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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mental Health Parity: The Battle Continues

Our friends at the excellent blog HR Web Cafe have a nice rundown on the current battle over mental health parity--whether insurers should be required to provide the same coverage for mental health conditions as they do for physical health conditions.

The short version: There are two bills in Congress, one in the House and one in the Senate. In one of those strange family circumstances, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) is author of the House bill, while his dad, Sen. Edward Kennedy, is shepherd of the Senate's version. The House version is more inclusive (i.e., more expensive) than the Senate version, and it's not clear whether the two chambers can reach a compromise. Business groups oppose the House version.

Here are the links to further discussion, courtesy of HR Web Cafe:

New York Times: House Approves Bill on Mental Health Parity
SHRM: House Passes Mental Health Parity Bill
Business Insurance: Mental parity bill steps closer to law

And here's a recent article from the Kaiser Family Foundation that describes other health-related legislation that is progressing in the background while the presidential candidates duke it out over major reform.

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