Brown Victory Brings Hope of Stalling MOTHERS Act in Health Care Bill

“I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee. “There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient.”

Menendez says Americans have high anxiety and are impatient? Oh geez Louise… Speaking of sugarcoating… I recall using that word in reference to Menendez and the MOTHERS Act pushers a few more than 10 times.

In epic upset, GOP’s Brown wins Mass. Senate race

By GLEN JOHNSON and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers Glen Johnson And Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writers 17 mins ago

BOSTON – In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office.

The loss by the once-favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the Democratic stronghold was a stunning embarrassment for the White House after Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save the foundering candidate. Her defeat on Tuesday signaled big political problems for the president’s party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

“I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee. “There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient.”

Brown will become the 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate, which could allow the GOP to block the president’s health care legislation and the rest of his agenda. Democrats needed Coakley to win for a 60th vote to thwart Republican filibusters.

The Republican will finish Kennedy’s unexpired term, facing re-election in 2012.

Brown led by 52 per cent to 47 percent with all but 3 percent of precincts counted.

One day shy of the first anniversary of Obama’s swearing-in, the election played out amid a backdrop of animosity and resentment from voters over persistently high unemployment, Wall Street bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health care.

For weeks considered a long shot, Brown seized on voter discontent to overtake Coakley in the campaign’s final stretch. His candidacy energized Republicans, including backers of the “tea party” protest movement, while attracting disappointed Democrats and independents uneasy with where they felt the nation was heading.

A cornerstone of Brown’s campaign was his promise to vote against the health care plan.

Though the president wasn’t on the ballot, he was on many voters’ minds.

“I voted for Obama because I wanted change. … I thought he’d bring it to us, but I just don’t like the direction that he’s heading,” said John Triolo, 38, a registered independent who voted in Fitchburg.

He said his frustrations, including what he considered the too-quick pace of health care legislation, led him to vote for Brown.

Coakley called Brown conceding the race, and Obama talked to both Brown and Coakley, congratulating them on the race.

The Democrat said the president told her: “We can’t win them all.”

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he would notify the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that Brown had been elected. Originally, he had said he might take over two weeks to certify the results of the special election, giving Democrats a window in which to try to rush through final passage of Obama’s health care plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to seat Brown “as soon as the proper paperwork has been received.”

Brown will be the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 30 years.

Even before the first results were announced, administration officials were privately accusing Coakley of a poorly run campaign and playing down the notion that Obama or a toxic political landscape had much to do with the outcome.

Coakley’s supporters, in turn, blamed that very environment, saying her lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing that Obama himself said showed a failure of his administration.

Days before the polls closed, Democrats were fingerpointing and laying blame.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, head of the House Democrats’ campaign effort, said Coakley’s loss won’t deter his colleagues from continuing to blame the previous administration.

“President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident,” he said. “President Obama and congressional Democrats have been focused repairing the damage to our economy.”

At Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel, giddy Republicans cheered, chanted “USA” and waved the “tea party” version of the American flag.

Even before Brown won, the grass-roots network fueled by antiestablishment frustrations, sought credit for the victory, much like the liberal did in the 2006 midterm elections when Democrats rose to power.

GOP chairman Michael Steele said Brown’s “message of lower taxes, smaller government and fiscal responsibility clearly resonated with independent-minded voters in Massachusetts who were looking for a solution to decades of failed Democrat leadership.”

Wall Street watched the election closely. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116 points, and analysts attributed the increase to hopes the election would make it harder for Obama to make his changes to health care. That eased investor concerns that profits at companies such as insurers and drug makers would suffer.

Across Massachusetts, voters who had been bombarded with phone calls and dizzied with nonstop campaign commercials for Coakley and Brown gave a fitting turnout despite intermittent snow and rain statewide.

Galvin, who discounted sporadic reports of voter irregularities throughout the day, predicted turnout ranging from 1.6 million to 2.2 million, 40 percent to 55 percent of registered voters. The Dec. 8 primary had a scant turnout of about 20 percent.

Voters considered national issues including health care and the federal budget deficits.

Fears about spending drove Karla Bunch, 49, to vote for Brown. “It’s time for the country, for the taxpayers, to take back their money,” she said. And Elizabeth Reddin, 65, voted for Brown because she said she was turned off by the Democrat’s negative advertisements, saying: “The Coakley stuff was disgusting.”


Liz Sidoti reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Beth Fouhy, Bob Salsberg, Steve LeBlanc, Karen Testa, Kevin Vineys and Stephanie Reitz also contributed to this report.

Ron Paul’s Parental Consent Act of 2009: Contact Your Reps!

Please contact your Representative in Congress and ask them to sponsor H.R. 2218,  The Parental Consent Act of 2009.

