Monday, April 20, 2009

Support Mental Health Parity for Eating Disorders in Texas

(forwarded on behalf of Ms. Susan Feldkamp - NEDA Star committee member)
As a member of the Texas chapter of the National Eating Disorders Association’s (NEDA) STAR (States for Treatment Access and Research) Committee, I am asking if you would be willing to attend a hearing on behalf of pending House legislation that would require health insurance companies to cover the treatment of eating disorders. See the information below:

NEW HEARING - There is a hearing on TUESDAY, April 21, at 2:00 pm in room E2.026, in front of the Insurance Committee regarding Representative Farabee's bill, HB 868.

We need people that can go to the committee hearing room (E2.026). A short statement would be great - " I support HB 868 and changing the law in Texas so that anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and eating disorders - not otherwise specified are added to the list of Serious Mental Illnesses in the Texas Insurance Code. " IF you want to say more about eating disorders, you are free to do so.

If you are are not comfortable testifying, you can sign up saying you support the bill and you don't have to stay for the hearing. All you have to do is be at the Committee hearing room, at the Capitol, Room E2.026 by 1:45. The bill may be taken up as early as 2:00 and the signups of support have to be in before the bill is taken up by the Committee. Room E2.026 is in the Texas Capitol, Capitol Extension.

The Capitol Extension is the underground office building that is connected to the Capitol building. Park anywhere around the Capitol building (15th St. and Congress), then go into the Capitol building.


Maps to rooms at the Capitol,
If you don't want to park at on the street, maps to capitol visitor parking garages,

Here is some additional background about the bills that are currently pending:

Right now, there are 5 bills pending in the Texas House of Representatives:

Rose—H.B. 1418

Coleman—H.B. 2967

Coleman—H.B. 2969

Coleman—H.B. 2976

Farabee—H.B. 868

To read the text of a bill, go to the Texas Legislature web site at Enter the bill number (ex. HB 1418) in the "Search Legislation" box at the top of the page. You will then see a screen reporting all action on that bill to date. If you click on the "Text" tab at the top, you will be able to obtain a copy of the text of the bill.

Here's what you can do:

1. Contact Representatives Rose, Coleman and Farabee and tell them:

"I support changing the law so that "Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified" are added to the list of "Serious Mental Illnesses" in the Texas Insurance Code. Eating disorders are the most lethal of psychiatric illnesses and they should be treated as such."

2. Contact the members of the Insurance Committee, especially John Smithee (link: and tell them that you support the changing the law.

3. Contact any other representative you wish and let them know the same thing.

4. Forward this email to your family and friends and ask them for their support in this effort. Let them know that we need a lot of help bringing this very important issue to the attention of our lawmakers.

5. Finally, if you are able, please consider coming to the next legislative hearing. Even if you don't want to talk, being there in person demonstrates the public's commitment to get the law changed. If you would like to give a 3–4 minute testimony at the hearing, we encourage you to write out what you would like to say so that you are ready when the time comes.

When we receive notification of a hearing for one or more of these House bills, I will notify you. By law, hearings must be publicly announced at least five days before they occur. We'd like as many supporters (family members, individuals affected, professionals, other advocates, etc.) as possible to join us! An individual’s testimony must be delivered by that individual, so, unfortunately, we cannot read a testimony on someone’s behalf at a hearing.

Please feel free to call me if you have questions!!

Thank you!

Susan Feldkamp
NEDA STAR Committee
Phone: (512) 280-7241 (home)
Phone: (512) 291-0993 (home office)
Fax: (512) 280-0331

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