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Parity Bill Approved by Wisconsin Senate

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A bill that would require insurers to cover addiction and mental health services on par with other health conditions has been approved by the Wisconsin Senate, the Wisconsin Radio Network reported Jan. 29.

The measure passed 19-13 and moved to the state Assembly for consideration.

“We’ve got to treat mental illness as a physical illness, which it is,” said bill sponsor Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). “The stigma exists, and I think that stigma still being out there is killing people, and it’s just wrong. Can small business afford this? What are the costs of not treating mental illness and addiction?”

Critics said the measure would hurt small- and medium-sized businesses that would be subject to the legislation. “It’s a job killer, make no mistake about it,” said Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center). “This will make it harder for smaller employers to keep it together.”

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