Many area county governments have realigned their alliances with mental health region groups. In the past, County Social Services has handled the workload in directing and financially working with area patients. The 22 county region saw virtually every area county government leave to other nearby mental health regions such as Northwest Care Connections for Winnebago and Kossuth Counties this year.
Recently, State Representative Henry Stone met with area residents to discuss a problem on the horizon for the state, which could have an impact on local patients. Currently, the Iowa Legislature is working on the state budget, which may have to eventually take on funding where federal programs may halt theirs.
Stone expressed concern about how this will be handled. The state is already trying to move the generation of funding for mental health regions away from property taxes. Now they must look elsewhere too in order to take on this financial burden.
Currently, the proposed state budget is under review in the Iowa Senate. Legislators are looking at ways to try and help fund the shortfall from Medicaid.