On Sept. 30, a federal law created to help employees with mental illnesses get adequate insurance coverage for their treatment is set to expire.
One of the leading proponents of the Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) of 1996 has sponsored a replacement bill.
Mental-health treatment advocates backing the bill contend that it's time for the nation to replace quiet whispers about mental illness with more vociferous action.
But opponents want no part of the proposed Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act (MHETA) of 2001.
A Dallas-based think tank believes the bill is "more bad news for business." National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) Senior Fellow Greg Scandlen says about the MHETA, "Congress is getting real good at spending money. They love to pass mandates on the way you do business because they get to go home and tell voters they have done something about a social problem - at no cost to taxpayers."
Humana Inc. officials say they offer their members access to a mental health provider, as well as online programs dealing with mental illness. But the insurer's director of communications and advocacy,
Paul Cantrell, says mandates are the wrong solution.
"Humana generally …