TMV Talks To Rep. Patrick Kennedy About Mental Health

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Democrats, Legislation, Mental Health, Republicans

Pete Abel lands the exclusive and discusses the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Of 2008.

The following passage highlights one of the most important parts of the legislation because it shows how genuine policy compromise got this passed…

TMV: As I understand it, the current bill is not a mandate to offer mental health benefits. Instead, it’s a mandate that, if an insurance company already offers mental health benefits, it must then offer them at parity with physical health benefits. Are you at all concerned that this requirement might discourage insurance companies from offering any mental health benefits?

RPK: No. If we had mandated coverage of (the entire diagnostic manual), this bill would not have become law. Part of our compromise was to let employers and insurance companies determine what they would cover, with medical necessity as the determinant of the day, not arbitrary selectivity.

Our fall back position is that we want the GAO to study the patterns of mental health coverage going forward … to see how widely mental health diseases are being covered. If the GAO determines those diseases are insufficiently covered, we’ll have to come back and shore up the law.

Also, we have very strong language in the law defining “medical necessity” and how to determine a patient’s eligibility for mental health coverage, so that when people sign up for coverage, they know what the grounds are for denying coverage, strengthening their ability to appeal arbitrary decisions.

Check out the whole thing here.


This entry was posted on Friday, October 31st, 2008 and is filed under Democrats, Legislation, Mental Health, Republicans. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “TMV Talks To Rep. Patrick Kennedy About Mental Health”

  1. Jarrett Brown Says:

    That isnt Patrick Kennedy in the picture. Thats RFK Jr. You made a mistake

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    Oh jeez, can’t believe I did that.

    Fixed! Many thanks.

Leave a Reply


NOTE TO COMMENTERS:


You must ALWAYS fill in the two word CAPTCHA below to submit a comment. And if this is your first time commenting on Donklephant, it will be held in a moderation queue for approval. Please don't resubmit the same comment a couple times. We'll get around to moderating it soon enough.


Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


Thanks for understanding and have a pleasurable commenting experience.


Related Posts: