On today’s fifth anniversary of the signing of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act, Former Congressmen Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI) re-emphasized the importance of its goals and called on the Obama Administration to issue the final rule for the law so that those suffering from mental illness and addiction can get health coverage equal to those with physical illnesses. He sponsored this legislation with his late father, Senator Edward Kennedy; it provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to essential mental health treatment by treating the brain the same way we treat the body. However, many are still waiting for some pieces of this law to be implemented. A final “rule” is expected this fall. Kennedy will convene many leaders of the mental health community in Boston later this month for the launch of The Kennedy Forum, a new initiative designed to unite the community of mental health in common purpose, celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act and set a course to advocate for future breakthroughs in the policies affecting those with mental illness, intellectual disabilities and addictions.
Patrick’s full statement: 10.3.13 PJK Parity Anniversary Statement