Please urge Governor Hogan to restore the community mental health rates that were cut.
This petition made change with 81 supporters!
The Baltimore Sun reported “a legislative session that began with pledges of bipartisanship ended with General Assembly Democrats and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan embroiled in acrimony over Maryland's budget” (April 14, 2015). The Governor chose not to fund the package of budget cut restorations he said he would and that the General Assembly approved which included funding to many of Maryland’s most vulnerable citizens.
Cuts include a 2% reduction in reimbursement rates for community mental health services and a 13% cut in Medicaid reimbursement for doctors serving low-income children and adults, including psychiatrists providing medication and treatment in front line clinics.
Locally, our community health care providers as a whole have focused many resources on helping people access community resources to reduce the use of expensive inpatient hospital stays, thus reducing expensive health care costs. We are working together to reduce health care costs. These cuts circumvent our efforts and are bad for Maryland taxpayers because when access to lower cost community mental health services is denied, much costlier emergency room and hospital bed use are the likely alternatives. Pay me now or pay me later.
These cuts also affect our job economy. The 52 agencies in our State network of community mental health providers support 21,530 annual jobs, generate more than $1.6 billion in output, $682.2 million in wages and more than $73.1 million in total tax revenues in a given year, according to a recent analysis by the Regional Economic Studies Institute of Towson University.
Now some of these jobs will surely be in jeopardy and programs across the state will be forced to either close or reduce their workforce and programs. When programs close, services stop to children, adults and families in need of care who have nowhere else to turn for help. Vulnerable Marylanders and Maryland taxpayers will pay the price. Please act now. Thank you.
Dr. Joy Reckley-Murphy
Archway Station, Inc.
Non-Profit Community Mental Health
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