The Obama administration will announce today, according to the New York Times, regulations that will require insurers to offer care for mental health issues as if they are “just like physical illnesses.” The requirements are seen as critical to reducing gun violence by making treatment more available to those with mental illness.
“In a move aimed at boosting mental health treatment, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday announced new rules that will put teeth in a 2008 mental health equity law.
“The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, signed by President George W. Bush, requires doctors and insurers to treat mental illness the same as physical illness…
“On paper, the law made mental health more accessible, but there has been virtually no enforcement of it, said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president of the American Psychiatric Association and a Columbia University psychiatrist.
“Up to now, the law has not been complied with,” Lieberman said. “Companies have only sort of adhered to it.”