State Medicaid Policy Choices Under the Deficit Reduction Act Provisions Affecting Children and Adults with Mental Disorders

Publication Date: March 2008

Publisher: Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law


Research Area: Health

Keywords: Mental health systems; Cost-sharing; Children's eligibility

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), signed into law in February 2006, set the stage for some of the most significant changes to Medicaid since the program's inception in 1965. It amended a number of other federal programs and aimed to achieve savings of nearly $100 billion for the federal government over a 10-year period, netting an estimated $28 billion or more from adjustments to Medicaid. These and other provisions could have grave consequences for low-income adults and children who need mental health services.

The Bazelon Center recently completed a study of how states have reacted to the various new options available to them--both those that can improve the lives of people on Medicaid and those that might have negative consequences--and created nine tables covering each important state option.