Grading The Candidates – mental health policy of presidential candidates

Grading The Candidates – mental health policy of presidential candidates – Brief Article

On report card day at the National Mental Health Association, a mental health advocacy organization, leaders announced the presidential candidates’ scores on mental health policy. with Al Gore earning an A- and George Bush falling flat with an F+.


The NMHA points out that Al Gore has been a leader in improving managed care to meet consumer needs, expanding Medicaid to cover mental health and creating return-to work programs for the mentally ill. Gore helped pass the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, and as a congressman cosponsored the Children’s and Communities’ Mental Health Systems Improvement Act of 1991 and the Equitable Health Care for Severe Mental Illnesses Act of 1992.


The Republican candidate has advocated some mental health improvements during his political career but has no apparent plans for future programs, says the NMHA. His record includes supporting a 1997 bill to subsidize medication for people with second generation schizophrenia and bipolar diseases, and authorizing a program that would provide supportive housing, job training, and other health services to the mentally ill in the Dallas area.

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