Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Update on Parity Regulations

Dear EDC friends,

Thank you to all who called their Senators and Representatives urging them to sign a letter that puts pressure on federal agencies to promulgate the mental health parity regulations. We had more than 120 people call to weigh in on this issue. Because of this and similar grassroots efforts Sen. Franken (D-MN) was joined by 25 Senators in sending the letter to the Agencies asking them to promulgate the regulations in a timely fashion and according to Congressional intent. Rep. Kennedy (D-RI) was joined by 71 Members of Congress in sending a similar letter. This is a great showing of Congressional support - thanks for making it happen! While regulations have not yet been released by the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury, we expect they will release interim final regulations by January 1, 2010. HHS Secretary Sebelius's response to the Congressional letters are attached.

Click here to read Secretary Sebelius's response to Representative Kennedy
Click here to read Secretary Sebelius's response to Senator Franken

As you may know, October 3, 2009 marked the one year anniversary of the enactment of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Thanks to the tireless work of the EDC and other advocates around the country, one short year later we have built upon our parity victory by including mental health and addictive disorder benefits in every key health care reform bill pending in Congress. We are furthering this success by working with key members and staff to ensure that coverage for eating disorders treatment specifically will be included in any health care bill that passes out of Congress this year.

We will keep you informed! Thanks to everyone who has participated in grassroots advocacy to support our success here on the Hill!

In gratitude, Jeanine Cogan, EDC Policy Director

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