By Jacklyn Wille

September 13, 2017

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Pete Domenici, a six-term Republican U.S. senator from New Mexico, died

Sept. 13, nearly nine years after the mental health parity law he championed

was signed into law.

 

Domenici, whose daughter Clare was diagnosed with schizophrenia, was one of

the driving forces behind the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health

Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which was signed by President

George W. Bush. The law is aimed at increasing patients' access to mental

health and substance abuse services by requiring health plans sponsored by

companies with more than 50 employees to cover those services on the same

terms as medical and surgical treatments. Among other things, the law

prevents health plans from imposing more restrictive treatment limitations

or cost-sharing requirements on mental health benefits than those that apply

to medical or surgical benefits.