Do the right thing

After years of listening to the anti-tax zealots at the Art Pope Puppetshow, the North Carolina General Assembly has lost its sense of decency and perspective.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get much worse for families in North Carolina relying on the state’s mental health system for support, state officials gave them an unwelcome Easter surprise Thursday afternoon.

It came in the form of a memo announcing that the state was slashing by a third the amount it will pay for community support services provided to children and adults with mental illness. That is likely to mean some of the most vulnerable people in the state will no longer get the help they need.

We the People were out ahead of Dole and Burr on opposition to the OLF. And we are out ahead of our scaredy-cat representatives in Raleigh when it comes to social services.

They the Legislators think that by slashing help for those most in need, they'll shore up their anti-tax credentials and win the blessing of Puppetmaster Pope.

Well they're wrong. They can't cut taxes enough to satisfy Art Pope. But that can destroy enough basic services to piss off all the rest of us.

I don't know about you, but Me the Person is getting tired of this right-wing bullshit.


Thanks to NC Policy Watch for riding this horse.


Yet they can't wait to start carving

Dorothea Dix. How utterly amazing.


I forwarded this to my legislator...

telling them it was enough for me to think Green Party in the next election.
One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Here's What I Put at ScruHoo

The entire mental health system in the state of North Carolina hit another apex of incompetence-driven crisis late last week, when trigger-happy budget cutters slashed at the only services that were buttressing the system from complete collapse. Despite being fiftieth in the nation in per capita mental health spending, our dear legislators have decided that we need to spend less. This boat may right itself due to an almost instantaneous stench of "Sorry So Stupid" wafting over the Oversight Committee's chamber.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

your website

is still one giant link to me...
and im apparently too dumb to register, and therefore cant comment ;(

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

The bugs

we've still got the bugs. syntax is extirminating the little bastards as quickly as possible. keep trying.

Scrutiny Hooligans -

Speaking as a social worker

The whole system of 'reform' has been foobar, beginning to end.

Half the problem, I'll wager (NB: I am not familiar with this latest facet of the boondoggle) is that community agencies were told that they would not be paid for anything other than "community support."

The folks in Raleigh thought they'd save lots of money by foisting it all off on paraprofessionals who would do things like mentoring and less of the intense psychotherapy that so many of them need.

Flash forward a few months, and practically every community agency has just renamed whatever they do to, wait for it, "community support."

Suddenly community support is way way over budget.

Sad to say it, but this doesn't surprise me at all. Agencies across the state are getting audited to dial down their community support in hopes of reigning in the budgetary nightmare that has been the mental health reform. Ignoring, of course, all the other nightmares of the mental health reform.

Ick. Ick I say.

With shit like this

what is the point of having Democrats in control? If they are gonna pull bullshit moves like this we might as well just hand the state over to the Republicans and go move somewhere else.
I just got off the phone with a friend who is in CA working on UHC issues, and we were talking about the need to include mental health in our discussions, and here we are, shooting ourselves in the foot again.
(Insert string of yelling and curses here)

Im gonna go storm off in a huff now, Ill be back when we decide to act like Democrats.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

The News-Record Weighs In


"The state won’t have nearly enough money to expand and create the local mental health services it will need next year if legislative leaders stick to the spending targets they distributed last week, experts who follow mental health issues at the General Assembly say."
"After paying for everything the state does now, lawmakers would have $34 million to spend on new services overseen by the state Department of Health and Human Services. That department not only oversees mental health programs, but also services ranging from those for the aging to child care subsidies for poor families.

Even if the entire projected surplus went solely to mental health programs, it would only be one-fifth of the

$170 million a legislative oversight panel said was needed to keep up with demands for mental health services next year."
"When asked about the budget numbers given out last week, Rep. Verla Insko was blunt.

"It’s not enough," said Insko, a Chapel Hill Democrat and one of the House members responsible for overseeing the human services budget. "We need to find more money, we need to find other sources of revenue and other places in the budget to cut."

Scrutiny Hooligans -

And here's more

From a year-old report from the NC Psychiatric Association:

"In FY 2002-03, North Carolina’s per capita spending on mental health was 55.1% of national per-capita spending, ranking 43rd in the nation:

a. Per capita spending on community mental health was 34.5% of the national per-capita figure, ranking 45th.

b. Per capita spending on Residential Treatment and Supported Housing was 5.7% of the national figure. North Carolina ranked 41st of 45 reporting states in FY 02-03.

c. When per capita spending on community mental health is combined with Residential Treatment and Supported Housing, North Carolina ranks 50th.

d. Per capita spending on Central Office functions was 11.3% of the national figure. North Carolina ranked 47thin FY 02-03.

3. To bring North Carolina’s per capita spending on mental health up to 88.8% of the national figure requires $285.5 million more than we spent in FY 02-03

Scrutiny Hooligans -