P.L. 110-343, The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (39 comments ↓ | 17 wiki edits: view article ↓)

  • This item is from the 110th Congress (2007-2008) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.

H.R. 1424 would amend section 712 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, section 2705 of the Public Health Service Act, and section 9812 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to require equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans.

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Visitor Comments Comments Feed for This Bill

David Ofert

July 11, 2007, 2:23am (report abuse)

I think Mr Wellstones Bill is wonderful I hope it goes through

Marlene Jehs

July 13, 2007, 12:45pm (report abuse)

After losing a son to suicide due to lack of qualified mental health care I applaud the efforts of Mr. Wellstone and all supporters of this bill including Mr. Kennedy Thank you from a mother's broken heart!

Penny Kovarik

July 17, 2007, 10:31am (report abuse)

My Husband suffers from Alcoholisom. Even though we have health insurance he can not get help, because his provider does not cover the treatment he needs. I pray this bill will pass.

Sheryl Sochoka

August 16, 2007, 9:03am (report abuse)

Our insurance company has told us that my husband (age 36), who suffers from bipolar disorder, has reached his lifetime visit limit (90 visits) for mental health care. Meanwhile, his medical/surgical lifetime limit is two million dollars. The disparity is egregious and completely discriminatory! I am praying that this bill passes into law, so that the insurance companies will be forced to recognize publicly and monetarily that mental health care is as vital to a person's well being as physical health care.


September 21, 2007, 3:42pm (report abuse)

As for mental health, my insurance company allowed 2 visits a year to my psychiatrist (SP?) Now as a recovering heroin addict, the corporate methadone clinic I attend accepts NO insurance, including Medicaid. Its $12/day or you dont get your medicine. The people who need help the worst cant afford their treatment.


October 5, 2007, 12:08pm (report abuse)

I suffered from anorexia for 12 years...I kept getting kicked out of the hospital before I was ready, which led to relapse after relapse...my family went bankrupt due to the cost of treatment. This bill NEEDS to be passed!

Terrance Hodgins

October 27, 2007, 10:04pm (report abuse)

Beware of the attempts to add in drug and alcohol treatment to this bill and call it "equal mental health treatment". 93% of the drug and alcohol treatment centers in this country use the 12-Step Program, which means "cult religion from the 1930s". Such "treatment" is a proven failure and worthless, even harmful, quackery, but the treatment centers won't tell you that, because it's all they have to sell. Now they want to force the health insurance programs to pay for even more quackery.

Terrance Hodgins II

November 3, 2007, 11:12pm (report abuse)

Terrance Hodgins is obsessed with bashing AA for some reason. He hates 12-step programs regardless of the number of people they have helped. He sites incorrect statistics and mis-quotes people to further his personal agenda.

Don Calley

November 12, 2007, 5:52pm (report abuse)

From reading these comments, it sounds to me like quite a few people in this country need to be weened off the support system which is not doing them any good. A good treatment plan fixes the problem, not extends it for years - right? I especially liked the heroin addict who could afford his "habit" but not it's treatment.

Tom Fallon

November 12, 2007, 10:02pm (report abuse)

To have a law passed that's based on the absurdities in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (which by the way contains no statistics) is just more bad government enforced onto an already bad analysis and rehab system.

Don Alexander

November 12, 2007, 11:04pm (report abuse)

If promoters of such bills want my support, they will first have to show that these so-called mental health groups, clinics, etc. are actually improving people's lives. Good luck! So far, I see people being drugged, electro-shocked and abused in the name of help. First let's clean up the field of mental health! Generally speaking, the public hate the psychiatrists. They would totally go out of business if their government funding dried up. And the sooner the better, so we can replace these quacks with a real science instead of the fraud it currently is.

Tim Biedinger

November 14, 2007, 12:37am (report abuse)

Why should we pay for any "treatments" which have no proven successes but instead state the problems are incurable? They will take all the money they can on the premise that they are keeping the problem "under control" with mind altering drugs. This does not work but aggravates the problems and we end up with more school shootings and suicides.

Arthur Arimento

November 14, 2007, 8:48pm (report abuse)

OK! Let the facts be known,after going on CCHR.ORG web site and reading all of the Horror stories on Mental Health to date ,I now see how destructive it was and is .See for your self...

Sildem Gandy

November 17, 2007, 8:44am (report abuse)

My sister was a victim of the "Mental Health" treatment system for several decades. She has been mis-diagnosed from "mental illness" when she had a real physical problem and almost died from it from lack of treatment. Their "treatment" with drugs only exacerbated the problem. Her "Doctor" also raped her. A pretty girl treated by these frauds has a thirty percent chance of being raped, drugged and given hypnotic suggestions to forget it. Don't support thes frauds!

Maureen Bird

December 1, 2007, 10:44am (report abuse)

Have Sen.'s Kennedy and Wellstone not seen the news about the suicidal and murderous side effects of psychiatric "treatment?"

