Jon Breyfogle testified before House Education and Labor Committee on Mental Health Parity Legislation on July 10, 2007. “Employers appreciate how vitally important effective behavioral health care is for millions of Americans,” said Breyfogle, testifying on behalf of the American Benefits Council. Because of the importance Council members place on all employee health benefits, we have repeatedly urged Congress not to expand the current federal parity requirements in a way that would add to plan costs or increase the complexity of plan administration.

The Council was privileged to help develop the Senate’s Mental Health Parity Act (S. 558), a balanced legislative approach that has gained the support of mental health parity proponents as well as organizations representing employers and insurers. The Senate bill is unique, Breyfogle said. We hope this good faith effort sends an important message that employers will support legislation where their priority concerns are addressed in a thoughtful manner and with careful attention to details. S. 558 allows employers the flexibility to design plans; makes clear that medical management of these important benefits may not be prohibited; and ensures uniformity between federal and state parity requirements while maintaining state’s current authority to regulate insurance.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter also testified before the panel.


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