Listen to the doctor

Dr. George Keepers

Nigel Jaquiss, the wise old man of the Weed, has an interesting interview up this week with a doctor who sure sounds like he knows a lot about mental illness and drug addiction. And not surprisingly, he thinks the way Oregon approaches those out-of-control problems is awful.

Keepers noted that Oregon spends more per capita on mental health care than most states but our results are among the nation’s worst. Specifically, Keepers noted, Oregon spends $234.87 per person, compared to $113.27 in Massachusetts. Yet, Keepers says, our results—as measured by access to care and positive outcomes—rank 46th in the nation, while Massachusetts’ rank in the top five.

As I read the interview, I kept thinking, why don't we have smart people like this running the show? Instead, mental health is in the hands of utterly unqualified politicians and all-purpose bureaucrats whose last job was running the motor pool. That and ambitious wiz kids like the one who just got off the plane from Princeton.

Even if you bring in some good people, they may find themselves surrounded by so many "toxic" hangers-on that they're likely to bolt. That's the story of government around here generally – nobody capable wants the hassle – and the task of helping the thousands of sick people on the streets seems to be no exception.

Anyway, a lot more attention should be paid to what Dr. Keepers is saying in the interview. It could be a blueprint for getting out of the hole Oregon currently occupies.


  1. Wow, you mean enablement and wasting money for pet projects is not the way forward? Blow me over with a feather.


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