By Kari Paul
September 6, 2017
Low-income Americans are more likely than the general population to struggle
with mental illness, according to the Center for Disease Control, and less
likely to get help for it. But Medicaid has the potential to ease the impact
that mental health has on the cycle of poverty.
States in which Medicaid was expanded between 2011 and 2016 saw a 22%
increase in prescriptions for psychotropic medications used to treat mental
illness, a report distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research
this week found. This increase, largely in depression and anxiety
medications, demonstrates the extent to which expanding insurance to
low-income individuals can increase effective treatment for mental illness.