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Map showing number of uninsured people with mental illness or substance abuse issues in states that aren't expanding Medicaid.
More than 3.7 million mentally ill and uninsured people will remain without care in the 25 states which have refused to expand Medicaid. That's according to a new report from the American Mental Health Counselors Association.
The problem is most acute in Florida and Texas, both home to more than half a million uninsured adults with serious mental health and substance use conditions.

The 11 southern states that are not moving toward Medicaid expansion are home to 2.7 million people with mental illness. Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi each have between 100,000 and 200,000 such uninsured adults. Georgia has 233,000 residents who suffer from mental illness, according to data compiled through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

These 25 states have about 55 percent of all uninsured people with mental illness, the Association reports. Mental health, including substance abuse, treatment is now included as an essential health benefit in all health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. That is, for those who aren't left out.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:19 AM PST.

Also republished by South Dakota Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:19:39 AM PST

  •  They Want Us Dead. it's that R simple (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, ladybug53

    honor the treaties. honor the honorable.

    by renzo capetti on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:45:47 AM PST

  •  Short Term Savings have longterm cost (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Early access to mental health care, especially for those who are children and young adults allows them to develop the skills they will need to provide for the rest of their life.

    This is true because 'mental health care' covers categories beyond mental illness, and moves into areas of those with mental disabilities, or recognized conditions.

    While everything from Autism to Down Syndrome isn't normally thought of as 'mental illness' it is governed in all of these states under that same budget, in these same numbers.

    What is happening is simple - we save a very small amount of money now, and when we find that those who needed basic care today grow up - or when younger adults age - the long term cost, both moral and economic are huge.

    Those who receive the right care in a continuous manner are able to provide some form of living, interact with society, make a way for themselves.

    Instead, we make service unaffordable..  We move to make access to those services impossible.   Later, when those people, denied services do not know how to deal with the real world and lash out, society bears the brunt.  Crime.  Imprisonment are one route; welfare, disability, poverty and depression another.  Trapped.

    The Pro-Life lobby loves to scream how precious lives are.  Then it is time for that 'life is precious' to own up to the obvious conclusion:  If it is precious, a society that goes out of it's way to punish people for the outcome of their birth doesn't value life at all, because we are OK to torture people over it.

    I like to think of myself as still somewhat young (ok, my baldness and the fact I'm hovering in my day-by-day countdown to leave my 30s) may deny that, but I know that in the longrun, I would prefer to do whatever is possible to provide help now, rather then deal with this later, when the costs won't just be in tax dollars.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:37:20 PM PST

    •  costs ratio? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Thanks to both Joan McCarter & tmservo433.

      Does anyone know if there any correlation to other social ills that we can reasonably make, with these numbers?

      •  Yes, there is.. (0+ / 0-)

        I'd have to find it, but there is a longterm analysis that was done by a national mental disabilities advocacy group.

        I'm going to ballpark it, but I'd have to find the numbers to be exact.

        It works out like this:

        Cost per year averages of US Prison:  $140k.
        % of prisoners with a mental disability?  Around 50%

        While getting early help and resources for mental disability would not stop all of those criminals, most observers believe that the lack of help early on and even later directly leads to people committing illegal acts.

        In regards to social services, long term care of those with mental disabilities is one of the fastest rising segments of the budget; those who receive early youth care are able to live in cooperative home environments, where they can earn money, take care of themselves (for the most part) and have help available.   While society balks at the cost of these facilities, it is FAR, FAR less then the ongoing cost of permanent care where they have not received early support to learn how to take care of themselves, or worse, offend against the law because of lack of proper medication.

        We have to start taking a lot of this more seriously.   We're saving pennies at the cost of our soul.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:57:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  All of these principles apply to ALL health care. (0+ / 0-)

      Like maintaining infrastructure, health care should be preventive. Done in a timely fashion, it is usually much less expensive, more easily accomplished and leads to a much better result.

      That's the irony about the Republican proposals to kill off Obamacare and refuse Medicaid expansion. We all bear the cost, one way or another. To defer treatment until there is an emergency is to kick the can down the road while inflicting more pain and suffering on people now. Some policy the GOP's got there!

      If for no other reason that the selfish one - that it costs us and our children more in the long run, if there is a long run - we should be strongly in favor of health care reform.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 07:40:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Greece’s health crisis (0+ / 0-)

    from austerity to denialism

  •  "Don't Get Sick - if you can't, Die Quickly" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And they slandered Alan Grayson for his candor in telling it JUST like it is!

    Isn't it interesting that MUCH of the refusal to embrace the Medicaid expansion comes from Republican Governors in state that were STUPID enough to elect them! So much for Republicans looking out for YOU, ordinary citizens in need!

