Pelavin: Access to care for mental illnesses remains a serious and urgent concern for many Americans and a problem that can be rectified with appropriate Congressional action
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Washington D.C., September 20, 2007. In response to this week’s Senate passage of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
“The Senate’s unanimous passage of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 marks an important step in the battle for equality for patients with mental illnesses. This vote is long overdue for all Americans who face the challenges of mental illness and who all too often receive sub-standard care because of antiquated health insurance practices. We applaud the Senate’s commitment to requiring health insurers to provide the same level of coverage for the treatment of mental illnesses as they do for physical illnesses.
While a significant and necessary step, yesterday’s Senate vote is only one step toward ensuring that mental health parity is achieved. We strongly urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and quickly pass a companion bill. Obtaining needed care for mental illnesses remains an urgent and serious concern for many Americans and a problem that can be easily rectified with appropriate Congressional action. We look forward to the enactment of this bill and the day when Americans faced with mental illnesses face an easier path to a refuat ha-nefesh u'refuat haguf, a healing of the soul and the body.”
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis