Rep. Bachmann Glad Wellstone Mental Health Equity Act Will Pass Despite Her Earlier “No” Vote

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Congresswoman Michele Bachmann probably didn’t realize The UpTake’s microphone was still on when she started talking to one of her opponents after Wednesday night’s debate.


She told Bob Anderson, an independent candidate running for Bachmann’s seat, that she was “sure” that the $700 Billion bailout bill was going to pass the House due to the sweeteners added to the bill by the Senate on the night of Wed. Oct. 1st.


One of the primary sweeteners of the final passage is the Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, a bill that was heavily supported by deceased MN Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone and retiring MN Republican Representative Jim Ramstad among others. The Act would “require equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment”. Candidate Anderson is a passionate supporter of the Mental Health Equity Act mentioning it several times throughout the debate.


Rep. Bachmann said repeatedly that the passage of the Mental Health Equity Act, despite its attachment to the bailout, was a “positive”. See the transcript below.


However, Rep. Bachmann voted against the Mental Health Equity Act earlier this year in the House. The House version passed 268 – 148. The bill enjoyed a large degree of bipartisan support in the Minnesota delegation receiving votes Republicans Rep. Jim Ramstad and Sen. Norm Coleman in the Senate.


During the debate and again right after the debate she said she was probably going to vote against the bill since the core of the bailout had not changed. Over the past week, Rep. Bachmann has emerged as one of the prinicpal spokesperson of the House Republicans who are fundamentally opposed to the bailout – Bachmann has made several appearences on nationwide news programs advocating opposition to the bailout on free market principles.


Transcript: [emphasis added]


Rep. Michele Bachmann: Hey Bob, so glad I got to meet you. (crowd noise covers up conversation) And I don’t know if I told you, that, that bill is the vehicle that they’re putting it all on. So that’s what they’re going to …. The positive is it is going to pass. It’s for sure. That’s the positive on this that its for sure going to pass because tonight it passed in the Senate. The Senate has 70 votes. So the Parity bill [Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act], that’s the bill they pulled the ban out into. So that’s going to pass in the Senate and then come over to us. So it’s going to have that other piece in it, but it’s for sure going to pass.. So that’s the positive.


Bob Anderson: You think it will?


Bachmann: Oh yeah…


Anderson: But it’s going to have to pass with the bailout.


Bachmann: There’s no way Nancy Pelosi would have this happen a second time.


Anderson: No.


Bachmann: It is not going to happen. She is going to make sure that she has the votes. I don’t know where she got them from, but she got ‘em. She had to have gotten them. I’m sure….


Anderson: I’m not going to waiver on what I originally stated.


Bachmann: What?


Anderson: I’m not going to waiver on what I originally stated on this bailout.


Bachmann: Oh, oh, even though it’s folded in.


Anderson: Because it [Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act] passed in the House on a stand alone.


Bachmann: Oh yeah it did. And it actually had a really strong vote too.


UpTake Senior Political Correspondent Noah Kunin: Rep. Bachmann, I just have a quick question on the bailout and I think you already gave part of the answer. Right now you’re going to be voting against the Senate language of the bailout?


Bachmann: From what I understood, I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t say definitively how I’m going to go, but from what I’ve seen so far I’ll probably [stick to the same vote]


VIDEO: Noah Kunin
TEXT: Noah Kunin and Mike McIntee



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