The Quest for Parity.
Mental Illnesses Deserve Same Coverage as Physical Ones

Imagine a health-insurance policy that would pay for treatment if you broke your arm but wouldn’t if you broke your leg.

A lot of people have that sort of policy. They’re covered if something goes wrong with their hearts, but if something goes wrong with their minds, they’re out of luck.

Mental illness is the No. 2 cause of preventable deaths in the United States, yet it is far, far down the healthcare priority list. That doesn’t make sense. If you are stricken by a mental illness, you are just as disabled as if you had been stricken by a physical one.

Mental illnesses left untreated or not treated adequately cost the nation more than $100 billion in lost productivity each year.

Last year, President Bush drew attention to the problem, calling for parity in insurance coverage for mental illnesses. But that call has gone unheeded, even though the Congressional Budget Office has said full parity would increase insurance premiums by less than 1 percent. That would be money well-spent.

Without such coverage, society ends up paying in many ways: A patient’s family becomes broke and ends up on Medicaid, a sick child is given up to the state because the family can’t afford the expensive treatment he needs, a victim becomes homeless or addicted to alcohol or drugs, a patient becomes disabled and draws Supplemental Security Income.

Bills pending in Congress and the General Assembly would bring parity to mental-health insurance. In the General Assembly, Rep. Lynn Olman, R-Maumee, has been fighting for parity for nine years. This is a good idea that has been on hold for too long.

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© Copyright 2008 State Representative Lynn Olman. All rights reserved.


I-280 Bridge
I was honored to work with the Northwest Ohio legislative delegation to make the Veterans Glass City Skyway a reality


The Valentine Theatre
I was happy to co-sponsor support in the State Capital budget for restoration of the Valentine Theatre.


Jeep is the heart and soul of Northwest Ohio manufacturing. I was honored to be a part of the task force to 'Keep Jeep' in Toledo.







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