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HOFSTRA LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW JOURNAL
would require a far more expansive plan than enacting mental health parity laws, such as adopting a universal health care system. 41
The aforementioned exemptions of Timothy’s Law are also skewed towards providing parity for the middle- and upper-classes over the lower- and working-classes,42 which may lead to disparate benefits of parity among the races. 43
The impact of mental health parity laws can be measured in a variety of ways. The major segments affected by parity laws are employers, employees (and their families, if any), health maintenance organizations, mental health service providers (ranging from hospitals to psychiatrists), and government departments. The multiple viewpoints of mental health parity laws is made crystal-clear once these segments’ points of view are considered, each with financial, quality of life,
41. Matt Boucher, Comment, Turning a Blind (White) Eye in Legislating Mental Health Partiy: The Unmet, Overlooked Needs of the Working Poor in Racial and Ethnic Minority
Communities, 19 J. CONTEMP. HEALTH L. POL’Y 465, 492.
Fundamental Law that Shapes the United States Realistic within the Established Paradigm?, 15
Health Care System: ANNALS HEALTH L.
William P. Gunnar, The Is Universal Health Care 151, 154, 179-80 (2006)
(taking the position that universal health not a feasible possibility in the United system).
care, not a States due
fundamental right under to the entrenchment of
U.S Constitution, is current health care
42. Boucher, infra note 43, at 466-67. Exempting self-insured employers and employers of 50 or less individuals places many convenience stores, restaurants, and numerous other low-skill (and low pay) job sites outside the reach of Timothy’s Law, allowing those employers to continue to refuse to provide adequate mental health benefits. See Nat’l Alliance on Mental Illness of N.Y. City Metro, Inc. supra, note 40.
43. See Matt Boucher, Comment, Turning a Blind (White) Eye in Legislating Mental Health Parity: The Unmet, Overlooked Needs of the Working Poor in Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities, 19 J. CONTEMP. HEALTH L. & POL’Y 465, 468, 486 (2003) (providing an analysis of mental health parity laws from a critical race theorist perspective and evaluating community-based alternatives). A press release for the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007, discussed infra Part III, notes that:
[e]vidence indicates a persistent disparity in the mental health status of racial and ethnic minority populations, as compared with the overall mental health status of the U.S.
population. Demographic tailored to racial and ethnic from reaching treatment.
trends indicate that the demand for mental health services minorities will increase, but several barriers deter minorities Many of these barriers operate for all Americans: cost,
fragmentation of services, lack mental illness. . . . Release, U.S. Senate Comm. on
of services, and societal stigma toward
Labor, & Pension, Kennedy, Domenici &
Unveil Long-Awaited Breakthrough on Mental Health 1996 Parity Law, at 6 (Feb. 12, 2007) (on file
Parity: Legislation Will Build on Landmark with author), [hereinafter Press Release,