Few issues loom larger on the state public policy agenda than Medicaid – the critically important public health insurance program for low income children, seniors, and people with disabilities (as certified by a doctor). At last count, the number of people served by Medicaid was nearly 1.8 million and rising along with the unemployment rate. Medicaid’s budget is one of the largest in state government – second only to the overall budget for education. [Continue Reading...]
State lawmakers will receive a report on the state of the mental health system Wednesday and the news is mixed at best, some improvements in the troubled system along with startling reminders of the huge problems that remain. [Continue Reading...]
The recent report about the rising cost of Medicaid from the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research has some sobering news for policymakers, most notably that the rapid growth of the state’s aging population will spur even more increases in Medicaid spending and significantly increase the percentage of the state budget that will pay for the program. [Continue Reading...]
If it is true that the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one, then maybe things are finally beginning to turn around for the state’s troubled mental health system. [Continue Reading...]
Every day at the General Assembly brings another piece of the compelling case for lawmakers to raise revenue this session and resist the calls to address the $4 billion budget shortfall with cuts alone. [Continue Reading...]
One media exposÃ© after another has highlighted the flawed implementation of North Carolinaâ€™s much ballyhooed 2001 effort at mental health reform. These exposÃ©s have given many state officials heartburn as they picked up their morning paper or watched the evening news. [Continue Reading...]
Dix TRO heralds a welcome sea change in the debate over mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse
There are a lot of wonderful groups and individuals in North Carolina who work in the world of mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse. For decades, a variety of doctors, nurses, therapists, family members of patients, care providers, housing providers, advocacy groups, journalists and patients themselves have worked hard to reform and modernize our public systems for serving these vulnerable populations.
The far right’s latest ill-informed complaint about human services spending
–Raleigh’s News & Observer ran a “Point of View” column this past week by a staffer over at the state Republican Party annex known as the J.W. Pope Civitas Institute. According to the author, North Carolina social “safety net” spending is out of control. Here’s the gist of his flawed reasoning:
Consider the following basic difference between modern progressives and the market fundamentalist right.
For most progressives, the world is a complex and imperfect place in which humans struggle to address the problems that confront them – both individually and collectively. In this worldview, society makes use of public and private structures (government and the market) as part of an ongoing effort to build a better, freer, healthier, and fairer world.