Association News
Congressman Honored for Health Initiatives
Psychiatric News
Volume 46 Number 1 page 7-7

Elizabeth Morrison, M.D., president of the Washington Psychiatric Society, poses with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) after he was presented the 2010 Sen. Paul and Mrs. Sheila Wellstone Mental Health Visionary Award. The presentation was made at the society's Annual Awards Reception in Washington, D.C., last November.

Conyers spearheaded efforts in Congress to place universal health care back on the map. He organized hundreds of Congressional briefings, symposia, and town-hall meetings to build momentum in Congress for universal health care.

Conyers' most significant accomplishment in the area of mental health was the introduction of the United States National Health Care Act, also known as the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (HR 676). The legislation was written with the assistance of 23 doctors, including psychiatrists. Under the bill, all medically necessary mental health services would be covered and paid for by the government, and patients could choose the clinicians they wish to see. Comprehensive prescription drug coverage would be available to seniors, as well as to younger people.

Conyers also introduced legislation to provide scholarships to medical school graduates through the National Health Service Corps with the goal of increasing the number of doctors who serve in medically underserved areas. blacksquare

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