Henderson County Sheriff George Erwin said the mental health system had been deformed, rather than reformed. Law enforcement and emergency rooms continue to pick up people who might have been stabilized, or at least able to stay out of trouble, in state hospitals.

And things continue to get worse. Mental health clinicians are now complaining that they have to complete two hours of paperwork for every hour of contact time with patients. Just eighteen pages can get a patient in the system. According to the Citizen-Times, if the clinician makes just one scrivener’s error, he doesn’t get paid. There are, of course, incessant audits. Further, the forms never stay the same long enough to get used to them. The hours of uncompensated data entry are making people who entered the mental health care industry, with intentions of finding relief for fellow beings in distress, drop out of it like flies.

Meanwhile, conservative think tanks babble on about the dangers of socialized medicine.