Even the FDA has now acknowledged this and forced black box warnings on several commonly prescribed med's. And they want insurance co's to fund more of this??

Tabeter Duell

December 9, 2007, 11:42am (report abuse)

Today, when an individual goes to a crisis center seeking help in dealing with mental health issues they are not able to afford the fees. We have witness first hand what can happen when mentally ill patients go untreated. Let's not forget the displaced families of Hurricane Katrina, victims of rape, war veterans, 911 victims, columbine victims, Virginia Tech massacre, Omaha mall shooting and persons who experience unforeseen tragedy on a on a daily basis .

Mental Health services are considered necessary to support individuals in need at their time of calamity. Several of the sufferers listed above may require treatment for life. We owe it to our fellow citizens to support them in their time of need.

Jean Bek

December 14, 2007, 1:42pm (report abuse)

Many of the comments above appear to be made by persons who have a myopic impression of mental health services. I have an incurable neurological disorder which has been considerably relieved in the past by cognitive-behavioral therapy administered by psychologists. That type of intensive therapy is not offered where I live, so I would have to go out of state to get additional therapy. My mental health benefits are capped, thus pushing the high cost of travel and treatment back on me, which I can ill afford. I support the Paul Wellstone bill with all my heart!


January 24, 2008, 1:11pm (report abuse)

Terrance Hodgekins is a slanderous communist quasi-theologeon who suffers from optical-recticalitus (He has his head up his a**)

Amy J

February 29, 2008, 2:41pm (report abuse)

Many people are missing the point that this is to help people with MENTAL ILLNESS. Many serious conditions fall under this catagory. We've been trying to get help for my step son for over a year now. Besides trying to find a QUALIFIED doctor to just diagnose his condition- we're looking at the treatment to break us if we don't have help through insurance.

The medical community is finally recognizing the effects of mental illness. Now is not the time to turn our backs on this again.

Ginny 3

February 29, 2008, 5:37pm (report abuse)

My son has a mental illness which struck out of the blue one day when he was 16 years old. He is a health-nut and never so much as smoked a cigarette. His brain simply stopped working and started hallucinating. It took 3 weeks in the hospital trialing various medications, then another 3 months of 1/2-day hospital med-monitoring. These things cost money. My husband and I have worked hard and pay lots of insurance premium every month. The only possible reason for excluding my son's treatment would be blatant prejudice. Get over it.


March 2, 2008, 1:48am (report abuse)

Those that have never expierienced the insistent thoughts of SUICIDE, Hopelessness, Racing thoughts you can't control or TURN OFF. Those of you that have Never experienced The intensity of PAIN in your chest that is so unbearable you can't take one more minute of it. Or How about the Pressure building inside your head and feels like its gonna explode, constant rapid heart racing and stomach in knotts. Those of you that have never expierience Lack the CAPACITY to think Logically. Until you been in those shoes Don't knock it. Mental Health is one thing our medical Insurance Companies and Government need to Pay more attention to. No matter what brought about the mental instabiltiy, Including Addiction(It is more mindful after physical goes away), It is a problem that needs more focus ON, And the MENTAL HEALTH of our Soilders and Veterans. Suicide Is A High Risk For Soilders!!!!


March 3, 2008, 9:43am (report abuse)

Our insurance like most does not even cover mental health care - the bill sounds nice but could it be included in a National Health Care Insurance Program, rather than having to pay for an insurance company then pay the extra to the federal to make up for what the insurance companies refuse to. Medicare does not even care for mental health fully.


March 3, 2008, 10:42am (report abuse)


Take care of your OWN personel needs like everyone else does. Don't LOOK for Someone else to BAIL YOU OUT of every Problem Life give you. Come on Country ...remember your ROOTS and what Did Make Us STRONG. Most of you are WIMPS that look for someone to tell you ...your Behavior is OKAY. BULL S--T.



March 3, 2008, 10:54am (report abuse)

Answer this... Why are we lumping these two issues together?

they seem far apart from each other. One is by choice...(addiction). People with mental disorders need help with health insurance and benifits...

New User

March 3, 2008, 11:20am (report abuse)

Marie, the answer is simple. Everything dealing with addiction is mental. Metal health should not be paid for by Insurance companies. Insurance companies are not friendly, they do not care about people. We need to fix regular healthcare first, before we add mental health, and I don't feel like paying 1/3 of my income to support the "Free Medical" ideas from the UK and Canada. New affordable, regulated, healthcare is what we need to persue, not the communist ideals of "Free".

Gary M.

March 3, 2008, 11:42am (report abuse)

I hope this bill passes.


March 3, 2008, 1:14pm (report abuse)

I sincerely hope that the bill passes. The consequences of not addressing mental health issues (including addictions) impact us all. Perhaps those of us who hail from "mentally stable" homes can't conceive of being personally impacted by mental illness, but think again when you (or your loved ones) go to school,work, the mall--generally onto the highways and byway of life--what are the possibilities that you (or your loved ones) may encounter a hurting person who without mental health care may hurt you or yours? We are our brothers keeper.

