The House and Senate plan to begin their 10 day Thanksgiving recess. Between November 17 and November 27, most Senators and Representatives will be in their state and district offices.
As members of Congress head home for the holiday still left unresolved in a House-Senate conference is the Domenici-Wellstone mental illness parity amendment to the FY 2002 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations bill (HR 3061).
When lawmakers return to Washington, Congressional leaders likely will push Appropriation's conferees to wrap up this bill which funds the federal departments of Labor-Health and Human Services and Education (including the Centers for Disease Control)
Anticipating the rush to adjourn after this recess, opponents of parity are already working hard to prevent House acceptance of the Senate's parity amendment. Since the 1996 parity law expired October 1, 2001 and has unlikely renewal prospects during next year's election season, this may be the LAST REAL CHANCE to bring an end to discrimination and ensure equitable insurance coverage for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and other serious brain disorders.
NAMI advocates must contact their House member and senators and urge them to support the Domenici-Wellstone mental illness parity amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill. NAMI advocates should use any and all techniques to contact members of Congress over the next week, including: