The platforms of both political parties endorse some form of parity, though the Republican platform does not specifically include access to addiction treatment.
To be honest, I’ve grown a little weary of the struggle for parity. It’s been 7 years since George Bush indicated that he’d sign parity legislation. For years, there have been enough votes to pass legislation but the Republican leadership refused to allow a vote. Now the Democrats have been in power for more than a year and a half and we’ve watched it stall with nearly weekly advocacy calls for supporters to contact their legislators.
A parity law will be an important milestone, but it’s clear that it does not mean that there will suddenly be easy access to care. Insurers will implement tight managed care protocols and, practically speaking, things may not be very different. Parity does not equal equity. This will be the next long struggle.
Here’s an overview of mental health parity I wrote several years ago.