[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 2]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page 2059]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. MARGE ROUKEMA

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, February 14, 2001

  Mrs. ROUKEMA. Mr. Speaker, yesterday I introduced H.R. 599, the 
Medicare Mental Illness Non-Discrimination Act. In reference to my 
extension of remarks concerning this legislation (on page E156 of the 
Congressional Record), I ask that a letter in support of H.R. 599 from 
Dr. Daniel B. Borenstein, President of the American Psychiatric 
Association (APA), be added in the Record. I submit the following 
letter from the APA into the Congressional Record.

                             American Psychiatric Association,

                                 Washington, DC, February 8, 2001.
     Representative Marge Roukema,
     Rayburn Building, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Roukema: On behalf of the American 
     Psychiatric Association (APA), the medical specialty 
     representing more than 40,000 psychiatric physicians 
     nationwide, I am writing to offer our heartfelt thanks for 
     your sponsorship of legislation to end Medicare's historic 
     discrimination against patients with mental illness.
       As you know, Medicare currently requires patients seeking 
     outpatient treatment for mental illness to pay 50 percent of 
     their care out of pocket, as opposed to the 20 percent 
     copayment charged for all other Medicare Part B services. 
     This is simply a policy of discrimination by diagnosis that 
     inflicts a heavy toll on Medicare patients who, for no fault 
     of their own, happen to suffer from mental illness.
       Your legislation would end this discrimination by requiring 
     that Medicare patients pay only the same 20 percent copayment 
     for mental illness treatment that they would pay when seeking 
     any other medical treatment, including, for example, 
     treatment for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or the common 
     cold. APA commends you for your continued dedication to 
     persons with mental illness, and we join you in urging 
     Congress to end Medicare's discriminatory coverage of mental 
     illness treatment.
       Thank you for your sponsorship of this most important bill. 
     We look forward to working with you to secure its ultimate 
                                       Daniel B. Borenstein, M.D.,