The issues laid out in the article below will be no surprise to anyone who’s been following along on the topic. When the Mental Health Parity Act was passed in 2008, it was left to each state to enforce it. Many have struggled with doing just that, because of a lack of available resources, uncooperative insurance companies, etc.
In Missouri’s case, though, all of those normal problems are potentially made worse because the state refuses to enforce the Mental Health Parity Act. So not only do you have 60 counties without any psychiatrist, a severe lack of resources, and very low Medicaid payment to providers, there isn’t even anyone in government trying to correct it through this law.
Oklahoma is the other state not enforcing it, so Missouri is not alone, but the article below is from Missouri and details a lot of the same things we see in other states. Long waits for treatment, because of s severe lack of treatment options available to people.
Also, by describing what is actually going on, and the impact it’s having, we can see what the problems are, regardless of whether the state decides to enforce the act or not. Truly, even if they decided to enforce it tomorrow, those problems aren’t going away. There will still be a massive gap between what’s needed, and what’s available.
Until we can close that gap, we will still be failing on the mental health care front. Clearly, we need to be doing the research, and the hard work, of finding new options, and solutions to the shortage.
How willing are our elected officials to do that hard work?