Funding for mental health services and education, as well as the current Medicaid privatization rush, took center stage at a public forum hosted by State Sen. Matt McCoy at the Forest Avenue Library on Saturday. Iowans gathered to hear from a panel of experts about the issues likely to take up much of the oxygen in the next legislative session.
“These issues will be front and center in the upcoming legislative session, and it’s important to understand what’s at stake,” said McCoy. “As a state we need to do more for our kids and our vulnerable populations.”
Leading mental health advocate Teresa Bomhoff discussed the challenges facing Iowans in need of mental health services – particularly the shortage of providers and facilities for those in need. She also previewed the priorities she has for the upcoming legislative session to make a real difference for Iowans. Bomhoff highlighted the need for a permanent funding fix, including increasing the limits on how much can be allocated per Iowa resident. The current ceiling of $47.28 per person was frozen in 1996, which hasn’t kept up with inflation or increasing needs for mental health care.