A Note on Medicaid Expansion
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but flashback to 2013 and Governor Walker's refusal to accept the Medicaid Expansion in Wisconsin.
Last night at the Public Protection & Judiciary meeting, we hosted guests from Pima County, Arizona. Pima County has a unique behavioral health model that focuses on "no wrong door" - meaning that any way that you get to services is okay. The local electeds asked voters for municipal bonding to pay for a Crisis Response Center - a building with a psychiatric Emergency Department, an inpatient unit, a calming observation model, youth care, and more. No one is turned away from the Crisis Response Center for acuity, agitation, intoxication, etc. The voters approved it (with 60% of the vote), and the building was created. All of those services, though, are funded by the Medicaid Expansion. Wisconsin is not a Medicaid Expansion State, and so all of these services, which are about 90% covered by the federal government in Arizona, would have to be covered with local dollars.
We're looking for the best way to care for those not covered by Medicaid or private insurance, but with behavioral health and substance abuse issues. Hopefully when the mental health study comes out in late Fall, we'll find some creative solutions to best serve our neighbors who need our help. That said, we would already have these services if we were a Medicaid expansion state.