Here is a link to the bill text:

Here is a great article by Dr. John Breeding explaining the background of the bill and the Bush Administration’s “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health” which Dr. Breeding appropriately coins the “No Freedom” commission.

To take action against specific Orwellian psychiatric programs included in recent versions of the Federal Health legislation, see this link:

Senate Nixes Public Disclosure of Revised Health Care Language – Take Action.

For more background on some of the bills now coming up in Congress to fulfill the goals of the “Freedom Commission” see:

Political Poll On Mental Health

Background information:
Candidates’ plans in their own words.

Explanatory article concerning presidential candidates’ and their runningmates’ views on mental health issues.

Barack Obama vs. John McCain: On Mental Health

Background Data

The “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health”

The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health is a 93-page report put together by the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry in 2003 as a recommendation to the President for mental health plans in the US.

The only words to describe the recommendations of this report are “Orwellian” and horrifying.

This plan lays out detailed programs to screen all Americans for mental “disorders” and includes recommended drug treatment plans. It includes specific mental health screening programs for the elderly, all military personnel, all U.S. school children, drug addicts (and redefining drug addiction as a mental “disease”) the poor, screening all pregnant women and infants, (the MOTHERS Act and another bill detailed below) specific drug treatment “flow charts,” mental health “parity” (equal coverage for mental illness as that granted for real physical illness/disease) and more.

It also includes a comprehensive drug plan, which is basically a flow chart of psychiatric drugs — essentially “try this drug; if it fails, try this other drug; if that fails, combine drugs; if that fails… down to electroshock.”

According to Wikipedia, “Opponents of the plan have questioned the motives of the commission, largely from a civil liberties perspective, asserting the initiative campaign is little more than a thinly veiled proxy for the pharmaceutical industry, which, in its pursuit of profits, is too eager to foster psychotropic medication interventions. The recommendations of the NFC have drawn fire from individuals and groups who say it is a violation of civil liberties.”

The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health was commissioned by President Bush to create this report with their recommendations. But the laws to enforce their recommendations are what are now surfacing. The only member of Congress to introduce any law in opposition to the NFC is Congressman Ron Paul who introduced the Parental Consent Act of 2005 and 2007.

Please keep this in mind when reading the following data. To read more on the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health: go here.

Raw Data: Obama vs. McCain

This is a bill that calls for mental health screening and “treatment” of all pregnant women and women who have recently given birth. For more information on the MOTHERS Act: read this.

Obama is one of 10 co-sponsors.

McCain is not a co-sponsor.

Obama: “Mental health screenings for all troops”

In remarks prepared for delivery on Sunday, the Illinois Democrat proposed changes to recruitment and deployment of military mental health providers. He called for the Pentagon to recruit more professionals to help identify and treat problems. And he seeks mandatory mental health screenings of all troops.

According to Obama’s plan, the military would require face-to-face mental health screenings for all service members. By making it mandatory, Obama said the military could reduce the stigma associated with mental health screening and treatment.

The plan also would institute early mental health screenings so future psychological injuries could be more easily diagnosed and treated.
McCain opposes this bill.

Obama on McCain: “I have great respect for John McCain’s service to this country and I know he loves it dearly and honors those who serve. But he is one of the few Senators of either party who oppose this bill.”

Mental Health “Parity”:

Obama: “I am a longtime supporter of mental health parity. I helped pass the Illinois mental health parity law. And my national public health plan will include coverage of all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity and mental health care. I strongly support mental health fairness and parity of mental health coverage in all federal health programs. I cosponsored the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 and I am a supporter of the bipartisan Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007. Similarly, I believe in prohibiting group health plans from imposing treatment or financial limitations on mental health and substance related disorder benefits that are different from those applied to medical or surgical services. I am also committed to ensuring that Americans with disabilities or mental illness receive Medicaid and Medicare benefits in a low cost, effective and timely manner.”

McCain has voted against mental health parity and, in his health care plan on his website, makes no mention of mental health as an issue.

Mental Health Screening of Low-Income Families

“Barack Obama would expand the highly successful Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers. The Nurse-Family Partnership provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families. The trained nurses use proven methods to help improve the mental and physical health of the family by providing counseling on substance abuse, creating and achieving personal goals, and effective methods of nurturing children.”

More information on the Nurse-Family Partnership: “Early detection and treatment of mental disorders can result in a substantially shorter and less disabling course of illness. As the mental health field becomes increasingly able to identify the early antecedents of mental illnesses at any age, interventions must be implemented, provided in multiple settings, and connected to treatment and supports.

