work over the last dozen years in Congress was significant in allowing for the bipartisan leadership of the two House caucuses critical to passage of parity - the Mental Health and Addictions caucuses - to sign on to the letter. The strong, bipartisan representation on the House letter should send the appropriate message to the administration that Congress is watching this process very closely.
It is also worth mentioning that President Barack Obama, as a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions panel, and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Chair, were instrumental in developing and passing parity during their tenure last Congress. These issues are very familiar to both of them and several other staff in key posts who went to the Administration very knowledgeable of the 12-year path to parity.