House Republicans are attempting to win key Democrats over assupporters of a major overhaul of the mental health system as thelegislation approaches a significant hurdle.

An updated version of the GOP’s reform bill is slated for markup in the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee Thursday.Author Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) submitted the new version this weekwith strategic revisions designed to address Democratic criticisms.Among the changes: Rewriting certain sections that would alter therights of the mentally ill under theHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), andrevising the process for awarding federal funds to states that donot have laws that would allow the courts to force certainindividuals into mental health treatment programs.

The news source The Hill said that Murphy has been indiscussions with other committee members, and said the revisionsreflect the substance of those conversations.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.