Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor is urging legislators to pass a bill that would force insurance companies to cover mental illness just like any physical illness. Lietenant Governor Sally Pederson says mental illness is more common than cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and the success rate for treating many mental illnesses is just as high or higher than treatment for physical diseases. Thirty-three other states have laws which force insurance plans to cover mental health treatment, and Pederson says companies are finding health care costs decline and productivity goes up.Laura Taylor of West Des Moines has a 17-year-old son who takes a “cocktail” of meds to treat a mental health problem and it’s all covered under his dad’s insurance because his dad lives in Texas, a state that has forced insurance plans to cover mental illness. She says without the medications and medical care, her son probably would not be able to graduate from high school, would not be able to function in society, and would be at a high risk of suicide.President Bush supports the idea of forcing insurance plans to cover mental illness, but Pederson says the state of Iowa shouldn’t wait for the feds to act.
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