Is this Story Being Mis-Reported by Maine Media?
Your figure on presacriptions is definitely wrong. The lowest co-pay is $2.50 per prescription.
Many disabled people have medicare as their primary provider for services, including the mentally ill. The amount you must pay depends upon if the provider is an approved medicare provider.Some providers have a sliding scale fee to help those who are in need of services.
At home services are often too little and of ooor quality, which is why many are pushing the Money Follows The Person Act and MICASA at the federal level. Olmstead was to help ensure that people could remain at home and receivce adequate services so that they would not have to be forced to livew in institutions. One area where there has been a growth is on senior care centers and senior programs called "senior daycare".
If there was more continuity of care and emergency out-patient services other than hospital ER's, there would be less in-patient stays for mental problems and... since most people are committed involuntarily from the ER and later in the hospital told to sign a patient agreement to voluntary care - the hospital gets their body for a whole week of seven days because they don't count weekends in the 5 days law - the providers make out good in getting money for an almost guaranteed stay in their institution.
If LD 151 gets passed, the hopsitals will fill up again and the drug companies will make bigger bucks because the drugs cause diabeties and other problems requiring medications or testing supplies etc. We can't forget the implants of meds too in that bill since there would be no way to counteract the implant if someone reacts to the drug ( which is usually the same symptoms that they were to be treated for ) and OW what a web they weave when trying to rake in the bucks and don't care who they are hurting as long as it isn't their middle and upper class kids with a made up syndrome called ADDHD.
The cheaper more humane way of taking care of people is to have a choice on what services, where, when, how and what drugs to take - living not in an institution for sure. Olmstead was based upon the fact that research showed institutions are far more expensive.
The drug companies will also have verichips in their implants of not already ( Verichip Corp. of Applied Digital in a Raiders news article is pushing their RFID in implants now and they can track people inside of institutions with them etc.)
But again we could go back to the fact that people on medicad ARE treated differently and most of their health concerns are dismissed or ignored and a disproportionate number are women and minorities as well as children so they can be in bad shape if they are ignored and don't get adequate health care.
There are many different layers to the issue.