Thursday, June 29, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Decision Upholds State-level Mental Health Care Protections for Millions of Americans

WASHINGTON, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Psychological
Association (APA) applauds today's defeat of Senate bill 1955, the Health
Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability (HIMMA) Act. While we
share the Senate's concern in the need to address the problem of America's
uninsured, the HIMMA Act was not the answer.
The APA is pleased that the Senate also realized that the HIMMA Act was
not the answer and has upheld state protection laws enacted over the past
30 years that improve access to mental health care for the estimated 57
million Americans suffering from a mental health disorder. With the defeat
of this legislation, 39 state mental health parity laws and 32 state
minimum mental health mandate or mandated offering laws will continue to
protect those in need of mental health services. In addition, psychology
"freedom of choice" laws in 42 states and D.C. will continue to ensure
people have the ability to choose psychological services when they need
them.

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This vote is a critical victory in preserving every American's access
to affordable, high-quality mental health care and in preventing further
discrimination against those who suffer from a mental health disorder. We
continue to urge Congress to introduce and pass federal legislation that
will provide full parity between mental health coverage and physical health
coverage.
The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the
largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in
the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists.
APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators,
clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields
of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian
provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a
profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.