The feds spend a stunning $125 billion a year on “mental health” via programs ranging from Medicaid to the Social Security Administration. Yet the Murphy committee discovered that most of this cash goes to vague and ineffective services rarely focused on treating the most serious illnesses — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression.
The Murphy bill would reorient all of this and create a new HHS assistant secretary for mental health and substance-abuse disorders who would lead federal mental-illness efforts. The secretary would have to be a medical professional and would be responsible for promoting the medically oriented models of care adopted by the National Institute of Mental Health, or NIMH. (WSJ)