Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Ex-First Ladies Push Mental Health Aid
Former First Ladies Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter urged that mental health and substance abuse treatment be included in a basic package of benefits under health care reform. “Fifteen percent of our population suffers from alcohol and drug dependence,” said Ford, a recovering alcoholic. Carter said it may be years before lawmakers take up the issue of mental health and substance abuse treatment again if they fail to include it in health reform legislation. The two former first ladies were speaking on behalf of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.