National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from
(800) 950-NAMI;

Tell Congress: Pass Parity This Year! 

August 7, 2008

Before leaving Washington for the August recess, sponsors of parity legislation reached an agreement on a final bill to require equitable coverage in health plans for mental illness treatment.  Now all that is remaining is to find a "budget offset" and resolve how the bill will be sent to the President.

When Congress returns to Washington the week of September 8, there will be only 3 weeks remaining before final adjournment – a critical window to complete long awaited mental illness insurance parity legislation. Congress needs to pass parity before adjourning this year!


1. Tell Congress to pass parity this year! Tell your Senators and Representative to support finishing the job and passing parity legislation.  The message from NAMI is simple, "Don’t adjourn for the year without passing mental illness insurance parity."

Click here to send an e-mail message to your Senators and House member

2.  Reach out to members of Congress while they are home. This week Congress began a month-long summer recess, with members returning to their states and districts to meet with constituents. In addition to calling and writing members of Congress, it is also critical for advocates to reach out and press them at every public appearance during this current "district work period" – at town meetings, campaign rallies, parades, radio call-in programs, county fairs, etc.  At these events, remind all members of Congress that:

  • Mental illnesses are real,
  • Treatment works – if you can get it,
  • There is no justification for a health plan to impose limitations or conditions on mental illness treatment that do not apply to all other medical conditions, and
  • There is broad agreement on a compromise version of the mental illness insurance parity bill (S 558-HR 1424), now Congress just needs to finish the job and pass the bill so it can be signed in to law this year.
  • Do not adjourn for the year without passing mental illness insurance parity    

Learn More

Read more about the bipartisan-bicameral agreement on mental illness insurance parity legislation.