Behavioral Healthcare, a monthly publication for managers and clinicians in the substance abuse and mental health fields, recently profiled the vice presidential candidates and their views on behavioral health. The publication took a look at the records of Democratic nominee Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and Republican nominee Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska and their actions on behavioral health issues.
The article on Biden noted that the senator has been a strong supporter of behavioral health legislation in the Senate. Notably, Biden has long supported mental health parity in insurance coverage, cosponsoring the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act. Biden has also addressed the stigma associated with addiction and introduced a bill that would rename the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as the National Institute on Diseases of Addiction and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) as the National Institute on Alcohol Disorders and Health.
Palin’s public record is much shorter than Biden’s, having only been governor for 20 months, however her article noted her push to Alaskan legislators to increase behavioral health funding by $25 million. As mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin also attracted $500,000 in federal funding for a community mental health center.