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!