Address lack of mental health parity, don’t make things worse!

Everyone acknowledges the mental health crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing the mental health needs of Connecticut residents, particularly children, is a top priority this legislative session. Therefore, one has to question why a proposal that could potentially result in rolling back some of the progress we have made towards parity in access to mental health treatment remains under consideration.

HB 5042, An Act Concerning Healthcare Cost Growth, would grant authority to the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) to, among other things, set an annual healthcare cost growth benchmark and a primary care spending target. A proposal that would limit overall health care spending while increasing spending on primary care necessarily means that less money will be available for specialist care, including behavioral health care. Such a strategy will be detrimental to our efforts to achieve mental health parity.

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