Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), a longtime champion for substance abuse treatment and recovery, has announced that he will not seek reelection to Congress this Fall. The story was reported by the Associated Press last Friday.
"It feels like a load off my shoulders," said the Rhode Island Democrat, who started pursuing public office before he graduated from college. "I'll have a private life and a personal life that heretofore I really haven't experienced," he told the Associated Press.
According to the article, the death of his father, the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), played a role in Rep. Kennedy’s decision not to run again.
Rep. Kennedy, who co-chairs the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, has been a passionate advocate for mental health and substance abuse treatment and recovery issues. Together with Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN), he co-authored the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which prohibits health plans from using higher co-payment rates and other types of restrictions for addictive and mental disorder treatment than are used for other types of care.