News Releases

(Washington D.C.) - Today, in the Senate Heath, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) voted for the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 in Committee Markup. The bill requires that larger businesses which already provide mental health care to employees now provide that coverage at the same levels as physical illnesses. The following is Senator Murray's statement on today's Committee action:

"I am pleased that today we have reached a bi-partisan compromise that will bring mental health insurance coverage to more Americans. By setting aside differences and concentrating on forging common ground, the HELP Committee has made critical progress in addressing many American's mental health care needs.

"This law will require that businesses that already provide mental health coverage will now have to provide that coverage at the same levels as for physical illness. This is great news for those who have sought mental health care but who have been crippled by high deductibles and co-payments. It is also great news for those who have been reluctant to seek care because of financial barriers.

"While this is an important step for millions of Americans suffering from mental illness, it cannot be the final step. There is still a great amount of work to be done to end the discrimination against those suffering from mental health illnesses and addiction. I will continue to fight to expand coverage, provide increased access, and alleviate the stigma associated with mental health care."