Sign up today and save up to 67% on a Hartford Courant digital subscription

William Cassidy

Patients' rights questions hang over mental health debate

WASHINGTON Congressional efforts to overhaul the mental health system have more momentum than at any time since the 2012 shooting at a Newtown, Conn., school by an unbalanced young man. But a push to tie millions of dollars in funding to states' willingness to force some people with serious illnesses into outpatient treatment programs is complicating prospects for a consensus. That could mean more gridlock on an issue that has been subsumed by debates over gun violence and partisan fights over whether it makes more sense to shore up the existing system with the aim of diagnosing mental illness earlier. Leading measures in the House and Senate seek to address access, treatment and...