Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More than 40 Organizations Support EDC’s Successful Policy Efforts!

EDC hit the ground running this year as we continue pushing for federal policies that make a difference in people’s lives. As many of you know, EDC worked closely with a new champion to get the FREED Act introduced, we secured a Senate Letter to Secretary Sebelius where Senators asked for clarity in the parity regulations, and we are working on a similar House letter.  We held a successful Spring Lobby Day and are gearing up for another one in the fall.  Plan to participate in our Fall Lobby Day September 18, 2013.

We want to give a shout out to all our Members who support EDC’s successful policy efforts including our lobby days.  Thank you!
Executive Circle
Leadership Circle
Eating Disorder Recovery Consulting
Advocacy Circle
Support Circle
Hope Circle

Thursday, May 23, 2013

FREED Act Introduced!

The Eating Disorder Coalition (EDC) applauds Representative Ted Deutch’s (D-FL)  introduction of H.R. 2101 the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders Act of 2013 (FREED Act). The FREED Act is comprehensive legislation that is a crucial step in responding to eating disorders.

“Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and yet those suffering too often find themselves marginalized and without treatment,” said Congressman Deutch. “The ignorance in our society surrounding eating disorders is costing us lives, and the federal government has a responsibility to take action. I have sponsored the FREED Act to better educate our communities about eating disorders, provide for much-needed research, and ultimately improve access to treatment before it’s too late.”
EDC President Johanna Kandel said, “We thank Congressman Deutch for being a champion for eating disorders and are grateful that he has introduced this important piece of legislation. The FREED Act will not only help us to better understand eating disorders, it will improve the access to treatment for those currently suffering with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not a partisan issue and the FREED Act has the potential to save thousands of lives. We urge Congress to pass this bill quickly.”
The FREED Act would provide funding and direction to NIH for research and surveillance, provides for education and prevention activities, and improves access to treatment of eating disorders by requiring coverage of eating disorders be consistent with coverage of medical/surgical benefits.

The introduction of the FREED Act was a focus of EDC’s spring lobby day. EDC members and supporters traveled to Washington to advocate for the introduction of the FREED Act, and to increase support for FREED and eating disorders policy on the Hill.

Original cosponsors of H.R. 2101 are:  Reps. Gerald Connolly (VA-11), John Conyers (MI-13), Keith Ellison (MN-5), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Hank Johnson (GA-4), Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4),  James Moran (VA-8), Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Richard Nolan (MN-8), Chellie Pingree (ME-1), Jared Polis (CO-2), Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).



Saturday, May 18, 2013

EDC Applauds Christine Quinn’s Bravery

The Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) applauds New York Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn for her bravery in discussing her struggle with bulimia. (For those of you haven’t read her story click here to see the NY Times article)  It was a courageous thing Ms. Quinn did by sharing her story.

The EDC is very familiar with the shame and secrecy that often surrounds eating disorders.  So often those suffering with eating disorders, particularly public figures are ashamed of their personal connection to an eating disorder. By Ms. Quinn openly sharing her story, she has challenged the stigma around eating disorders; she has assured millions currently suffering with an eating disorder, and millions more in recovery that they are not alone. If you are currently suffering or have a family member who is, please know this: you are not alone.

Thank you to Ms. Quinn for sharing your story. We are grateful that she had access to and received the necessary care to recover from her eating disorder. We hope that many others may be inspired to receive the care they need by reading her story. One of the many reasons we continue to work hard to ensure that everyone who needs care has access to it; by advocating for the FREED Act and for the Congressional letters regarding parity for eating disorders.

 May Ms. Quinn’s courage also embolden others to share their personal journey through an eating disorder into recovery. It is time that we bring eating disorders out of the shadows.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

EDC Urges You To Contact Your Representative

 Thank you to all who supported EDC’s success working with the Senate, where 11 Senators signed a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services urging her to provide more specific guidance in the parity rules so that people with eating disorders receive the care to which they are entitled.

The EDC continues our efforts to improve federal policy for persons with eating disorders.  As such, we were advocating for the House to send a similar letter. The more pressure we can put on HHS the more likely they are to clarify eating disorders coverage in the regulations.  Our efforts paid off! We now have a House side letter with three champions: Ted Deutch (D-FL), Hank Johnson (D-GA) and, Alcee Hastings (D-FL).

However, now we need to get Members to sign on to the letter and we need your help. The EDC’s asks you to please contact your Member of Congress. To contact your Representative:

1. Go to and enter your zip code in the box that says ‘Find My Representative’ 

2. Once you do that you’ll see your Member's information come up, click on the little envelope icon under your Member’s name to contact them. If for some reason this doesn’t work, go directly to their page and click on the ‘Contact Me’ link. That should take you to a web form for emailing the Member. 

3. Please send them a message urging them to sign on to this letter. We’ve included a template below, feel free to use this, customize it, or send your own.

 “My name is __(enter name)_ and I live in ___(city)__ in your District. I am contacting you to ask that you sign on to a letter to  HHS Secretary Sebelius to request clear language that ensures greater access to life-saving care for Americans with eating disorders in the final rules for the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (aka “parity”). This letter is being sent by Representatives Hank Johnson, Alcee Hastings, and Ted Deutch. Unfortunately even since the passage of federal parity, many people with eating disorders are being denied coverage in violation of the parity law.

I care about this issue because ________. 

Please sign on to this important letter by contacting Scott Goldstein in Representative Johnson's office or Larry Zaragoza in Representative Hastings' office or Joel Richard in Representative Deutch's office. I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you.”

Thank you for your help!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Senate Letter to Secretary Sebelius Urging Parity for Eating Disorders Sent!

We at the EDC are very excited about a letter Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is sending to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  Thank you so much to all of you who reached out to your Senator!

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act passed in 2008 (MHPAEA). Nearly five years later we are still waiting for HHS to promulgate the final regulations.  Very simply, the Parity regulations will explain how the HHS will interpret the law.  MHPAEA regulations are long overdue, and because they are so overdue we’ve seen a lot of confusion around the interpretation of parity law. See our previous post here.

In addition to those of you who wrote letters, during our most recent lobby day we worked very hard to generate support for this letter, and constituents urged their Senators to sign on to the letter. We are very proud to announce that Senator Baldwin’s letter is also signed by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobachar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

This letter is so important because it not only urges HHS to promulgate the rules on Parity, but goes further requesting that HHS (1) clarify that denying coverage for residential inpatient treatment for eating disorders because there is not a ‘medical analogy’ is a violation of existing parity law and (2) applying limits to scope of treatment for eating disorders more restrictively than medical/surgical benefits is a violation of parity.  This clarity in the final rule would prevent many people suffering with an eating disorder.

Thank you all for your support—together we can achieve parity for eating disorders! We are making progress because of you! 

To see a copy of the letter see Senator Baldwin’s facebook  page here.