The question of how to improve Michigan's $2.4 billion mental health care system has been on the front burner for the better part of a year.
The latest twist came when Michigan's 11 Medicaid health plans called on state policy makers to give them a greater say in controlling the system. But it was concern over this very action, of moving control of mental health services out of the public's hands and turning it over to for-profit insurance companies, that sparked the year-long dialogue in the first place.
The move blindsided those who were working on a proposal they thought everyone had agreed upon, including the health plans. Among them is Kevin Fischer, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Michigan.