The Friday Fax

a weekly news bulletin from the National Parent Network on Disabilities
SEPTEMBER 20, 1996 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Number 11

IDEA Negotiations Continue at Fevered Pitch

As the 104th Congress approaches its last days, negotiations to reauthorize the IDEA continue. During the last week disability advocates, House and Senate Staff as well as members of congress themselves have been involved in intense discussions around a plethora of old and new issues. At the time of writing, these negotiations are still underway. NPND has been involved in some of these discussions and continues to fight to preserve the educational rights of students with disabilities.

It is difficult to assess the likelihood of passage at this time. It could happen very quickly or not at all. .........and the clock just keeps on ticking!

Christmas in September

As the 104th Congress prepares to go home and face the electorate, new, positive spending patterns are emerging. In particular, it now appears that approximately $750 million will be added to the earlier appropriation for the IDEA. The Senate has also proposed an additional $2 million in funding for Parent Training and Information Centers.

There are, of course, no guarantees on any of this but at least they're trying!

This is good news! We hope that parents everywhere will contact their senators and congress persons to support these additions.

Mental Illness Coverage Included in Health Insurance Reform

Although defeated on the floor, health insurance coverage for mental health services was resurrected and passed by conferees on the Kennedy-Kassebaum health insurance reform bill. This is a major step forward in the assurance of access to mental health services. This provision requires health insurers to offer comparable lifetime caps of coverage for mental health services and physical health services. Hence, if a lifetime cap for physical health services is $1 million, the lifetime cap for mental health services would also be $1 million. This provision, however, does not require insurers to offer mental health coverage.

With a Little Help from our Friends

The response to our request for help in last week's Friday Fax has been overwhelming. Thank you for taking the time and going to the trouble to provide copies of cancelled checks to us. Your support is never far from our heart. We're making slow but steady progress to get through this........with a little help from our friends!
NPND * 1727 King Street, Suite 305 * Alexandria, VA 22314
(703)684-6763 (V/TDD) * (703)836-1232 (fax) * *