Representatives Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad, (R-MN), cosponsors of the Senator Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 (H.R. 1367), have begun a six- city tour to garner support for parity legislation. Representatives Kennedy and Ramstad are holding local “field hearings” or forums to build support for the parity bill in key congressional districts around the country. The purpose of the hearings is to create momentum as the bill is discussed in committee hearings and a vote on the House floor, which congressional sources indicate has been promised by leadership offices.
The bill will expand the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 by prohibiting group health plans, for businesses with more than 50 employees, from imposing treatment limitations or additional co-payments on the coverage of all mental illnesses. The field hearings will highlight some of the issues in support of parity: the scientific/medical case; the business case; the modest cost of equitable benefits, as well as the cost of not enacting parity; and what has been learned from state experiences with parity.
Local consumer organizations will be reaching out to their community partners for assistance in building an audience for each hearing as well as for help in some instances with such tasks as media outreach, identifying “witnesses,” and development of materials to hand out at the hearings. We ask that, if possible, you make yourself available to assist in outreach, testify as a witness, or attend these important hearings.
Please see the below 2007 dates. The lead organizations are indicated in parenthesis.
January 22— Humphrey Institute (NAMI)
9 - 11 a.m.
University of Minnesota.
301 19th Avenue South
January 29 — Montgomery County Council Building (MHA)
Third Floor Hearing Room
100 Maryland Avenue
Febuary 10th - Cerritos, California
9 a.m. - 12
Cerritos College Student Center
February 17 — Vancouver, Washington (NAMI)
1pm to 4pm
Washington State University
Vancouver Lecture Hall
Student Services Building, Room 110
February 20 — Sacramento, California
UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute
February 21 — Palo Alto
San Mateo County Board
of Supervisors’ chambers
400 County Center
Redwood City, California 94063
February 22 — Denver, Colorado
University of Colorado Health Sciences
Center at Fitzsimons Campus
Shore Family Forum in the
Ben Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building
13001 E. 17th Place
Aurora, CO 80011
February 26th — Trenton, New Jersey
125 W. State Street
March 12 — Pittsburgh
9:30 AM - 12 noon
Green Tree Municipal Building
10 West Manilla Avenue
March 16 — New York City, NY
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Columbia University Medical Center
Department of Psychiatry and
New York Psychiatric Institute
1051 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10032
March 30 — Dallas
3 - 5:30 p.m.
Dallas City Hall
City Council Chamber
1500 Marilla Street
Thank you for your continued support on this issue. Please contact AACAP Department of Government Affairs at 1-800-33-7636, ext 108 or email Kristin Kroeger firstname.lastname@example.org or Elizabeth Rorick email@example.com. Thank you for your action!
Department of Government Affairs
Kristin K. Ptakowski, Director
Elizabeth Rorick, Assistant Director
Abby Schopick, Legislative Assistant