WUNC-TV hosted a forum for gubernatorial candidates on Thursday, Feb 7. that focused on health care. I watched the forum on-line (http://www.unctv.org/gubernatorial/health.html) this weekend and I thought I’d summarize what the candidates said. Almost every candidate, Republican and Democratic, recognized that the mental health care system in
The question was: “The Department of Health and Human Services secretary wants to completely overhaul our state's mental health system, how should the state’s mental health system be structured?”
Beverly Perdue said that the MH system was in a “real challenging state”, that there were challenges in finding community care and institutional placement. She proposed using the Community Care model for Medicaid recipients in the mental health system, so that there would be a mental health clinical home – with a “cadre” of mental health care providers that will provide excellent care.
Richard Moore said that the mental health system is an illustration about “why people get so upset with government”, and that “no one wants to defend what has happened”. He stated it was a system that was “not serving anyone as well as it could” and is “wasting millions and millions of dollars”. He stressed that accountability and strong management was critical for improving the system.
Pat McCrory said that mental health was a “difficult issue” and noted that the recent addition of mental health coverage to medical insurance runs the risk of making insurance too expensive and driving more people to Medicaid. He stated that future mandates should be stopped. Noting “good trends” in the mental health system in
Bob Orr pointed out that while the mental health system in
Fred Smith said the mental health system was “in crisis”, that there had been a rush to implement mental health reform and that many “poor decisions” had been made. He noted that there is inconsistent care across the state and “in some cases, no care”. He offered a new strategic plan that gave clear responsibility to local providers and called on local hospitals to provide crisis services.