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WASHINGTON, D.C.--Tonight, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Pete Domenici announced abreakthrough in Mental Health Parity negotiations. The new agreement will protect all statelaws and provide equity in mental health treatment to 113 million Americans. Senator Kennedy said, “Tonight a major agreement was reached with the mental healthcommunity, business leaders, the insurance industry and Senate leaders to ensure that thosewith mental health needs can receive fair and equitable health insurance. This new legislationwill bring dramatic new help to millions of Americans who today are denied needed mentalhealth care and treatment. Tonight’s agreement underscores our commitment to treat thosewith dignity and respect patients facing all diseases.” Senator Domenici said, "The agreement reached tonight should allow us to move expeditiouslyto finally provide significant mental health parity to tens of millions of Americans and theirloved ones. It will allow us to build on existing federal law to expand parity. I believe thispackage will be acceptable to a broad spectrum interests, from those who suffer from mentalillnesses, to care givers, to insurance companies and the businesses that provide coverage fortheir employees." ###