Senate Democrats

Reid: Mental Health Parity Bill Strengthens Programs To Help Citizens With Mental Illnesses

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today following passage of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007:

“The passage of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 is an important victory for individuals who are affected by mental illnesses.  Over a decade has passed since we enacted the landmark 1996 mental health parity law that was championed by my good friend, the late Senator Paul Wellstone and Senator Domenici (R-NM).  Before his untimely death, Paul Wellstone was a tireless and eloquent advocate for legislation that would strengthen the 1996 law and achieve full parity in coverage between mental and physical illnesses.

“The Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 is the culmination of many years of work to build on and strengthen the 1996 mental health parity act.  It is a good compromise that will ensure that plans covering mental health services cannot provide different financial requirements or treatment limitations than they would for medical or surgical benefits.

“This legislation is long overdue and I will continue to work to ensure it is enacted as soon as possible.”