Friday, January 28, 2011
In wake of the recent tragedy in Tucson, Ariz., state residents have now received news of huge budget cuts to their Medicaid program. An article in The New York Times states Arizona is currently trying to close a $1 billion budget hole.If these cuts take place, nearly 5,200 mentally ill people will be left without health care. Gov. Jan Brewer is pushing for $10 million necessary to keep the mentally ill medicated.
Gov. Brewer knows all too well the workings of the state's mental health system. Her son was found not guilty of sexual assault and kidnapping due to insanity 20 years ago and was placed in a mental hospital.
In fact, Arizona is not the only state facing these cuts. According to The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, more than $2.1 billion has been cut from state mental health budgets in the last three fiscal years. This is concerning. I feel this is not a good place for state governments to be cutting funds from because of the vulnerability of patients in this demographic.