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Mental Health Parity Law Long Overdue: Reform Jewish Movement Calls on Congress to Finalize Broadly-Supported Bill

Pelavin: “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.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jill Zimmerman
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, DC, September 26, 2008 — Following the September 23rd passage by the House of Representatives and the Senate of separate mental health parity bills, which would require that insurance plans provide mental health and substance abuse coverage which is equivalent to those provided for physical health concerns, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We commend the House and Senate for passing mental health parity bills earlier this week, and call on leaders in both chambers to ensure that a bill is quickly sent to the President’s desk before the end of the session. We must put an end to the discriminatory practices of health plans against the mentally ill.

The Paul Wellstone-Pete Domenici mental health parity bill has languished for far too long, despite overwhelming bipartisan support.  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.

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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 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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