Monday, December 29, 2008

As the public coffers dry up, states (and D.C.) privatize mental health care (which won't work)

Plus ça Change, Plus C'est la Même Chose
(the more things are different, the more they are the same)

This article, by Mr. Fears at the Washgington Post indicates that D.C. is jumping onto the bandwagon already lacking one of its wheels and one that will stumble along until some politician worth more than Steven Sabock's life is willing to explain that privatization of mental health care only puts off the inevitable----namely, the efficient funding of mental health care.

There is no indication that anyone in government 'gets it' : "The Department of Mental Health "is committed to meeting the mental health needs of the uninsured, and will expand coverage as we increase capacity among the private providers..."

Someone should drop them a note re: the unwillingness of private providers to put up w/ the explosion of paperwork and the limited sessions made available linked to voluminous paperwork.

NAH: they won't get it.

Privatization, like anti-depressants, is not some magic fix. People who are angry, depressed, or psychotic do not change their behaviors as the magic wand of medication meshes w/ their metabolism. The medication may give them a leg up but it is no substitute for working w/ someone e.g., a therapist, to change the behavior which was linked to the depression, irritation, etc.

Indeed, privatization of mental health care is no different than all the private CEO's of all those companies getting all those millions of $$$$$$$ in salaries and stock options (!) and bonuses for cranking on a temporary basis----without a look at the future-----stock share prices-----only to have the company collapse and look for a bailout.

As per the below article from WaPo (Washington Post):

"....Private providers are more efficient than the city agency, according to the audit, delivering more care at less cost. The yearly Community Services Agency budget is $33 million, and its revenue is $10.5 million, guaranteeing losses year after year...."

DUH: I dunno: if the private providers cannot get paid and are always running in a deficit, how long do you think they can keep doing their jobs?

Americans seem to get it but the politicians----will they ever? dunno. Not as long as there are closeted Republicans whom, like a jack-in-the-box, jump up everytime someone talks about creating some public money, which should be well and efficiently spent.


See: (cut and paste:

Perdue doesn't want to be hindered by budget
The Associated Press

"....Republicans, again in the minority in both chambers of the Legislature, also sound unified that solving the state's budget woes will require cuts in spending.

"Our usual agenda is to try to hold spending down, but we may not have to struggle too hard on that," said House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake. "This is not the year to raise tax rates, and I know that was the way to solve the budget crisis in 2001."

Such steadfastness against boosting taxes worries social justice advocates who argue against across-the-board spending cuts by noting inflation adjusted per-capita state spending has actually declined since 1999. Instead, they seek a reformation of the state's tax structure to raise revenue from a broader swath of businesses and service providers....."


How long can the professional providers not get engaged in the matter of not being able to see the 'working poor' (in NC the state funded mental health clients)?

Having private Community Support Services (CSS) companies in NC, as per NC mental health reform, compete for the limited funds, which are ever-diminishing, is not an efficient way to utilize the limited mental health dollars.

'Competition' was supposed to be sitting in the driver's seat re: NC mental health privatization.

I know! I know! You might as well 'give all your $$$$$ to Bernie (Maddoff: as in 'he made off w/ our money).

Jewish financial holocaust. Mental health care debauchery.


cut and paste:

District Seeks To Privatize Services for Mentally Ill

By Darryl Fears
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 25, 2008; Page B01

"D.C. officials are planning to privatize the city's mental health agency, a cost-cutting move that union leaders say would put about 200 health-care professionals out of work and force thousands of emotionally troubled residents to seek private care.

An audit of the D.C. Community Services Agency this year found that the city could save as much as $14 million by contracting the bulk of its services to private agencies.....

....Union leaders who represent some employees said the transition is risky. They said city counselors provide care to the most difficult cases, people with deep psychiatric troubles. (all the White-Housers! those people who jumpt the WH fence in order to get to the president; funny how this is happening now that Bush is scramming)

.......Those patients have developed a trust with their counselors and are less likely to make the transition to a private care provider, they said.

In addition, union leaders said, about 200 workers would lose their jobs in the midst of a recession. They probably would seek work in the private sector, where pay is lower and job turnover is higher, the leaders said.

"What they're more concerned about are these vulnerable patients," said Vanessa Dixon, a labor representative for the Doctors Council of the District of Columbia. Unlike private agencies, Dixon said, the city treats patients regardless of whether the program is overbooked. .....

Shannon Hall, executive director of the D.C. Behavioral Health Association, said the shift should have happened years ago.

COMMENT: (and unlike NC, where the psychologists had practically nothing to say and nothing to do w/ NC mental health reform, and the psychiatrists sat tight in their academic posts whilst rendering salivatingly bland judgment on the malfeasant system----oh, scratch that-----as in NC while the providers had no comment based on any kind of reality as they had been able to flee providing care of these clients, for the most part, in D.C. we have some psychologist or psychiatrist (never the social workers: did you ever notice that) promoting privatization.

"....The Department of Mental Health "is committed to meeting the mental health needs of the uninsured, and will expand coverage as we increase capacity among the private providers," the statement said.

But the city has made similar promises before, only to see its plans go wrong. In 2001, when inpatient services were ended at D.C. General Hospital, city officials said Greater Southeast Hospital would take up the burden after an upgrade to its trauma center.

Within months, the city quietly abandoned the trauma plan. The corporation that supported Greater Southeast filed for protection from its creditors after its chief lender collapsed because of a financial scandal....."


They have no idea what they are wishing upon themselves and the mentall ill community.


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