September 10, 2009
Washington, D.C.— Michael J. Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), released the following statement on President Obama's remarks on health care to the Joint Session of Congress:
"NAMI agrees with President Obama that the time for action on health care reform is now. It is time for both Democrats and Republicans to come together and deliver on what, for too many years, have only been promises.
Mental illness—like most illnesses—does not discriminate. It affects Democrats and Republicans alike. It affects the young and the old. Too many parents are forced to confront "the sheer helplessness and terror" that comes when their children—at any age—become gravely ill.
That is the experience of NAMI members. It is the experience of too many Americans. For those who already have health insurance, health care reform will prohibit denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, arbitrary caps on annual or lifetime coverage or excessive charges for out-of-pocket expenses.
NAMI also will continue to work for four key areas of reform.
We call on Congress to move forward.
Do not retreat. Do not stand still.
Do not forget that mental illness can strike anyone at any time. The time for action is now."
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