Community mental health groups worry about privatization

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Community mental health groups fear that their funding and management could be transferred to private insurers.

The state House and Senate subcommittees on Health and Human Services passed their budget plans for the department this past week. Mental health groups say the Senate subcommittee’s plan intends to privatize by 2020. Similarly, Gov. Rick Snyder last year called for moving the $2.5 billion of community mental health money and management to private insurers. The House’s proposal did not call for moving the money or management to private insurers.

Advocates are voicing concerns that some health plans are for-profit or don’t have as much experience in dealing with people with special needs or behavioral problems.

The budgets are expected to move on to their respective chambers in the coming weeks.

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