“Early interventions, such as the Nurse-Family Partnership, and educational efforts can help a greater number of parents, the public, and providers learn about the importance of the first years of a child’s life and how to establish a foundation for healthy social and emotional development. Quality screening and early intervention should occur in readily accessible, low-stigma settings, such as primary health care facilities and schools, and in settings where a high level of risk for mental health problems exists, such as juvenile justice and child welfare.”

Obama’s and McCain’s Positions on Mental Health Care

See this – an excellent article comparing the two candidates. Here are some excerpts:
Barack Obama’s position on mental health issues as stated in his health care plan:

Obama specifically includes mental health care in his health care plan. It states: Improve Mental Health Care. Mental illness affects approximately one in five American families. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that untreated mental illnesses cost the U.S. more than $100 billion per year. As president, Obama will support mental health parity so that coverage for serious mental illnesses are provided on the same terms and conditions as other illnesses and diseases.

John McCain’s position on mental health issues as stated in his health care plan:

McCain’s health care plan does not mention mental health.

Obama and McCain on H.R. 1424/S558 “Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007″ Bill:

Obama co-sponsored, along with 56 others, the bipartisan Senate’s S558 version of H.R. 1424 “Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007″ bill. McCain did not sponsor the bill. The White House is opposed to it.

Big Pharma contributions to candidates


Obama, Barack (D)

McCain, John (R)

In Their Own Words

Barack Obama:

“As you may know, mental illness affects approximately one in five American families, and we must do more address this issue. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that untreated mental illnesses cost the U.S. more than $100 billion per year. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, I worked to improve mental health services for people with serious problems who are going untreated and undiagnosed.

“It is important to end discrimination against those with mental illness, and that’s why I support the bipartisan Paul Wellstone (D-MN) Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007, an updated version of legislation that Senator Wellstone championed for over a decade in Congress. This bill works to end discrimination against people suffering from mental illness and addiction.

“I also support mental health parity. When suicide is responsible for more deaths in America than AIDS and homicides combined, we must act. That’s why I have championed efforts to improve awareness of mental illnesses and provide timely and appropriate treatment, and why I cosponsored the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007. Parity means that we don’t allow group health plans to impose treatment or financial limitations on mental health benefits that are different from those applied to medical or surgical services. The bill closes the loopholes that allow discrimination in coverage that does not apply to other illnesses.

“I’m proud of my record on this issue. I helped pass mental a health [sic] parity bill as an Illinois state senator that requires coverage for serious mental illnesses to be provided on the same terms and conditions as are applicable to other illnesses and diseases.”


John McCain:

“The next President will face a great challenge due to the rising cost of health care of all types. America has the finest doctors and medical science, and the treatment of mental health has shared in these advances. However, as with other aspects of our health care system, spending on mental and behavioral health treatments is rising rapidly. The challenge is to ensure high quality care, establish incentives to control the growth of costs, and thereby permit greater affordable choices….

“A sensible goal is to design reimbursement for taking care of the whole patient, whatever ails them, and recognize the essential role mental health treatment plays in the overall health of the patient and the reduction in physical health needs.

“I have stressed the central role of personal responsibility in leading to lower health care costs. Personal fitness and better lifestyles, especially reduction in addictions of all types – food, narcotics, or cigarettes – can yield dramatic improvements in the cost of chronic illness and high‐cost medical care. We can do a better job of treating addictions, but we also have an obligation to do a better job of teaching our children the benefits of good lifestyles and the perils of addictive activities.”

The VPs

Joe Biden: Redefining Drug Abuse and Alcohol Abuse as a Mental Illness and Changing the Names of Government Organizations to Reflect This

A bill introduced by Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) that would define addiction as a brain disease is moving in the Senate. Treatment professionals, mainstream scientists, and recovery advocates see it as a good thing. There are some skeptics, though. The bill, the Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act of 2007 (S. 1011), would also change the name of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to the National Institute on Diseases of Addiction, and change the name of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the National Institute on Alcohol Disorders and Health. “Addiction is a neurobiological disease — not a lifestyle choice — and it’s about time we start treating it as such,” said Sen. Biden in a statement when he introduced this bill this spring.

“We must lead by example and change the names of our federal research institutes to accurately reflect this reality. By changing the way we talk about addiction, we change the way people think about addiction, both of which are critical steps in getting past the social stigma too often associated with the disease.”

Gov. Sarah Palin has no national record on introducing legislation on mental health issues.

Conclusion: Who Do Psychs Pick?


“Based upon our findings, we’d have to say the stronger mental health and psychology candidate is Obama. Whereas McCain tends to support mental health causes when in the majority, he doesn’t appear to go out on a limb for anything in the areas of mental health or psychological sciences funding. Obama, on the other hand, has co-sponsored a major piece of Senate legislation in mental health (mental health parity) and shows he understands the stigma still associated with mental health issues in his co-sponsorship of the Mothers Act.”