National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Act Now! Senate Votes on Medicare This Week!

June 26, 2008

By the end of this week, the Senate is expected to vote on a package of reforms to the Medicare program, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (HR 6331).  By an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 355-59, the House passed this legislation on June 24 – thanks to your advocacy contacting House members.  It is now critical for the Senate to pass this legislation –with a veto-proof margin of 67 votes – to send it on to the President. 

HR 6331 includes a number of critical provisions for Medicare beneficiaries living with serious mental illness.  The bill addresses the discriminatory 50% cost sharing requirement for outpatient mental illness treatment, gradually lowering it to 20% as required for all other medical treatment. The improvements also include reforming the Medicare Part D benefit by restoring Part D coverage for benzodiazepines, and ensuring that prescription drug plans must maintain broad access on their formularies to medications to treat serious mental illness – including antipsychotics, antidepressants and anticonvulsants.


Call or email Congress today! Urge your Senators to support HR 6331 – the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008.  All Senate offices can be reached by calling 202-225-3121. 

Click here to send a letter to your Senators

Learn More

View additional background information on HR 6331.

View  NAMI’s letter of support for HR 6331.