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'Moral Monday' dad worried about mental health funding

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Ed Binanay and his daughter in law hold a sign that reads "Don't Cut Mental Health Budget" during a 'Moral Monday' protest July 1, 2013. Ed Binanay and his daughter in law hold a sign that reads "Don't Cut Mental Health Budget" during a 'Moral Monday' protest July 1, 2013.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

As dozens more were arrested at the state capitol this 'Moral Monday,' one Durham father says he's worried the budget ax could soon fall on mental health funding.  Ed Binanay has attended several of the weekly protests his son and daughter-in-law, carrying a large handwritten sign that reads "Protect our vulnerable citizens."

Binanay's adult son suffers from mental illness.  With ongoing budget shortfalls and cost overruns in Medicaid, he's worried about budget cuts to the program affecting the coverage of his son's expensive prescription medication.

"I'm angry because there's actually a chance for us to make a difference," Binanay said.

He's upset state Republicans blocked a federal expansion which would have added 500,000 people to the program.

"It doesn't make sense to me.  It's being paid by the federal government, and again, a lot of people don't know that it's not too late," he said.

Federal funding would cover the cost for three years, then reimburse 90% of the state's cost for several more years.  Still, state republicans decided against it saying it doesn't make sense to expand a system, they say, is in need of major cost reforms.

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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