How Much Does Texas Spend on Behavioral Health Care?

Texas’ behavioral health system is opaque at best; another way to describe it is a convoluted mess. Texas budgets $3.6 billion biennially on behavioral health services distributed across 18 different state agencies and five articles (Legislative Budget Board 2015, 11). This funding does not include federal or local dollars, so it is just the tip of the iceberg. Yet no one has a clear picture of exactly how the money is being spent, which inhibits legislators’ ability to make wise decisions about how to change policy and allocate funds.

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