MENTAL HEALTH PARITY: Union-Tribune Supports Passage
An editorial in today's San Diego Union-Tribune calls on Gov. Pete Wilson and the state legislators to support Assemblywomen Helen Thomson's (D-Davis) bill -- AB 1100 -- to "require insurers to provide equitable coverage for biologically based severe mental illnesses." The editorial notes the experiences of Texas, Maryland and Rhode Island, where parity laws were enacted and health care premiums did not "skyrocket" as opponents contended. The Union-Tribune points to a RAND/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study that found "parity in combination with managed care can result in lowered costs and lowered premiums." In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has expressed opposition to mental health parity mandates, sponsored a survey showing "that most small-business owners support the parity legislation," as do most voters, the editorial notes.
Time To Act
In backing Thomson's bill, the editorial states that "biologically based mental illnesses are no different from biologically based physical illnesses. They just strike the brain instead of the heart, lungs, stomach or other organs." The piece concludes: "Wilson should join the 19 other governors, both Republicans and Democrats, who believe equality in mental and physical health care is best for the people of their states" (6/26). Click here to read more about the California Senate's recent approval of parity legislation.