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Senate Passes Financial Market Rescue Bill With Mental Illness Parity Included - House Vote Expected Today

October 2, 2008

As widely reported in the press last night, the Senate, by a vote of 74-25, approved a revised version of the financial market rescue package that the House narrowly rejected on Monday. The version of the legislation that the Senate passed last night included an extension of expiring tax breaks that the Senate passed on September 22 by a vote of 93-2. It is this "tax extenders" package (HR 6049) that includes the mental illness insurance parity bill.

Action Required

The House is expected to vote as early as tomorrow morning. Advocates are strongly encouraged to contact their House member and urge support for the combined financial market rescue-tax extender/mental illness parity bill - known as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (HR 1424). This is the last best chance to ensure passage of mental illness insurance parity before final congressional adjournment.

Remind your House member that:

  • Mental illnesses are real,
  • Treatment works - if you can get it,
  • There is no justification for a health plan to impose limitations or conditions on mental illness treatment that do not apply to all other medical conditions, and
  • There is broad agreement on a compromise version of the mental illness insurance parity bill that has been combined in to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act,
  • Congress needs to finish the job and pass the combined financial market rescue/tax extender/parity bill so that mental illness parity can be signed into law this year,
  • The Senate is simply not going to pass mental illness parity as a free-standing bill, this vote is the last chance for parity in 2008.
  • This is the last chance to pass parity in 2008. Do NOT adjourn for the year without passing mental illness insurance parity.

All House offices can be reached toll-free through the parity hotline at 1-866-parity4 (1-866-727-4894).

View additional background information on the mental illness insurance parity bill.

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