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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 AlexanderCongress addressed surprise medical bills, but the issue is not resolved Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Tenn.) and ranking member Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayBiden health nominee faces first Senate test Overnight Health Care: US surpasses half a million COVID deaths | House panel advances Biden's .9T COVID-19 aid bill | Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March The Hill's 12:30 Report: Mars rover prepares for landing 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 CassidyOvernight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe, effective in FDA analysis | 3-4 million doses coming next week | White House to send out 25 million masks Koch-backed group launches ads urging lawmakers to reject COVID-19 relief bill Biden health nominee faces first Senate test MORE (R-La.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe, effective in FDA analysis | 3-4 million doses coming next week | White House to send out 25 million masks Biden's picks face peril in 50-50 Senate Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (R-Alaska), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowCongress holds candlelight vigil for American lives lost to COVID-19 Two men charged with making threatening calls to Michigan officials On The Money: Democrats make historic push for aid, equity for Black farmers | Key players to watch in minimum wage fight MORE (D-Mich.) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyNew rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees Biden pledges action on guns amid resistance Sunday shows - Trump acquittal in second impeachment trial reverberates MORE (D-Conn.), all members of the Health Committee, also signed the letter.