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NAMI Applauds Initial Review of The Affordable Health Care of America Act and Health Care Reform
Date:10/30/2009

U.S. House bill promises key components for people with mental illness

Arlington, VA (PRWEB) October 30, 2009 -- On Thursday this week, House Democratic leaders presented a new health care overhaul bill that melds legislation passed by three committees over the summer and makes a series of changes to accommodate lawmakers' concerns. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is finalizing legislation merging the work of two committees, Finance and Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP).

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is now reviewing details of the 1,990 page House bill, but the early indications are that the legislation is extremely positive on a range of top NAMI concerns.

As the debate over health care reform moves towards its final stages, NAMI will continue to advocate for a bill that meets the needs of individuals and families affected by mental illness NAMI will continue efforts to ensure that expanded health coverage for the uninsured and underinsured integrates equitable benefits for mental illness treatment.

An initial review of the House bill (HR 3962) reveals three key components critical to people living with mental illness:

1.   Medicaid expansion for childless adults up to 150% of the federal poverty level (about $16,200 in annual income for individual), including individuals living with serious mental illness who currently do not qualify for Medicaid coverage in their state. These individuals are currently more likely to be uninsured and most likely to be without any health care insurance coverage at all. The House bill would insure access to lifesaving medical care for this vulnerable group.
2.   Expanded coverage for the uninsured through the n
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