Five million Medicare beneficiaries have mental disorders, and 1.3 million of these people are severely disabled and under the age of 65 years. Yet, Medicare has a highly discriminatory benefit. Medicaid provides basic healthcare coverage-and in some states the most comprehensive healthcare coverage in the nation-to 5.8 million persons with disabilities. Of these people, 11.6 percent are diagnosed with schizophrenia and another 20 percent have other mental illnesses. The MHPA applies to Medicaid, but not to Medicare.
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