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

An updated version of the GOP’s reform bill is slated for mark up in the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee Thursday. Author Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) submitted the new version this week with strategic revisions designed to address Democratic criticisms. Among the changes: Rewriting certain sections that would alter the rights of the mentally ill under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and revising the process for awarding federal funds to states that do not have laws that would allow the courts to force certain individuals into mental health treatment programs.

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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.

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