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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.