Reflex: November 8, 2011

Wake and Durham County (N.C.) want to create an independent mental health agency, writes Thomas Goldsmith. Officials from both counties hope the arrangement will lead to lower costs and better services for patients. Don’s comment: If approved, this would form the largest managed care provider of mental health and services for disabled persons in N.C., many covered by Medicaid. Durham County already has approval to begin operating as a managed care organization beginning in 2013. This is one response of local areas seeking to address the cost and quality problems of Medicaid, and the diverse needs of patients covered by the program.

Minnesota GOP in a quandry over implementing an exchange, reports Elizabeth Stawicki. “On one hand, they don’t want to do anything to show support for the federal health care overhaul that they call ‘Obamacare.’  On the other hand, the concept of an exchange — an online marketplace where consumers will be able to comparison shop for health insurance — is an idea they’ve embraced in the past.” Austin’s comment: I get that to many, and especially to politicians, health care comes with a large dose of politics. I do hope that those in power, no matter their party, also consider just as prominently, if not more so, implications of their decisions for health and health care coverage. (Quaint, I know.)

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