Urge Your Representative and Senators to Support Mental Health Parity!
Congress is close to passing a mental health parity bill before the close of the 2007 session. After two years of negotiations, the Senate passed S. 558 under unanimous consent. Similar legislation, HR 1424, has passed through three House committees. Unfortunately, the two bills are not identical, and the House and Senate will have to negotiate a compromise that is acceptable to both chambers.
This session of Congress is expected to adjourn around December 21. If mental health parity is not passed by then the issue will lapse over into 2008, when many expect it will be lost in an election year deadlock. Because of the urgency, a special day has been set aside for congress to hear from you and your colleagues about the importance of passing this legislation before the end of the 2007 session.
Please call your representatives on Friday December 7th to urge him/her to support mental health parity.
On Friday, December 7th, use the toll-free Parity Hotline, 1-866-parity4 (1-866-727-4894), to call your Representative and Senators. Once you are connected, ask for the Health Legislative Assistant. Please leave your name, along with the suggested message below. If you do not know who your Representative is, go to www.house.gov and enter your zip code in the upper left corner.
"I am a child and adolescent psychiatrist from your district and I am calling to ask that Representative/Senator _________ not allow another year go by without passing mental health parity legislation. A lack of parity in insurance is one of the key barriers of treatment for children and adolescents with mental illness. Please work with congressional leadership offices to pass mental health parity now. If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know. Thank you."
Please forward this email onto your colleagues to join you in calling Congress on Friday.
Resources: Fact sheets and letters on parity, with rosters showing organizations in support of the Senate and House bills, may be found at http://www.mhlg.org/page18.html.
CBO score on H.R. 1424 (Commerce), 11-21-07:
CBO score on H.R. 1424 (Ways & Means), 10-4-07: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/86xx/doc8679/hr1424w&m.pdf
CBO score on H.R. 1424 (Ed & Labor) 9-7-07: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/86xx/doc8608/hr1424.pdf
CBO score on S. 558, 3-20-07:
Please contact the AACAP Dept. of Government Affairs at 800.333.7636, x. 128, or e-mail email@example.com with any questions.
Please let us know when you have contacted your Representative and Senators
Thank you for your action!
Beth Rorick, Assistant Director, Government Affairs
Pat Jones, Legislative Assistant