National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Action Alert

Contact Your Representative to Vote to Pass

the Wisconsin Parity Act

(Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to SB-362)

Assembly May Vote on the Wisconsin Parity Act as Early as Feb. 22!

On Jan. 28 the Wisconsin Senate passed the Wisconsin Parity Act

(Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to SB-362) by a 20-13 vote with

strong bipartisan support. Now the legislation advances to the

Assembly—which may vote on the bill as early as Monday, Feb. 22.

The Wisconsin Parity Act is an important bill that will provide mental

health and substance abuse disorder insurance benefits at parity

levels—equal to benefits for medical and surgical procedures—for

700,000 employees of Wisconsin’s small businesses not covered by the

federal Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and

Addiction Equity Act of 2008, P.L. 110-343. For more information on

the legislation, visit

Action Requested

Contact your Representative TODAY and tell him or her to pass the

Wisconsin Parity Act. If you don’t know who your Representative is, visit

Suggested Message to Representatives

These are just suggestions—it’s best to use your own words and experiences:

I’m writing/calling as a constituent to ask that you vote to pass the Wisconsin

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity Act (Senate Substitute Amendment 1 to

SB-362) when it is introduced for a vote in the Assembly. As you may know, the

Wisconsin Parity Act passed the Senate on Jan. 28 with strong bipartisan support.

With job creation Wisconsin’s number one economic priority, the Wisconsin Parity

Act will play an important role in helping our small businesses be more competitive.

Parity provides an opportunity to improve both the mental AND physical health of

workers, which can lead not only to lower healthcare costs but also improved employee

productivity, saving Wisconsin businesses billions of dollars annually.

The Wisconsin Parity Act will NOT lead to a dramatic increase in healthcare costs.

The most recent, authoritative, independent, expert analysis of the economic impact on

private-sector employers of parity—conducted by the Congressional Budget Office and

cited in federal regulations released Feb. 2 by the Departments of the Treasury, Labor,

and Health and Human Services implementing the Wellstone-Domenic Act—concluded

that insurance premium costs would increase by just four-tenths of one percent.

Parity may, in fact, reduce overall health care costs, which are routinely twice as high

for people living with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. And

numerous studies have shown parity to improve health outcomes for people with heart

disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic diseases.

The Wisconsin Parity Act recognizes the concerns of small business. Using language

consistent with federal guidelines as outlined in the federal Wellstone-Domenici Act, new

amendments to the Wisconsin Parity Act will allow employers with fewer than

10 employees to opt out of complying with the parity provision for one plan year at a

time. The amendments also permit larger employers who can show that parity has

increased their insurance costs by two percent in the first year, and then one percent in

later plan years, to opt out for one plan year at a time.

Research has repeatedly confirmed the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of treatment

for persons with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

For these reasons I ask that you vote to pass the Wisconsin Parity Act.

Wisconsin Assembly Members

Each of the following eight Representatives voted “yes” on Dec. 17 as members of the Assembly

Committee on Health and Health Care Reform to advance the legislation to consideration by the

full Assembly. If you contact them, please thank them for their vote and ask for their continued

support of this important legislation.

Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-0650

Rep. Chuck Benedict (D-Beloit),; (608) 266-9967

Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton),;

(608) 266-3070

Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay),; (608) 266-7671.

Rep. Pasch is the lead sponsor of the bill. If you contact her, please be sure to thank her for her

important leadership.

Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison),; (608) 266-5340

Rep. Donna Seidel (D-Wausau),; (608) 266-0654

Rep. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse),; (608) 266-5780

Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink (D-Milladore),;

(608) 266-8366

The full Assembly is:

Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan),; (608) 266-8077

Peter Barca (D-Kenosha),; (608) 266-5504

Terese Berceau (D-Madison),; (608) 266-3784

Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay),; (608) 266-5350

Spencer Black (D-Madison),; (608) 266-7521

Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg),; (608) 266-8531

Fred Clark (D-Baraboo),; (608) 266-7746

Pedro Colon (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 267-7669

David Cullen (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 267-9836

Chris Danou (D-Trempealeau),; (608) 266-7015

Brett Davis (R-Oregon),; (608) 266-1192

Kristen Dexter (D-Eau Claire),; (608) 266-9172

Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-3756

Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon),; (608) 266-2540

Donald Friske (R-Merrill),; (608) 266-7694

Phil Garthwaite (D-Fennimore),; (608) 266-1170

Mark Gottlieb (R-Port Washington),; (608) 267-2369

Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-0645

Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford),; (608) 266-3363

Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin),; (608) 267-5158

Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie),; (608) 266-7678

Steve Hilgenberg (D-Dodgeville),; (608) 266-7502

Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh),; (608) 266-2254

Kim Hixson (D-Whitewater),; (608) 266-9650

Mark Honadel (R-South Milwaukee),; (608) 266-0610

Ann Hraychuck (D-Balsam Lake),; (608) 267-2365

Mary Hubler (D-Rice Lake),; (608) 266-2519

Michael Huebsch (R-West Salem),; (608) 266-0631

Andy Jorgensen (D-Ft. Atkinson),; (608) 266-3790

Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah),; (608) 266-5719

Samantha Kerkman (R-Burlington),; (608) 266-2530

Frederick Kessler (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-5813

Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake),; (608) 266-8530

Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc),; (608) 266-8551

Dan Knodl (R-Germantown),; (608) 266-3796

Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha),; (608) 266-8580

Peggy Krusick (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-1733

Daniel LeMahieu (R-Cascade),; (608) 266-9175

Thomas Lothian (R-Williams Bay),; (608) 266-1190

Cory Mason (D-Racine),; (608) 266-0634

Dan Meyer (R-Eagle River),; (608) 266-7141

Nick Milroy (D-Superior),; (608) 266-0640

Louis Molepske, Jr. (D-Stevens Point),; (608) 267-9649

Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay),; (608) 266-5840

Jeffrey Mursau (R-Crivitz),; (608) 266-3780

John Murtha (R-Baldwin),; (608) 266-7683

Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater),; (608) 266-5715

Tom Nelson (D-Kaukauna),; (608) 266-2401

Lee Nerison (R-Westby),; (608) 266-3534

Scott Newcomer (R-Pewaukee),; (608) 266-3007

John Nygren (R-Marinette),; (608) 266-2343

Alvin Ott (R-Forest Junction),; (608) 266-5831

Jim Ott (R-Mequon),; (608) 266-0486

Joseph Parisi (D-Madison),; (608) 266-5342

Kevin Petersen (R-Waupaca),; (608) 266-3794

Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon),; (608) 266-1182

Mark Pocan (D-Madison),; (608) 266-8570

Sondy Pope-Roberts (D-Verona),; (608) 266-3520

Don Pridemore (R-Hartford),; (608) 267-2367

Mark Radcliffe (D-Black River Falls),; (608) 266-7461

Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson),; (608) 266-1526

Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-0650

Keith Ripp (R-Lodi),; (608) 266-3404

Roger Roth, Jr. (R-Appleton),; (608) 266-7500

Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids),; (608) 266-0215

Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville),; (608) 266-3387

Gary Sherman (D-Port Wing),; (608) 266-7690

Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-8588

Jeffrey Smith (D-Eau Claire),; (608) 266-0660

James Soletski (D-Green Bay),; (608) 266-0485

Richard Spanbauer (R-Oshkosh),; (608) 267-7990

Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis),; (608) 266-0620

John Steinbrink (D-Pleasant Prairie),; (608) 266-0455

Jeffrey Stone (R-Greendale),; (608) 266-8590

Pat Strachota (R-West Bend),; (608) 264-8486

Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford),; (608) 267-0280

Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel),; (608) 266-3097

Barbara Toles (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-5580

John Townsend (R-Fund du Lac),; (608) 266-3156

Robert Turner (D-Racine),; (608) 266-0731

Terry Van Akkeren (D-Sheboygan),; (608) 266-0656

Karl Van Roy (R-Green Bay),; (608) 266-0616

Robin Vos (R-Caledonia),; (608) 266-9171

Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa),; (608) 266-9180

Anette Williams (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-0960

Mary Williams (R-Medford),; (608) 266-7506

Jeffrey Wood (I-Chippewa Falls),; (608) 266-1194

Leon Young (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-3796

Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee),; (608) 266-1707

Bob Ziegelbauer (D-Manitowoc),; (608) 266-0315

Ted Zigmunt (D-Francis Creek),; (608) 266-9870

Richard Zipperer (R-Pewaukee),; (608) 266-5120

Related Files

Parity Action Alert - Assembly (PDF File)

Related Links

Lieutenant Governors Website
Sandy Pasch unveils Parity Act in Madison Oct.7th