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NAMI Applauds Bipartisan Mental Illness Insurance Parity Bill

Statement of Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

October 3, 2008

NAMI is proud to support the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (HR 1424) and the Paul Wellstone-Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (HR 6983) that is included in this important bill.

NAMI is the nation's largest organization representing individuals and families who live with serious mental illness. For 20 years, NAMI has fought for health insurance parity laws to ensure that employer health plans offer equitable coverage for medical illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and severe anxiety disorders.

This historic legislation is a victory for millions of Americans living with mental illnesses who face unfair discrimination in co-payments, doctor’s visits and hospital stays. The bill will require group health insurance plans to cover mental illness and substance abuse disorders on the same terms and conditions as other illnesses.

Americans now will be able to get treatment when they need it.

NAMI is profoundly grateful to the bipartisan leadership on this important issue and thanks Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN), as well as Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and Mike Enzi (R-WY), for their commitment in sponsoring the legislation.

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