Under the budget instituted by Gov. Quinn and the state legislature this year, as many as 70,000 mentally ill patients could lose their state-subsidized services in the coming months. As Stateline notes today, this is a phenomenon that is sweeping the nation as legislatures grapple with record deficits:
According to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, 2010 spending appears to have fallen nearly 5 percent compared to 2009. Early indications are that 2011 mental health budgets may sink by 8 percent or more.
The article also notes that states are waiting to hear if Congress plans to extend the enhanced federal match for Medicaid services. If that doesn't happen, Illinois may have to cut its public health budget even further.