P.O. Box 1253, Topeka, Kansas 66601-1253

September 21, 1999

Rep. Philip M. Crane
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Rep. Crane:

H.R. 1515 has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee of which you are chairman. It is "A bill to ... prohibit group and individual health plans from imposing treatment limitations or financial requirements on the coverage of mental health benefits and on the coverage of substance abuse and chemical dependency benefits if similar limitations or requirements are not imposed on medical and surgical benefits." There are several problems with this bill.

First: If passed this bill will violate the 10th Amendment, which reserves to the states or the people as individuals the powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. Some states have enacted legislation mandating equal coverage of so-called mental health treatment, and others haven't, but in any case it should remain a matter of state law, or better still, a matter of individual consumer choice.

Second, "mental health" isn't really an aspect of health, and psychiatry isn't really a type of health care. No so-called mental illness has been proved to have a biological cause, psychiatric propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding. Without a biological cause, a diagnosis of "mental health" or "mental illness" can be based only on the "diagnostician's" conception of how a person "should" be in terms of thinking, mood, or behavior. Therefore, determination of what is "mental health" or "mental illness" is arbitrary. Mental health is a matter of values, not biology as real diseases are.
      See the enclosed pamphlets "Does Mental Illness Exist?," and "Schizophrenia - A Nonexistent Disease" by Lawrence Stevens, J.D., and the enclosed excerpt from Blaming the Brain by Elliot S. Valenstein, Ph.D.

Third: Everything psychiatrists do (other than listening and offering friendly advice, which is called "psychotherapy") is either useless or harmful or both. Biological psychiatry is a type of health care quackery: Psychiatric drugs, electric shock treatment, and psychosurgery are all harmful. They literally damage the brains of people who are subjected to them! See the enclosed excerpts from books by psychiatrist/neurologist Sidney Walker III, M.D., and psychiatrist Peter Breggin, M.D., and the enclosed pamphlets titled "Psychiatric Drugs - Cure or Quackery?" and "Psychiatry's Electroconvulsive Shock Treatment - A Crime Against Humanity" by Lawrence Stevens, J.D.  Health care insurance companies should not be forced to include health care quackery such as biological psychiatry under the terms of their health care insurance policies.

Fourth: Psychiatry's and psychology's nonbiological "treatment" - counseling or "psychotherapy" - may sometimes be helpful, but it isn't health care and so shouldn't be required to be included in health care insurance policies.

Fifth: If enacted, this bill will cause more people to be subjected to human rights violations that are now commonplace and which should not happen anywhere, especially in the U.S.A.: It will cause more people to be subjected to needless involuntary psychiatric "hospitalization" and forced "medication" and extremely cruel use of physical restraints, not for their own benefit, but for the purpose of making huge profits for private psychiatric hospitals at the expense of those who pay health-care premiums. Promoting or voting for legislation to make more money available to support psychiatry's human rights violations and harmful or cruel "therapies" would be stupid or evil or both. See the enclosed article, "Cuckoo's Nest" by Eugene Methvin and the comments by Dr. Sidney Walker in his book A Dose of Sanity at pages 179-181 and the pamphlet "Unjustified Psychiatric Commitment in the U.S.A." which states the conclusions of a Congressional study about this problem.

You will find these and other powerful arguments against psychiatry on our Antipsychiatry Coalition web site:

Another argument against compulsory mental health benefits in health insurance is some people such as myself do not want to have such coverage, not because we don't want to pay higher premiums but because we don't believe in psychiatry. Why shouldn't we be free to make that choice? The findings in 1992 of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families that people who have mental health insurance are targeted for unnecessary, unwanted, involuntary psychiatric "hospitalization" is one reason I feel this way.

I hope you will use all your influence to prevent H.R. 1515 and a similar bill, S. 796, from becoming law.

Douglas Smith



P.O. Box 1253, Topeka, Kansas 66601-1253

September 21, 1999

Sen. James Jeffords
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Jeffords:

S. 796 has been referred to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee of which you are chairman. It is "A bill to provide for full parity with respect to health insurance coverage for certain severe biologically-based mental illnesses and to prohibit limits on the number of mental illness-related hospital days and outpatient visits that are covered for all mental illnesses" [underline added]. There are several problems with this bill.

First .   .   .

Second, there is no such thing as a "biologically-based mental illness"!! If you think there is, please read what I have underlined or highlighted in yellow in the enclosed article, book excerpts, and pamphlets. See especially the comments by Elliot S. Valenstein, Ph.D., in his book Blaming the Brain, the pamphlet "Does Mental Illness Exist?" by Lawrence Stevens, J.D., and "Against Biologic Psychiatry" by David Kaiser, M.D.
      I have read the book that supposedly shows so-called schizophrenia has a biological basis: Schizophrenia and Manic Depressive Disorder - The Biological Roots of Mental Illness as Revealed by the Landmark Study of Identical Twins by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., et al., Basic Books, New York, 1994. What is wrong with this study is that "most of the twins with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder were taking antipsychotic medication at the time of testing" (p. 39). These drugs cause the differences that were noted. What the study really shows is that the drugs used to treat so-called schizophrenia cause brain-damage.

Third .   .   .

Fourth .   .   .

Fifth .   .   .

[et cetera]

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