Thursday 15 September 2022 | Kaiser Health News

California governor signs law enabling some forced mental health care

The AP says the new law could “force” about 100,000 unresidered people in California to seek treatment, a move critics say is harsh. The law can also be used in cases where people have been diagnosed with certain disorders, such as schizophrenia. Other news from Alaska, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Montana.

AFP: California governor approves mental health courts for homeless

With more than 100,000 people living on California’s streets, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a first-of-its-kind law on Wednesday that could force some of them into treatment as part of a program he calls “care” but opponents argue is harsh. Newsom signed the Community Aid, Recovery, and Empowerment Act on Wednesday. It will allow family members, first responders and others to ask a judge to develop a treatment plan for a person with certain disorders, including schizophrenia. Those who refused could be placed under guardianship and ordered to comply. (Har and Beam, 9/14)

In other health news from across the US –

Official statement: Court victories give cautious hope to voters with disabilities

Paralyzed from the neck down, downtown Milwaukee resident Martha Chambers is having a hard time voting. She can use the ballot stick to mark the ballot and sign her name on the absentee ballot, but she has no way of folding the card, putting it in the envelope, or returning it to the mailbox. In July, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, prompted by a conservative majority, banned assistance with the absentee voting process. (Vasilogambros, 9/14)

Detroit Free Press: Michigan household income steady, but more health insurance: Census

Michigan residents earn the same amount of money but have more health insurance now than they did before the pandemic, according to census data released Thursday. “Despite the massive impacts of the pandemic in many ways, it hasn’t affected income and poverty numbers significantly,” said Charles Ballard, professor of economics at Michigan State University. “It’s a great story in itself, that you have a socio-demographic and health earthquake, and yet if you stare, you can’t see that he did anything to the income and poverty numbers.” (Tanner, 9/15)

KHN: Montana Health Department Seeks Axe Board That Hears Public Assistance Appeals

Montana health officials are asking lawmakers to abolish a board that hears pleas from people they believe have been wrongly denied public assistance benefits. Since 2016, the Public Assistance Board has heard fewer than 20 cases per year, and very few have been canceled, but preparing for those appeals and board meetings takes time from Department of Public Health and Human Services staff and lawyers, the department suggested. (Falls, 9/15)

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