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Napolitano Praises Medicare Bill for Increasing Access to Mental Health Services

June 24, 2008
Press Release
(Washington, DC) Today the House passed H.R. 6331, “Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008,” by a vote of 355-59. The legislation eliminates discriminatory co-payments for outpatient psychiatric services, established grants to provide mental health services for veterans living in rural communities and increased the fee schedule for mental health services.
“People in Medicare are unfairly forced to pay more for critical mental health services,” said Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-38). “This legislation is an important step towards reaching parity for mental health services.”
“As a strong advocate for our veterans, I am pleased that we are working to provide better access to crucial services for our veterans living in rural areas,” she added. “Tens of thousands of men and women returning from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). We must do everything we can to ensure they have access to the help and support they need and deserve. I urge the Senate to pass this bill.”
Rep. Napolitano is co-chair of the House Mental Health Caucus and a leading voice on mental health and veterans’ issues.
The bill would stop would also help seniors continue to get treatment from trusted, family doctors by stopping a 10% payment reduction that would discourage physicians from taking Medicare patients.

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