The “mental illness” response from Republicans gets more ridiculous by the day. These are the people who not only repealed a rule that would have kept guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, but are also the people who’ve done the NRA’s dirty work by refusing to allow the Centers for Disease Control and other public health agencies from researching gun violence. Gun violence is the third leading cause of death for our children.
Ryan wants to make sure the mentally ill “don’t slip through the cracks”? Then stop trying to destroy Medicaid, a major source of coverage. As recently as 2015, Medicaid covered 21 percent of adults with mental illness, 26 percent of adults with serious mental illness, and 17 percent of adults with substance abuse disorders.
Beefing up mental health coverage is a brilliant idea! Let’s do it. Let’s let the public health community do all the necessary research and fund it, too. Let’s make sure all the health systems have all the funding they need to help people. Let’s make sure that all the people who are experiencing these disorders themselves or in their families know where to go for help and can afford to get it.
But first let’s make sure there aren’t weapons of mass destruction to get into their hands.