State Stewardship of Behavioral Health Care Services
Cathleen E. Willging and Elise M. Trott argue that politically driven processes of the past have shaped the current context of mental health care delivery in New Mexico. Provisions of the ACA, including the expansion of Medicaid and outreach to underserved populations, offered the possibility of improving access and services for New Mexicans struggling with unmet treatment needs. However, as the authors argue, public stewards manipulated key ACA provisions to propagate unsubstantiated allegations of waste, fraud, and corruption against safety-net service providers. This chapter shows how public-private partnerships in the Medicaid arena, discourses of transparency, and technologies of accountability can engender truthiness claims, obscure vital information, destabilize a behavioral health care safety net, and deny low-income citizens care. They argue that scholars have the responsibility to attend to the “total bureaucratization” of government-funded health care systems that also allows such abuse of authority.
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