Tipper Gore's Comment on Mental Health Parity Legisation

John Ambrose JAMBROSE at aamft.org
Thu Jun 6 12:31:05 EST 1996


Following is a statement made yesterday (6/5/96) by Tipper Gore on
mental health parity legislation.  Over the past month we've seen claims
from the business community that parity for mental health "cost too
much," "employers will cut health benefits," and other arguments to
scare the public and Congress in not supporting parity for mental health. 
But Tipper Gore brings the debate back to the real issue: there is no
logical reason for discrimination to continue.  I thought you would be
interested.
John Ambrose
American Assocaition for Marriage and Family Therapy
jambrose at aamft.org
______________________

"I have been proud to stand with Senator Pete Domenici and Senator Paul
Wellstone in their fight to bring fairness to insurance coverage for mental
illnesses. I am concerned to learn that some of Senator Domenici's
Republican colleagues --including those in the Senate who just weeks
ago voted for parity in coverage --now may be unwilling to support even
incremental moves toward equity.

"I challenge every Member of Congress, as they consider these issues,
to substitute cancer or heart disease for the words mental illness.  If you
had a loved one with cancer, would you settle for "another study" if the
issue at hand was making sure cancer was covered by insurance?  I
don't think so! We have done better than "another study" for cancer and
we can, and should, for mental illness.

"It is my hope that Members of Congress will have an open mind to
meaningful compromises. I caution those in Congress, the public and the
press to make sure they do not base their conclusions on outdated and
misleading cost data and estimates that -- by their authors, own
admission -- have a high degree of uncertainty.

"It is regrettable that the most up-to-date evidence from states that have
implemented variations of parity have not been adequately taken into
consideration. There is available current information on the cost of the
treatment of mental illnesses in managed care systems, as well as
information on the cost to business and society of not providing
treatment.  

"Senator Domenici, Senator Wellstone and others have brought a sense
of American fairness and justice to this debate.  Their courage, foresight
and leadership have moved us closer than ever before to an end to
discrimination against a population that has for too long suffered unequal
treatment just because their particular disorder affects the brain."






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