Monday, October 19, 2009

Health Reform Matters for People with Mental Disabilities


Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: Civil Rights and Human Dignity

Volume VIII, No. 7 of the Bazelon Center's Mental Health Policy Reporter
October 15, 2009

We're on the Road to Health Care Reform

House and Senate Ready to Merge Their Committee Bills

In this Issue

  • Senate Finance Committee Approves Health Care Reform Bill
  • Time Winding Down for Federal Appropriations
  • House Approves Medicare Premium Fairness Act


  • Education Secretary Proclaims Now is the Time for NCLB Rewrite
  • Pamela Hyde Nominated to Head SAMHSA
  • Genetic Nondiscrimination Act Rules Released
  • Rules Proposed for ADA Amendments Act
  • Rules to Implement Parity Law Delayed
  • Report Documents all Federal Spending on Children
  • National Council on Disability Releases Health Care Report

On the national news front, it often seems as if it's health care reform all the time, and now that all five congressional committees have approved bills, as described in this Reporter, the focus may become ever more intense. But there's more happening in the policy arena that's of interest to people with mental disabilities. Time is running down on Senate approval of the fiscal year 2010 federal budget for operations by the key departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education, for some of which the House has granted increases. And the prospect of increased Medicare premiums led the House to approve a bill that will "hold harmless" 11 million seniors and people with disabilities.

Newsbytes highlight a schedule for stakeholder meetings on Education Secretary Arne Duncan's desire for "a transformative education law," and two proposed rules -to protect individuals from discrimination based on personal genetic information and to implement the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Read the full Reporter at

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