for anti-psychiatry activists
updated April 9, 2002
Compulsory federal mental health parity insurance legislation is defeated again
According to the December 2001 Psychology Today magazine (page 20), a new mental health parity bill was introduced in Congress called the Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act. According to the article, health insurance companies (and HMOs) "quickly found loopholes" in previous attempts by the U.S. Congress to force equal health insurance for psychiatry as for real health care.
According to the article, "Most research shows that health-care premiums will rise approximately 1 percent" if mental health care is required by law to be included in health insurance policies. Of course, if it were really that small, insurance companies probably wouldn't try so hard to evade laws requiring them to cover psychiatry. Insurance company executives probably realize the potential for huge increases in claims if so-called mental health care is covered.
Everyone concerned with human rights should oppose legislation to force coverage for psychiatry under health insurance policies. Many of us have been able to regain our freedom from psychiatric institutions only because our insurance benefits for mental health care ran out.
According to the March/April 2002 Psychology Today magazine, "The Mental Health Parity Act of 2001, which addressed disparity inherent in insurance for physical versus psychiatric illnesses, was killed last December ." The article says one of the main purposes of the legislation was to stop "the curtailment of inpatient psychiatric treatment" by HMOs and other health care insurers. (Kaja Perina, "Battle for Benefits," Psychology Today magazine, March/April 2002, p. 64 at 65) The defeat of this legislation is a defeat for psychiatry and those who advocate imprisoning us so-called mentally ill people in "hospitals" and a victory for those of us who want to see America start living up to its politicians' rhetoric about America being a free country.
New Mexico extends psychiatric drug prescribing power to psychologists - see Antipsychiatry News Clips
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