    Roll call of Medicaid shame:

    Alaska - Sean Parnell (R)
    Alabama - Robert Bentley (R)
    Florida - Rick Scott (R)
    Georgia - Nathan Deal (R)
    Idaho - Butch Otter (R)
    Indiana - Mike Pence (R)
    Kansas - Sam Brownback (R)
    Louisiana -  Pyush (Bobby) Jindal (R)
    Maine - Paul LePage (R)
    Mississippi - Phil Bryant (R)
    Nebraska - Dave Heineman (R)
    North Carolina - Pat McCrory (R)
    Oklahoma -  Mary Fallin (R)
    Pennsylvania - Tom Corbett (R)
    South Carolina - Nikki Haley (R)
    South Dakota - Dennis Daugaard (R)
    Tennessee -  Bill Haslam (R)
    Texas - Rick Perry (R)
    Utah - Gary Herbert (R)
    Wisconsin - Scott Walker (R)

    America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

    by dagnome on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:52:55 PM PST

    •  much of? (0+ / 0-)

      that looks like 'all of'

      Thanks Democrats! My Obamacare is permanent coverage no one can take away - and saving $3,000 is nice too

      by sotiredofusernames on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:14:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, there were (sadly) a few states on the map (0+ / 0-)

        who have Democratic Governors - but I didn't spend the time to research if they are fighting GOP-dominated legislatures.

        However, clearly, the preponderance of the "Medicaid denier" states are those led by GOP Governors, and likely with rubber-stamp GOP legislatures.

        As usual for the GOP - talk about what you are doing to help people, then do the EXACT OPPOSITE of that.

        America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

        by dagnome on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 02:02:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Doing them a favor. (0+ / 0-)

    Rand Paul style. The best way to help them is to unhelp them.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 05:54:36 PM PST

  •  Because its my God given right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as an American, to deny other Americans those benefits that I enjoy, which I think they do not deserve.

  •  I see a lot of SYG states on that map... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great combination.

  •  WI is doing something though. (0+ / 0-)

    The state has expanded BadgerCare (its version of Medicaid) to cover everyone under the poverty line, and those above it will get private health insurance. The state won't get any federal money, but it's still better than places like Texas.

  •  GOP people pawns tossed to GOP dogma. (0+ / 0-)

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 06:04:15 PM PST

  •  What I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

    People with "serious mental illness" likely qualify for Social Security Disability, which carries Medicare with it.

    And in some states (I believe NH is one of them), the state disability program gives a person categorical eligibility for Medicaid.

    In other words, these people are not going untreated, and the state is already paying for it. The services may not be adequate, but it's not because people have no coverage.

    What am I missing? Are there really millions of mentally ill people who have never had access to any services before, and still don't?

  •  Look at all those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    gun states with untreated mentally ill people.

  •  And if only 5 percent of those untreated mentally (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ill people go on to commit Newtown-style shootings...false economy, is it not?

    Armed! I feel like a savage! Barbarella

    by richardvjohnson on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 07:04:14 PM PST

  •  But if we don't allow the the freedom to be insane (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they are much less likely to vote Republican.

    You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

    by MikePhoenix on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 07:18:09 PM PST

  •  The South. (0+ / 0-)

    Home to compassionate "Christian" governors and politicians.

  •  Mentally I'll may not be those diagnosed... (0+ / 0-)

    I think the real mentally I'll are the idiotic conservative actives who, out of pure ideology, refuse their constituents to get Medicaid when they deserve it.

  •  Mental Health in Texas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice Olson

    In Texas the problem is most acute among our statewide office holders: they suffer from acute self-infatuation, delusion, God complex, denial and  paranoia. And, those are there good days.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:59:49 PM PST

  •  Medicaid has been descriminating for almost 50 yea (0+ / 0-)

    What the Daily Kos and others never write about is that the federal government has been discriminating against ppl with severe mental illness for almost 50 years via the Medicaid Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMD) Exclusion, which denies federal Medicaid funds to IMDs.  This archaic law is the cause of much suffering and is still on the books!

    The ACA has a demonstration project for a partial repeal, but it doesn't go far enough.  

    Ask Rep Murphy why he supports a partial repeal of the IMD exclusion in his own bill, which would also provide other tremendous improvements for the treatment for people with severe mental illnesses (HR3717) but has called for the repeal of the ACA.

  •  They SHOULD deny them! (0+ / 0-)

    They're MENTAL! They're all NUTS! Give them MY hard-earned money? What, are you CRAZY?

    /snark (yet the actual thought processes of Teabagger conservatards)

    I'm reminded of a local phenomenon directly related to this event: When the neocon son of GOP loon Roy Blunt, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, rescinded state aid to developmentally disadvantaged and disabled child/student patients in his first year of his lone term, Republican suburban moms figured out fast that he had pulled the funding from helping their children with Asperger's and autism and other related diseases from helping them get through school.

    His approval ratings went from around 50%+ to the mid-30s. And they never recovered. And he gave up electoral politics because he realized he had no chance at re-election, because he'd embraced a policy of REFUSING TO HELP that even suburban Republicans rejected--VIOLENTLY.

    God save us from the GOP...

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 09:17:22 AM PST

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