Who says that the GOP is not mean spirited? How can they justify not having parity in healthcare for mentally and physically handicapped? Republicans are using the old “cost concerns” crutch, though they don’t seem to mind over spending when it is with defense contractors. Bush supported it two years ago, but that was before his war becoming more expensive than first reported. Where is the compassion?
“Aided by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, insurance companies successfully have blocked legislation to make them provide equal coverage for mental and physical illnesses if their policies include both.
The bill would expand a 1996 law prohibiting health plans that offer mental health coverage from setting lower annual and lifetime spending limits for mental treatments than for physical ailments. The proposed legislation also would require equal treatment for co-payments, deductibles and limits on doctor visits.
In an April 2002 speech to mental health professionals in New Mexico, Bush said the health insurance system must treat mental illness like any other ailments.
“Americans with mental illness deserve our understanding and they deserve excellent care,” Bush said. “They deserve a health care system that treats their illness with the same urgency as a physical illness.”
Bush added: “Health plans should not be allowed to apply unfair treatment limitations or financial requirements on mental health benefits.”
Officials with the White House and the Health and Human Services Department did not return phone messages, nor did Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee.” – AP