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Proposals for Mental Health Parity Pit a Fatherís Pragmatism Against a Sonís Passion
NY Times ^ | March 19, 2007 | ROBERT PEAR

Posted on 03/19/2007 7:06:19 PM PDT by neverdem

WASHINGTON, March 18 — It’s Kennedy versus Kennedy as two members of Congress from the same family face off over competing versions of legislation that would require many health insurance companies and employers to provide more generous benefits to people with mental illness.

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island and chief sponsor of the House bill, has criticized as inadequate the Senate bill introduced by his father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts. Representative Kennedy is trying to mobilize mental health advocates to lobby for what he describes as “the stronger of the two bills, the House bill.”

Both bills seek to end discrimination against people with mental disorders by requiring insurers and employers to provide equivalent coverage, or parity, for mental and physical illnesses.

That would be a huge change. For decades, insurers have charged higher co-payments and set stricter limits on coverage of mental health services. For example, insurers often refuse to cover more than 20 visits a year to a psychotherapist. And a patient may have to pay 20 percent of the cost for visiting a cancer specialist, but 40 percent or more for a mental health specialist.

The differences between the Kennedys’ bills reflect different views about what is possible and what is politically feasible.

Senator Kennedy said he was taking a pragmatic approach and had made a number of compromises to win the support of business and insurance groups. These compromises, he said, greatly increased the chances that a bill would become law, protecting millions of Americans in group health plans.

Insurers and employers had opposed similar proposals in the past, saying the plans would drive up costs. This year, however, Senator Kennedy invited employers and insurers to help write the legislation, along with mental health groups, and they have endorsed the...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: congress; govwatch; healthinsurance; managedcare; mentaldisorders; mentalhealth; socializedmedicine
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To: Calvin Locke; zendari

I'm sure there are plenty of other Kennedys waiting in line for any political position that money can buy.


41 posted on 03/24/2007 7:42:15 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: spunkets

You have proven nothing except that you know nothing.

When asked to back up your science you cannot.

So therefore you are either an idiot or a fool. Either way thanks for proving absoultely nothing.


42 posted on 03/24/2007 9:52:05 PM PDT by Almondjoy
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To: Almondjoy

I see. Ignoorance is bliss. Read a book.


43 posted on 03/24/2007 10:20:40 PM PDT by spunkets ("Freedom is about authority", Rudy Giuliani, gun grabber)
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To: neverdem
Both bills seek to end discrimination against people with mental disorders by requiring insurers and employers to provide equivalent coverage, or parity, for mental and physical illnesses.

Another way of saying it, "Both bills seek to open the floodgates of insurance money to psychologists and other "therapists" so they can cash in like the real doctors already do."
44 posted on 03/24/2007 10:23:08 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan

Amen.


45 posted on 03/25/2007 7:55:20 AM PDT by Almondjoy
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