Senators press administration on mental health parity

Senators press administration on mental health parity
© Greg Nash

Top Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Health Committee are pressing the Trump administration to implement mental health parity requirements passed by Congress in 2016.

The Treasury Department, Department of Health and Human Services, and Labor Department still have not enforced or acted on provisions in the law that require equal treatment of mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders in insurance plans.

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Under the 21st Century Cures Act, a massive health-care bill passed in December 2016, the agencies were given one year to issue guidance to employers and insurers to implement parity requirements and an action plan to strengthen enforcement requirements. 

The agencies still have not done this, the senators wrote in a letter led by Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderIBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms GOP senator: DOJ's ObamaCare argument 'as far-fetched as any I've ever heard' MORE (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayIBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training Members of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Health chief grilled on Trump drug pricing plan, ObamaCare case MORE (D-Wash.). 

"We urge swift action to implement the parity provisions in Cures," they wrote. 

The senators ask for responses to their questions by May 1 and a briefing on the implementation for Health Committee members' staff.

Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Governors criticize Trump move on pre-existing conditions Bipartisan group of senators asks FDA to examine drug shortages Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms MORE (R-La.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril McCain calls on Trump to rescind family separation policy: It's 'an affront to the decency of the American people' GOP senator calls on Trump to end 'cruel' family separation policy MORE (R-Alaska), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowCongress must work with, not against, tribal communities in crafting Farm Bill Senate Dems to Mnuchin: Don't index capital gains to inflation This week: House GOP regroups after farm bill failure MORE (D-Mich.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Governors criticize Trump move on pre-existing conditions Bipartisan group of senators asks FDA to examine drug shortages Trump faces Father’s Day pleas to end separations of migrant families MORE (D-Conn.), all members of the Health Committee, also signed the letter.