Big Changes Coming to Mental Health Coverage
New rules require mental illnesses to be treated like physical ones
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2013 7:22 AM CST
Updated Nov 8, 2013 8:50 AM CST
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Kathleen Sebelius will reveal a new set of insurance parity rules today that require insurers to treat mental illness just as they would any physical illness, The Hill reports. The regulations will affect the majority of Americans with insurance, and among other things, they will ensure soldiers with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD have available treatment, says former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a longtime activist for the changes. But the new rules are also crucial to President Obama's plan to curb gun violence, the New York Times reports, since treatment for those with mental illness could reduce killings.

The move means the administration has now acted on all 23 executive actions it announced earlier this year to reduce gun violence. "We feel actually like we've made a lot of progress on mental health as a result in this year, and this is kind of the big one," a senior administration official says. "This is kind of the final word on parity." The regulations put into practice 2008's Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act, which should end "a lengthy period of uncertainty," The Hill notes, the costs of which "have been tremendous," Sen. Richard Blumenthal said at a Senate hearing yesterday. "In mental health, uncertainty kills."

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Showing 3 of 88 comments
Truth
Nov 11, 2013 7:52 AM CST
NEWS FLASH! "Big Changes Coming to AMERICA"! It has already happened!
NorCalHal
Nov 8, 2013 7:27 PM CST
"The regulations will affect the majority of Americans with insurance, and among other things, they will ensure soldiers with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD have available treatment, says former Rep. Patrick Kennedy" Aren't soldiers, especially those with service connected issues, covered by the Veterans Administration medical system? What the H --- does ACA have to do with them, or are they planning on "fixing" the VA system as well?
UnkieStu
Nov 8, 2013 2:56 PM CST
The only reason why they want to add mental illness of veterans into the data-base is so they can deny the right of a veteran (like any other American) to buy and/or possess a firearm. If a VA patient, as an example, wants to go to a "smoking-cession" class to stop smoking tobacco, he/she is automatically entered into their data-base ass being an "addicted" person. This "addiction" is then sent to the BATF and put into their data-base so that these addicted veterans cannot legally own, possess or purchase firearms. In some states, a sling-shot is considered to be a firearm, just like BB-guns, because they can propel "shot." WAKE THE "F" UP, America! This is just the beginning. Remember when the secretary of homeland security said that all veterans should be treated as potential terrorists? This is just the beginning of "changes" that are and will be coming to amerka. Read the story the other day, that says that the department of homeland security has just bought up about 1.5 billion rounds of ammunition? Why would they do that? You would think that the country was at war, or something. Fact is, we are not at war. If we were, our borders would be tightened up, we would be having civil-defense (remember them?) drills, and there would be a military draft. As it is, there are more illegals living in Arizona then there are American military with boots on the ground, anywhere within the USA. By taking our guns and ammo away from us, the feds are making damn-sure that the average American is incapable of defending themselves, their families, their cities, counties and states, and of course, the USA. No wonder the mula's in Iran have almost 20,000 soldiers stationed in El Salvador. Just a matter of time, folks. So, how that changie-thingie doing for you? Huh?