Today’s New York Times has an excellent story about the inclusion of the federal mental health parity law in the Wall Street rescue bill passed last week by Congress. Robert Pear, the Times’ veteran healthcare reporter, does a first rate job of recounting the history of efforts to pass a beefed up federal mental health parity statute, the dynamics behind its enactment and the impact of the new law.

My experience dealing with many mental health cases over the last 15+ years makes me believe that meaningful state and federal mental health parity statutes are tremendous steps forward in increasing the economic productivity of our society. And the positive aspects of better mental health coverage for business are the tip of the iceberg. The benefits to the quality of family, work and other relationships are inestimable. Not to mention the benefits to the individuals who currently have significant limits on their mental healthcare coverage. There’s no two ways about it: this bill will save many lives and significantly enhance the quality of our society.  A heartfelt thank you is in order to many who have worked for so long to get this legislation passed. 

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