Saturday, October 4, 2008

Paul Wellstone Mental Health Parity Law Signed by President!

After 12 years of waiting, our prayers have been answered, and the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, designed to end many years of discrimination against the mentally ill, was attached to the $700 billion bailout package, passed both houses of Congress, and was signed by President Bush yesterday.

While [David] Wellstone worked to carry out his father's legacy, Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad, Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and his son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., helped get the bill through Congress.

"This legislation is one more step in the long civil rights struggle to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to reach their potential," said Patrick Kennedy, who has battled depression, alcoholism and drug abuse. "For far too long, health insurance companies have used the stigma of mental illness and substance abuse as an excuse to deny coverage for those biological disorders."

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