National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Senate Passes Medicare Legislation!
Margin Sufficient to Override Expected Presidential Veto
July 10, 2008
By a vote of 69-30, the Senate on July 9 passed a critical package of Medicare beneficiary improvements. In addition to preventing a cut in fees to physicians, the legislation (HR 6331) also makes improvement to the Part D drug benefit and establishes parity for cost sharing for outpatient mental health services. Yesterday’s vote was on motion to cut off debate; the Senate later cleared the package by voice vote. The margin was sufficient to override an expected presidential veto – the House passed the legislation on June 24 by a 355-59 margin, more than enough to override a veto.
A Major Victory for Medicare Beneficiaries Living With Mental Illness
The Senate vote was a tremendous win for long sought improvement to the Medicare program. The voice of NAMI advocates from a across the country made a huge difference in securing additional