Klobuchar says Wellstone mental health bill included in bailout

Paul Wellstone
The late Paul Wellstone, who served in the U.S. Senate from Minnesota from 1990-2002, when he was killed in a plane crash in northern Minnesota.
MPR file photo

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the Senate's version of a rescue package for the financial industry includes many extra provisions, including mental health benefits that were championed by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone.

Klobuchar said Wellstone's cause is among a number of other additions to the bailout bill that the Senate will take up Wednesday night.

Previous forms of the mental health legislation would have mandated equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses when policies cover both, which is known as mental health parity.

Wellstone was killed along with seven others in a plane crash outside of Eveleth, Minn., in 2002.

Sen. Klobuchar
Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar talks about this week's Democratic National Convention in Denver. Klobuchar speaks to the convention Monday evening.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

Klobuchar said the financial rescue package also includes a provision to increase the amount of money the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. could insure for bank account holders. The bill would raise the limit up to $250,000 for each account from the current $100,000. Presidential candidates Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have both called for the increase.

"This plan is better because it includes some long term economic incentives," Klobuchar said. "The Senate bill starts that with long-term incentives for renewable energy, for wind and solar and biofuel."