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 AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayTech executives increased political donations amid lobbying push Schumer, Tim Scott lead as Senate fundraising pace heats up Sunday shows preview: As delta variant spreads, US leaders raise concerns 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 CassidyBill CassidyBipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor The Hill's Morning Report - High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries GOP centrists call on Schumer to delay infrastructure vote MORE (R-La.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiWhy Biden's Interior Department isn't shutting down oil and gas Biden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor MORE (R-Alaska), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowHere's evidence the Senate confirmation process is broken Schumer: Democrats considering option to pay for all of infrastructure agenda Democrats closing in on deal to unlock massive infrastructure bill MORE (D-Mich.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (D-Conn.), all members of the Health Committee, also signed the letter.