House Republicans Axe Parity Provision

December 19, 2001 ( - The mental health parity bill was formally ejected from the fiscal 2002 spending bill for the US Department of Health and Human Services.

House Republicans axed the measure, requiring health insurance plans to provide parity between benefits for mental health and all other medical conditions (see Senate Parity Version Will Increase Costs, Decrease Coverage: Employer Groups ).

House Republican negotiators took the side of business and insurance companies who argued that the measure, which passed in the Senate in October (see Senate Approves Mental Health Benefits Parity Bill ), could prove too costly.

Instead, the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed on an amendment that would reinstate a law that expired in September – for one year. That law demands that insurance plans that offer mental health coverage not have annual or lifetime dollar limits for that coverage different from other benefits, according to a report from Reuters.

– Camilla Klein