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Letter to the House of Representatives supporting mental health parity

March 27, 2008

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we commend the House for addressing the important issue of mental health parity by passing the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007 (H.R. 1424), and convey our support for equivalent coverage of mental and physical ailments by group health insurance plans.  

One in five Americans – children as well as adults – suffers from a mental or brain-based illness, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. Access to great public schools is a basic right for every child. By the same token, every child deserves the chance for a healthy start in life, including treatment for physical or mental conditions that impact the ability to learn and succeed in school.

Last September, the Senate passed the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 (S. 558). As negotiations between the House and Senate proceed, we hope that action on the issue remains a paramount goal. To ensure the well-being of our nation’s children and families, we urge the House and the Senate to work together to address mental health parity.   


Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations   

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy