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Reflections on the Mental Health Commumty'S Experience in the Health Care Reform Debate
Leslie J. Scallet; James T. Havel
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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Mental Health Policy Resource Center (MHPRC), 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20036

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The creation of an effective coalition of mental health organizations was integral to the mental health community's early success in furthering coverage for mental health services in national health care reform. A unified coalition was able to establish political credibility and clarify substantive choices while the Task Force on National Health Care Reform was formulating the Clinton Administration's proposal, leading to initial indications that parity for mental health benefits and flexible coverage of a wide range of services would be inclduded. As concerns about the cost of the benefit package increased, the Administration stepped back from including comprehensive coverage, and some organizations in the coalition became divided over specific provisions. However, as of June 1994, the mental health community's consistent consensus about the need for comprehensive coverage and parity enabled the field to gain inclusion for mental health services and, in fact, wider coverage in some of the proposals emerging from Congressional subcommittees.

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