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House Clears Health Care Reform

Please Contact Your Senators ASAP

March 22, 2010

By a vote of 219-212 the House of Representatives passed health care reform legislation on Sunday, sending it one step closer to going to the President to be signed into law. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) is identical to the legislation the Senate passed on December 24, 2009.

NAMI's positions are guided by our mission to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. The bill contains many provisions that NAMI has long sought, including further expansion of mental health insurance parity, prohibition of insurance company exclusions of pre-existing conditions, improvements to Medicare and Medicaid including expansion of long-term care assistance for those with functional impairment, comparative research into the effectiveness of treatments for serious mental illness and authorization of "centers of excellence" for medical research for major depression and bipolar disorder.

The House also passed a separate measure to enact a series of changes to the Senate bill-called the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872).  The Senate is expected to vote on the reconciliation bill later this week.

How Did Your House Member Vote?

View how your member voted on final passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) and how your member voted on the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR 4872).

Act Now! 

Please Contact Your U.S. Senators

The Senate will act on the reconciliation bill under regular expedited reconciliation procedures which allow for debate to be ended by a simple majority rather than the 60 votes necessary to end a filibuster. However, an unlimited number of amendments can still be offered. Advocates are encouraged to contact their two Senators to urge them to vote for the reconciliation bill which contains a number of improvements to the original health care bill already passed by the Senate and House, including:

  • Higher federal Medicaid "match rates" for new expanded eligibility categories that are equitable for all states;
  • Complete closing of the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" gap in coverage for prescription drugs;
  • Improvements to restrictions on annual and lifetime limits in insurance plans, with greater accountability for "grandfathered" plans; and
  • New authority to establish federal standards for Community Mental Health Centers.

All Senate offices can be reached by calling 888-876-6242. Contact your Senators today.

Learn More

Review a summary of provisions  in the health care reform legislation affecting people living with mental illness.

Read NAMI's letter of support for HR 3590.

There are also numerous summaries and analyses of both the final health care reform bill  and the reconciliation measure, provisions  that go into effect this year and the timetable for implementation.