Mental ‘Issues’

I was going to write a warm, fuzzy post. Something encouraging, happy, Something to bring a smile to your face and spring in your step. It didn’t pan out – my evil twin – the helpful web surfer won out. The result follows.

While I don’t fall for most political slogans, there are some measures I do think need more attention. Thus, while I’m not really falling for the 100 hours thing (100 hours would be like half the time the previous congress actually worked. Right?), according to ABC News (Hat Tip: Pete Abel/Moderate Voice) , the Democrats will finally get around to actually admitting that mental disorders are equal in severity to physical problems and need to be treated appropriately.

After years of trying, advocates think they have a good chance of getting Congress to pass legislation next year that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses, if their policies include both.

The legislation, named for the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat who championed the cause, has strong support in Congress but has run into GOP roadblocks. In the last congressional session, 231 House members more than half of the chamber signed on as co-sponsors. The GOP leadership, which in the past had expressed concern that the proposal would drive up health insurance premiums, wouldn’t bring it up for a vote.

In 2003, Senate Democrats tried to win passage of the bill as a tribute to Wellstone, who died in a plane crash the previous year. Republicans blocked an attempt to pass it by unanimous consent.

While this type of legislation might backfire, health insurance companies might just stop covering mental health, it is probably a step forward. It is arguable that this indeed would be a step forward because the Republicans fought the bill. That means someone (possibly the insurers and by inference the lobbyists) will be making less profit, something that is near and dear to Republican hearts, and thus the opposition.

I was going to urge you to contact your Congress person to encourage swift passage of this measure.

But then my evil twin surfed in.

You see. I wanted your life to be easy. Foolish mortal that I am, I thought with approximately 430 Congressmen and 100 Senators, there would be a simple list of email addresses. Not. So. Fast. Buster.

I quickly found this page, the stupidity of which leaves me reeling. So I need to enter my full zip code in order to find my representative. OK. It would be foolish to think that one could simply list alternative representatives associated with the 5 digit codes and list the possible 4 digit ranges if appropriate (Is it that big a problem? Is there that much overlap?). I could understand that. But why do I need to enter the STATE first. Isn’t the complete 9 digit zip-code enough? Shouldn’t that route mail basically to my door step? With 300 Million people in the US, doesn’t that mean that there is one nine digit zip code for every 300 people? Are they spread out that much? Like in different states?

Thus, I ask you to do two things, dear readers. One. Please e-mail or conact your local congressperson and request the support of this bill. That’s the Wellstone Act, sponsored by Patrick Kennedy (even more info here).

Second, please write this brain-dead pagef*cker (it is Congress after all). This is the person responsible for the wonderful contact your congress person page. Ask this individual (nicely), just why in God’s /Allah’s /Jehovah’s or Gaia’s name do I need to enter my state to find my congressperson if I have to enter the nine digit zip-code ANYWAY? ISN’T THAT ENOUGH?! Why isn’t there a list of Congress people by state. Why can’t you legislate the postal service into giving you a web service to let people look that information up directly without redirection and warnings? Why does this service need to be obfuscated to the point of silliness? Why Mr/Ms Write Your Representive Admistrator? Why?

Bad programming! Get’s my panties in a bunch every time. Gee – do you think I have ‘issues’?

Maybe the Wellstone Act might help.


7 comments so far

  1. Teresa on

    Yeay Wellstone! I remember when he made this an issue, and was mocked for it in the press.

    Thankfully, his legacy lives on.

  2. frecklescassie on

    My mom has a mental illness but she never went to get help for it. The whole country needs to change and not just the insurance.

  3. blc303 on

    Teresa – Sometimes politicians do have a lasting effect.

    frecklecassie – One step at a time. I don’t even have an idea where the country should go, but it is in the wrong place now. But this is a step in the right direction.

  4. Teresa on

    Ben, they certainly do when they are a dynamo of popular liberal idealism like Wellstone. We’ll not see his like again, but maybe his example and the Wellstone-shaped vacuum in our state’s politics will inspire more Dems to be just a little more Wellstone-like. You know a politician was loved when you see elect Wellstone bumper stickers on cars that were manufactured after he died.

    Frecklecassie, I sincerely hope that your mother eventually gets the help she needs.

  5. blc303 on

    Frecklecassie, Trees is of course right and I must apologize for my thoughtlessness.

    I do hope your mother gets help.

  6. frecklescassie on

    My mom is in jail for selling drugs and I don’t think she’s getting too much help for any of her problems. But I go to Alateen and my brother goes to Alanon and that helps a lot. We also go to counseling.

  7. Teresa on


    I’m sorry to hear that. That is terrible. I hope that you and your brother come out of this OK. From the looks of your blog, you seem to be an intelligent, directed, and focused young lady.

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