When the last resort becomes standard practice

Damning report show that North Carolina is still warehousing the mentally ill in rest homes

Every now and then, something comes to light in the world of public policy that makes you stop in your tracks and question the humanity of the society in which you live (and maybe even your own). Whether it’s the shameful treatment of a group of innocent children, a case of ravenous corporate greed or perhaps some incident of intentional and remorseless poisoning of a formerly pristine piece of the environment, the questions flow in quick order:

[Continue Reading…]

Medicaid: Eliminate Fraud But Keep Necessary Services

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…]

The danger of misreading a report

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…]

A new watchdog shows its teeth

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.

[Continue Reading…]