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Former Rep. Kennedy Praises Connecticut’s Mental Health Parity Law

Susan Walsh
Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, at the National Conference on Mental Health, in Washington in 2013.

Former U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island hailed a new Connecticut law aimed at enforcing a 2008 federal Mental Health Parity Act he helped get approved in Congress.

The federal law sponsored by Kennedy required parity in insurance coverage for physical and mental illness. But it left enforcement up to the states.

Kennedy says that’s why he’s glad that Connecticut passed a law this year to require that insurance companies provide equal treatment for mental health and substance use disorders.

“I don’t see the same kind of energy behind this issue as I see in Connecticut. I don’t see the same kind of leadership in the executive, across the country, of an executive as I see in Governor Ned Lamont. And with the signing of this bill, you’re going to be on your way to leading this country on this issue.”

Kennedy spoke before Lamont signed the law at the State Capitol surrounded by a bipartisan group of state legislators and advocates.

The Connecticut law requires that insurance companies file reports with the General Assembly to show their data for physical and mental health coverage each year.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.