In South Carolina, Mentally ill paying the price for budget cuts

The plight of the mentally ill in South Carolina is more severe than most other states, according to a report released Wednesday by National Alliance on Mental Illness. The report, called “State Mental Health Cuts: A National Crisis,” shows that South Carolina ranks third in the nation for the level of budget cuts made to mental health services between 2009 and 2011. South Carolina’s state mental health budget was cut 23 percent, behind only Kentucky with a 47 percent cut and Alaska with a 35 percent cut.

Nationwide, state mental health spending was slashed by more than $1.8 billion in the last two years, not including changes in services provided by Medicaid. Tens of thousands of children and adults living with serious mental illness have been denied community- and hospital-based psychiatric care, housing and access to medications, according to the findings.

But by 2009, things already were bad in South Carolina. Lawmakers began handing down steep budget cuts to the mental health community a year earlier, and even more cuts are on the way now. A draft budget before the House next week would cut the Department of Mental Health by another 6 percent in the upcoming fiscal year.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Psychology, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

8 comments on “In South Carolina, Mentally ill paying the price for budget cuts

  1. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    Well, like the old saying goes, “Crap don’t flow uphill.” Making cuts to people who don’t vote or advocate for themselves is always a politically safe way to make cuts.

  2. magnolia says:

    yah, no. 1 instead of focusing on medicare and ss and defence they are going to take it out on the fringe and still not solve the major problems. cowards on both sides imo.

  3. Dan Crawford says:

    Of course, they will not tax their corporate friends (natural gas drilling gets a free pass in PA while the governor imposes drastic cuts on social programs and public education) nor require sacrifices of legislators, their staffs, expense accounts, health benefits, state cars, to say nothing of the governor himself and all his cronies. It’s the same old story. And they wonder why so many of us consider them whores in three piece suits.

  4. Sarah says:

    RE: “tax their corporate friends. . . ”

    Huh? SC’s taxes on corporations are quite high.

    RE: “And they wonder why so many of us consider them whores in three piece suits.”

    I doubt very much that they wonder why political liberals dislike political conservatives who have won the votes. ; > )

  5. Dan Ennis says:

    SC’s corporate taxes are set at 5%, in the exact middle (25th in the nation), and even that ranking deceptively average, since SC has made a habit of granting massive tax giveaways to attract industry. BMW has yet to pay a penny of that 5%, and Boeing got a low-interest $170 million bond plus tax breaks for every job they create–it is unlikely they will pay any corporate taxes for the rest of the decade. Once can argue about the wisdom of incentives, but corporate tax rates are the opposite of “quite high.”

  6. Clueless says:

    Part of the problem is the definition of the mentally ill. Very few of those so defined have what would have been called “mental illness” 30 years ago (i.e. schizophrenia, severe depression, and manic depressive illness). Nowadays most folks have either drug induced or exacerbated “mental illness”, depression that would have been considered minor back in the olden days when even depressed folks had to go to work, and the newer designer mental illnesses of ADHD, biopolar illness and conduct disorders that did not exist back when there were two parents in the home, discipline in the schools and when both children and adults were expected to buckle down and do the work even if they did find it extremely difficult and tiring.

    When I was a child in the Washington DC public schools there were 35 kids in a class, which was as quiet as a graduate school library, and no such thing as ADD. Many kids struggled, but there were none who were illiterate. Nowadays there are 20 kids in the class, with over 50% having various “mental disabilities” which make them apparently unable to sit quietly, attend, or behave. Illiteracy is high.

    If SC was to redefine mental illness back to where it used to be it would be much easier to “afford it”.

  7. Sarah says:

    RE: “SC’s corporate taxes are set at 5% . . . ”

    Which would be irrelevant, since the *corporate tax rate* isn’t the same as the “taxes on corporations.” I see you haven’t kept up, for instance and to name one of several, with the real estate tax burden that has recently increased on corporations.

    RE: “SC has made a habit of granting massive tax giveaways to attract industry.”

    Yes, like every other state.

    But I agree — we should not have tax incentives at all, because that is the State choosing winners and losers. Instead, we should slash all taxes on corporation in order to level the playing field and eliminate the tax incentives entirely. Lessen the overall tax rate and the regulations and we won’t need to compete with other states on incentives. They’ll come anyway.

    Here’s hoping that Haley will proceed down that road and towards that ultimate goal.

    But of course, that won’t make political liberals who enjoy big governments partaking in unconstitutional activities any happier.

  8. Sarah says:

    Clueless, fantastic point — thanks for making that.