Mental Health Parity

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 8:00pm

Background

For over two years, the Chamber worked with Senators Kennedy, Enzi and Domenici as part of a small group of insurers, mental health advocates, and the business community to draft compromise mental health parity legislation. The Chamber continued to work with this group as well as with the House on mental health parity.

U.S. Chamber Position

The Chamber appreciates the truly bipartisan efforts of the carefully crafted Senate legislation, as input from all crucial stakeholders was considered. S. 558 contains a delicate balance that allows employers and health plans to comply with new requirements for financial and treatment parity by preserving plan design flexibility and important medical management practices. The Chamber supports the protection of meaningful plan tools, and supports the Senate bill over the House bill.

 

Senate Passes Mental Health Parity – Supported by Chamber

On September 18, 2008, the Senate passed by voice vote S. 558, which is a well-balanced and reasoned approach to mental health parity. Unfortunately, we do not see the same balanced approach in the House parity bill, H.R. 1424, and would urge that several changes be made to the legislation as it is considered. The House bill has been reported out of the Education and Labor Committee ( on June 18) and by the Health Subcommittee of Ways and Means Committee (September 19), leaving Energy and Commerce with jurisdiction; thereby, leaving H.R. 1424 in its current version as the bill that would be sent to conference with the Senate. We are continuing to meet with House staff to alert them to our concerns. We are also meeting with Senate staff to reinforce our commitment to the Senate bill. We encourage you to contact your Representatives and encourage their support of the Senate bill.

For the Chamber's talking points on Mental Health Parity or a joint letter of the issue, please see the "resources" section to the right.