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.

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 AlexanderGovernor's race grabs spotlight in Tennessee primaries A single courageous senator can derail the Trump administration GOP worries trade wars will last as Trump engages in temporary tiffs MORE (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenate Dems press Sessions for records on racial discrimination complaints Dem senators introduce resolution calling on Trump to stop attacking the press Overnight Health Care: Drug price fight heats up | Skepticism over drug companies' pledges | Ads target HHS secretary over child separations | Senate confirms VA pick 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 CassidyEnergy Department clears ‘small-scale’ natural gas exports for fast approval GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave MORE (R-La.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiBudowsky: Collins, Murkowski and Kavanaugh Alaska fishermen worry Trump tariffs will be ‘devastating’ to seafood industry Senate Judiciary announces Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing MORE (R-Alaska), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowMichigan county investigating ballot shortage in election Michigan Dems elect state's first all-female statewide ticket for midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Signs of trouble for Republicans in House special election MORE (D-Mich.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyFormer Teacher of the Year wins Connecticut primary Live results: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report — Signs of trouble for Republicans in House special election MORE (D-Conn.), all members of the Health Committee, also signed the letter.