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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mental Health Parity Passes U.S. House

On March 5, 2008, the United States House of Representatives passed The Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act (H.R. 1424). The final vote was 268-148.

The U.S. Senate passed its version of mental health parity legislation (S. 558) on September 18, 2007. The House and Senate will now need to reach consensus on differences between the two bills so that the same bill can be re-passed by the House and Senate and sent to President George W. Bush. SPAN USA hopes that the differences can be worked out quickly so that millions of Americans will see equity between mental health and addiction recovery services and those for physical health services.

SPAN USA appreciates all of the hard work Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN) as well as the House leadership provided to obtain passage of federal mental health parity legislation in the U.S. House. Finally, SPAN USA thanks all of its grassroots advocates who sent emails seeking cosponsorship of the bill and who called their representatives asking them to vote for it. Advocacy in Action works!

More information can be found on the SPAN website.

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