The Senate passed legislation Tuesday night that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses when policies cover both. The bill, which passed by unanimous consent, moves advocates one step closer in their years-long quest for a concept known as mental health parity.
"The passage tonight of the Mental Health Parity bill underscores our commitment to treat all patients facing all diseases with the dignity and respect they deserve," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. "This new legislation will bring dramatic new help to millions of Americans who today are denied needed mental health care and treatment." Passage came on the same day that supporters inundated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office, urging a vote on mental health parity legislation in the House.