Anyway according to "The Tennessean"Law enforcement officials and judges predict many of these mentally ill people will end up in jail.
Robertson County Sheriff Gene Bollinger sees the end of TennCare benefits to 30,000 Tennesseans with severe mental illnesses as having a big impact on public safety in his area.
It can suck up hours of an officer's time to respond to each ''603'' call -- sheriff's shorthand for a mental health crisis. Last year, those calls added up to 221 trips to escort a person with mental illness from the hospital in Springfield to more specialized treatment centers in Nashville, 30 miles away.
That's time -- and money -- the county just can't spare, Bollinger said, adding:
''It means they leave the community when they should be patrolling. It means we pay overtime. It means county dollars -- and the county's on a tight budget.
''Practical common sense tells you that if TennCare isn't covering these folks, we'll be seeing more 603's.''
Nami is predicting that without meds many will indeed have a breakdown.
''For those who go without their medication, you're going to see quick decompensation to the point of needing emergency services and admission. The police could be called, and they end up in our local jails. If they're recognized as a mental health patient, they might get medication. But then they'll be released and it will be a revolving door.''
''Individuals who are not able to receive treatment will probably go into psychiatric crisis,'' agreed Sita Diehl, executive director of NAMI Tennessee, a mental health advocacy organization.
Many mentally ill themselves are saying they won't be able to afford medications.
Without TennCare, she will no longer be able to afford her medication or trips to the doctor. Ruegger, a self-employed artist, said she also may not be able to continue earning a living.
''Every time I've stopped taking my medication, I've ended up in the hospital,'' said Ruegger, who said she attempted suicide in the year before she got on TennCare, after learning her medical bills stood at $70,000.
OK, I posted a criticism of a conservative Dems healthcare cuts. Flame away!