Thursday, June 08, 2006

LaMarche Says State Plans to Privatize Mental Health Care
In a speech scheduled to be delivered in Bangor on June 7th, Green Independent Party gubernatorial candidate Pat LaMarche says that the Baldacci administration will issue a Request for Proposals on July 1st to recruit a managed care organization to take over delivery of mental health services to Medicare and Medicaid recipients in Maine.

According to the LaMarche campaign, only out-of-state companies will be allowed to submit proposals because, under the terms of the RFP, no current provider is allowed to bid on the contract. The privatization will divert approximately $31.2 million out of behavioral health services for the poor, according to LaMarche, including $20.8 million in federal matching funds, because the funds for these services are Medicare/Medicaid “seed money dollars.”

LaMarche called the plan “discriminatory and dangerous” and said that the only way an out-of-state company would be able to reduce the budget would be to “short-change providers and eliminate services.”


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