The Los Angeles Times (4/6, Levey) reports mental health advocates are urging Democrats and Republicans not to abandon a bipartisan push to “modernize the nation’s mental health system amid rising partisan tensions over” election year politics. An estimated 1 in 5 Americans suffered from a mental illness in the past year, per federal data. The US has “long had a patchwork system of mental health care” in place that “leaves tens of millions of people without access to vital services.”
The Senate Health Committee advanced a package of bills last month that should “strengthen a 2008 law that requires health insurers to cover mental health services at the same level they cover treatments for physical health conditions.”
Angela Kimball, policy director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said the legislation represented “a significant step in the right direction.” However, a House version of the Senate Bill has “been stalled for months, in part over opposition from some GOP lawmakers to increased funding.”
— “Despite bipartisan support, mental health reform bill could be derailed,” Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2016.