I haven't tackled getting my head around this whole bail out bill legislation, but I found a surprise when I was doing some research. It seems the original bill that was the vehicle for the senate version, which eventually was tweaked and passed, was about mental health parity.
In an article I found on NPR.org, there are specifics about what will be expected with the passing of the bail out bill from insurance providers. In a nut shell:
The terms of the new law apply to businesses that employ 50 or more people and that offer health insurance with mental health coverage. Now, these businesses must offer mental health coverage to the same extent as all other benefits. Most of the requirements take effect a year from now.
You can find the entire story at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95435676
Washington had a mental health parity law pass last session. I don't know how it compares to the new federal one, but once again, this Washington is ahead of that Washington. This states bill is yet another bit of evidence that Chris Gregoire protects our vulnerable. If you look at the vote count
It kind of shows that the folks who tend to represent the heart of the republican agenda in the house all voted against it. WWDD (What would Dino Do), do you suppose? I am betting he would have taken the advise of the Washington Association of insurance underwriters, Regents/Blue Shield and Pacific Care, who all opposed it.
TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)