Recommended Reading on Parity
The Federal Government offers several resources on parity and other issues related to access to care. Two recommended studies conducted with SAMHSA support include:
For the full text of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, visit the Library of Congress THOMAS site at http://Thomas.loc.gov. Search for “HR 1424.”
THOMAS provides several options for finding bills, resolutions, and legislative histories from 1973 to the present.
Advocacy groups and other organizations have voiced their reactions to the passage of the parity law. Read the comments below, and then send us your thoughts.
"Research shows that physical health is directly connected to emotional health and millions of Americans know that suffering from a mental health disorder can be as frightening and debilitating as any major physical health disorder. It's our hope that passage of this bill will force our health care system to finally start treating the whole person, both mind and body."
— Katherine Nordal, Ph.D., Executive Director for Professional Practice
American Psychological Association
"Millions of Americans will now be assured greater access to mental and behavioral health coverage while continuing to benefit from the innovative programs health plans have developed to promote high-quality, evidence-based care."
— Karen Ignani, President and Chief Executive Officer
America's Health Insurance Plans
"With approval of this bill, we will tear down the walls of stigma and discrimination and open the doors to the power and promise of treatment and recovery. It recognizes that mental health disorders are every bit as debilitating, and just as treatable, as cancer and diabetes."
— David Shern, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer
Mental Health America
"For 20 years, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has fought for health insurance parity laws to ensure that employer health plans offer equitable coverage for medical illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and severe anxiety disorders. This historic legislation is a victory for millions of Americans living with mental illnesses who face unfair discrimination in co-payments, doctor’s visits, and hospital stays."
— Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director
National Alliance on Mental Illness
"The passage of parity is historic. It is a major milestone on the long road to ensuring that mental illnesses and addictions are treated on par with other health conditions."
— Linda Rosenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer
National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare