Betty Ford Center and Caron Treatment Centers Unite with U.S. Reps Kennedy and Ramstad to Fight for Stalled Bill Equalizing Addiction Treatment Coverage
WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Addiction is one of the country's leading healthcare problems, as well as a major cause of death, family violence, emergency room visits and lost workforce productivity, yet its treatment has little or no recognition among health insurers. A bill stalled in Congress, The Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act, H.R. 1402, would require insurance companies to treat addiction and other mental health disorders on an equal basis with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes or hypertension. The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN). "The House leadership should be ashamed that Congress will once again end a legislative session without passing legislation to end the discrimination against those with mental health and substance abuse disorders," Representative Kennedy said. Representative Ramstad added: "It's long overdue for Congress to end the discrimination against people with mental illness and chemical dependency. With millions of Americans suffering the ravages of these treatable diseases and more than half of Congress supporting treatment parity, we shouldn't have to wait any longer to give this critical parity legislation the up or down vote it deserves." What: The Betty Ford Center and Caron Treatment Centers will host a press conference with the Representatives to call for action on the bill and raise awareness of the issue. A website, Equal Coverage for Addiction Treatment (ECAT), http://www.ecatnow.org, is being launched to raise awareness for this and other major issues facing those seeking recovery. When: Thursday, September 21, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. Where: The Cannon Terrace, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. The terrace is adjacent to the Cannon House Office Building's entrance at Independence and New Jersey Avenues. 121 Cannon is reserved in the event it rains. Who's Involved: - U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI - U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-MN - Douglas Tieman, Caron Treatment Centers CEO - Leonard Bade, Vice President of Alumni Services of The Betty Ford Center - Steven Treistman, Research Society on Alcoholism - Christopher Kennedy Lawford, author, actor and addiction treatment advocate - John Hiatt, singer and songwriter - Carrie S., recovering addict who was denied adequate coverage from her insurance company
SOURCE Caron Treatment Centers
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