The Anna Westin Act
The Anna Westin Act of 2015, which was passed by Congress within the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, was the first time in history that Congress passed legislation specifically written to help people affected by eating disorders.
ABOUT THE ANNA WESTIN ACT OF 2015
The Anna Westin Act, designed to have a zero or almost zero CBO score, was written to help those affected by eating disorders get the care they need by focusing on improved training and clarity of parity. In addition, the House version of the Anna Westin Act aims to promote truth in advertising and shed light on the harmful effects of altered body images in advertisements:
Training: The Anna Westin Act aims to help prevent eating disorders by using existing NIMH and SAMHSA funds to provide training for health professionals and school personnel to learn to identify eating disorders and intervene early when precursory symptoms and behaviors arise.
Clarity of Parity: The Anna Westin Act also aims to provide better treatment coverage for those affected by eating disorders by clarifying the congressional intent to include residential treatment in the implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, affording the same protections as other illnesses and thereby decreasing out-of-pocket costs.
Truth in Advertising: The House bill (H.R. 2515) requires the Federal Trade Commission to study and report on whether regulation is needed for digitally altered images of people in advertising and if so, strategies to achieve regulation.
Since the passage of the Anna Westin Act, the Eating Disorders Coalition has been working to continue implementing provisions of the bill. These efforts include: