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(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel on Monday advanced a measure sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver to help boost access to mental health treatment by increasing insurance coverage.
The measure was approved by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee during a special hearing as part of the comprehensive Assembly Democratic anti-gun violence initiative, which is comprised of more than two dozen bills.
"In order to ensure that people with mental illnesses have access to the treatment they need, mental health services must not be treated as the illegitimate step child of the health insurance world," said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). "Mental health treatment is crucial to reducing suicide rates, violence and incarceration. This is a crucial component of any strategy to reduce gun violence. In the long run, the cost of providing mental health treatment is far less expensive than the socio-economic fall out of mental illness. It's also the far more humane approach."
The Speaker's legislation (AR-144) urges Governor Christie to take a leadership role in the public mental health agenda and not apply for an annual exemption from the requirements of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.
NJ Assembly Majority Office
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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