Mental-health parity appears to be dead in the water after a legislative committee refused to support a bill that would force Utah companies with mental-health benefits to offer equal medical- and mental-health coverage.

HB38, sponsored by Rep. Brian Allen, R-Salt Lake, entered Monday's hearing already garnered with much controversy.The bill was defeated 5-4 after about two hours of heated discussion. Several insurance companies were opposed to the bill, and some small carriers said the mandate would put them out of business. Sponsor Allen said a number of states have successfully ordered the coverage.