Ramstad to switch bailout vote to 'yes'
Washington D.C. — (AP) - U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad of Minnesota says he will switch his vote from no to yes on the financial bailout bill, in part because the new version includes his long quest for mental health parity.
Ramstad, a Republican, voted against the bill on Monday, but the Senate added several sweeteners to the bill that it passed Wednesday.
One of those is legislation championed by Ramstad that would require equal health insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses when policies cover both.
The bill is named after the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, who pushed for mental health parity alongside Ramstad, until his death in a 2002 plane crash.
Ramstad is retiring after this year and has said he wants to see mental health parity become law before he leaves.
In a statement Thursday, he also cites tax relief and an increase in the limit on federal deposit insurance.
Ramstad says "there's too much at stake" to let the bill fail.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)