On Wednesday, March 5, 2008, Congresswoman Betty Sutton voted in favor of H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act. The bill prohibits insurers and group health plans from imposing treatment or financial limitations when they offer mental health benefits that are more restrictive from those applied to medical and surgical services. The bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 268-148.
“Health care plans for Members of Congress and 8.5 million other federal employees have included parity coverage for mental health care for the past 8 years, and it is about time this coverage was extended to those who have non-federal group health care plans,” Sutton said. “I am proud that the House was able to pass a responsible piece of legislation that not only tackles the mental health parity issue, but also but also increases the rebates that drug companies must pay to State Medicaid programs, and addresses the problem of physician self-referral to hospitals in which they have an ownership interest.”