Jim Baugh, executive director of Disability Rights Idaho, speaking on behalf of the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities, told lawmakers this afternoon that thousands of Idahoans with disabilities fall into the state’s health coverage gap, and would be covered if Idaho accepted Medicaid expansion funds.

“In Idaho, the majority of adults who have severe and persistent mental illness are not currently covered by either Medicaid, or Medicare, or a health insurance plan,” he said. “There are also a lot of people who have low income who have disabilities.”

Currently, those with serious mental illness can only receive state services if they’re referred by the courts through the criminal justice system, or they’re in crisis and could harm themselves or others, Baugh said. “If you only treat mental health when it reaches a crisis, then you have a lot more people who progress to a crisis,” he told …
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Baugh: Medicaid expansion could solve 'crisis' in Idaho's mental health system, save $$