Today, the Obama Administration is expected to issue its long-anticipated and final regulations defining parity in mental health benefits and treatment. Only one major newspaper, the New York Times, has covered the story. The Times is also the only source pointing out how the Administration believes the new parity regulations to be essential to the President’s program to counteract gun violence, saying that better access to mental health treatment may help reduce shootings and mass murders.
In a 1,300-word article on its front page, the New York Times (11/8, A1, Calmes, Pear, Subscription Publication) reports that today, the Obama Administration “will complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment.” An unnamed senior official said, “Here we’re doing full parity, and we’ve also taken steps to extend it to the people covered in the Affordable Care Act.” What’s more, the White House, according to the Times, sees the regulations “as critical to President Obama’s program for curbing gun violence by addressing an issue on which there is bipartisan agreement: Making treatment more available to those with mental illness could reduce killings, including mass murders.”
— “Rules to Require Equal Coverage for Mental Ills, “Jackie Calmes, The New York Times, November 8, 2013.