Pass the bill


March 3, 2008, 9:30pm (report abuse)

I sympathize with those of you struggling with the vagaries of life: chronic disease, mental illness, addictions, etc. The strong survive; a strong swimmer can drown trying to save a weak or non-swimmer who should have avoided water. My suggestion, take responsibility for you life. Big government always fails; except for the politicians and their friends..

Steve Hyde

March 5, 2008, 11:41am (report abuse)

This bill further reduces the ability of market forces to lower costs and improve quality of health care. It is a hidden tax on workers that will not be subject to any further congressional action or oversight. It will inevitably push the marginally insured into the ranks of the uninsured. It may be good for special interests for it is very bad economics.


March 6, 2008, 5:01am (report abuse)

My 12 year old son has pediatric bipolar. We HAVE insurance and still spend about $10,000 a year in medical bills. He has been stable for almost 3 years now (at 9 years old he was in a mental hospital for psychotic episodes, suicidal tendencies and writing his name in blood and pictures of himself dead on the school bathroom wall). Because we are able to afford the out of pocket medical expenses, my son is now an honor roll student, who enjoys the things all kids enjoy and just had a major part in the school play. Without the medical care, I probably wouldn't have a son right now. If my son had a chronic physical illness the insurance complany would pay much more of his bills and I wouldn't have to fight for the care he receives. I feel for those who are in my situation and can't afford it. We are losing our children. Pass this bill.

health Care Provider

March 16, 2008, 6:02pm (report abuse)



April 7, 2008, 11:34pm (report abuse)

I do not know anyone who suffers from mental illness, and yet I can empathize with their plight. Many of our societal issues stem from mental illness and a lack of compassion. Humans need to help one another, mentally, physically etc. Would you deny someone with autism medical treatment? We are having a breakdown in the connection between mental and physical health. Not everyone out there can have "mind over matter" when the matter is the problem in the first place! Just because someone gets into drugs doesn't mean they were being spiteful towards society- look this is a hugely complex situation and we all need to help each other as much as possible. See the biggest picture you can, not just a snapshot of your own limited sphere of experience.


October 2, 2008, 9:34am (report abuse)

On October 1, 2008, the text of the "Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007" was swapped out of this bill and it was made into the "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008," also known as the financial services bailout legislation.

Summary information in the wiki article (currently reflecting the old bill) will update when a new summary is published by the Congressional Research Service.

For the cost estimate on this bill, we used the estimate for the House legislation (H.R. 3997 - link above in the "learn more" box). The cost reporting here will be updated when a cost estimate specific to this bill comes out.

Chuck Burgess

October 2, 2008, 4:51pm (report abuse)

There are many things on this bill I'd like to see pass, but NOT at the expense of including this financial bailout.

Stop this bill, and debate these separate issues separately so they can be voted on specifically.

Don't play the game of "I vote NO due to the bailout"-becomes-in-next-political-ad-"you voted NO on mental health help".


October 6, 2008, 11:08am (report abuse)

Anyone who supports this bill are part of the problem that created the crisis. You are responsible for your own salvation or demise; if you want the "government" to take care of you move to a socialist country like China, Cuba or Russia.

Joe Ran

October 6, 2008, 12:46pm (report abuse)

I understand that this is something that more or less must be done. But God help me I can not understand how we got in this mess all over again. It appears to me that greed not need is the way we got caught up in this messy situation. God Bless America we sure do need it. I am sure things will work out fine because I believe in America with all it's faults and short comings I love My Country Always. Yes we can all place the blame on anyone or any group we choose but now we got to get down to the business at hand. And fix this mess. I figure it's not so much what the problem is at this date and time: But how we deal with our present troubles. As Americans United in a common bond to get it right and to keep it right. I am not even angry for why should I be for this is still a wonderful place to call home and I am very proud to born here in America. I will die here in good old USA when God calls me home for Judgement. We will do just fine.


October 6, 2008, 7:34pm (report abuse)

This bill really sucked before, but with all of the tax breaks and pork projects I think I can support it now. Hooray for bloated government!


October 10, 2008, 3:01pm (report abuse)

Wow look at the sheep loving this socialist health care because they have mental problems that the Govt gave them!


December 31, 2008, 3:12pm (report abuse)

Abusing drugs and alcohol, getting really really mad over silly little things, committing suicide, deciding not to eat... these are all really bad decisions. Since when was making bad decisions a mental illness?

If so, I am just gonna go max out all my credit cards. I'll come up with some fancy name for it like "impulsive monetary disorder" and claim mental illness when I can't pay them all back.

Why can't you pay for your own poor decisions.

Stop blaming other people for not ponying up the money for you to try to cope with your human condition. Its called life, deal with it. The rest of us deal with it everyday...just because you can't doesn't entitle you to sticking your hand in our pockets.

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