The House and Senate on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, approved compromise mental health parity legislation, but the chambers have not agreed on a funding mechanism. The House Resolution (HR 6983) would require health insurers to cover mental illnesses at the same level as physical ailments.

The measure has received support from both parties, President Bush, business and insurance companies, health care advocates and the medical community, but it is unclear whether a joint agreement can be reached in the few days remaining before Congress recesses. Lawmakers must decide whether the bill should be a stand-alone measure or part of a larger legislative package.

As developments occur, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine will keep members abreast of changes to the legislation.