Medicaid pressures, the loss of federal stimulus funds and the forthcoming deliberations of the congressional "Super Committee, could turn a dire crisis into an irreparable one for people with serious mental illness, according to a new report released last week by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
The congressional committee is charged with recommending $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next 10 years by Nov. 23, 2011.
The report, "State Mental Health Cuts: The Continuing Crisis," noted that as budget cuts have increased, both inpatient and community services for children and adults living with serious mental illness have been downsized or eliminated. In some states, entire hospitals have closed; in others, community mental health programs have been eliminated.
Following the expiration in June 2011 of federal matching funds under Medicaid that were provided as part of economic stimulus legislation, states were squeezed by the loss of an estimated $14 billion, …