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Governor Brown is cutting state mental health programs to save money, but claims there will be an improvement in patient care. Meantime, the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is giving up psychiatric care and phasing out the program that's trained many local professionals both public and private. We hear from the state, LA County and California psychiatrists. Also, as another editor resigns from the LA Times, are more cutbacks in store?  On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, holiday sausage-making on Capitol Hill.

Banner image: ogaudemar/flickr

Main Topic Is Mental Health Care on the Decline? 20 MIN, 13 SEC

After five years of federal oversight because of poor treatment of patients, state hospitals in Atascadero and San Bernardino have been released. But last Friday, federal lawyers sought to extend oversight for the hospitals in Napa and Norwalk, saying they've failed to keep patients safe from harm and even death. There are 6300 mental health patients in state hospitals and prisons, and now the Brown Administrations is downsizing, partly to cut costs. That's not all that's happening in the area of mental health. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is giving up psychiatric care, except for emergencies, and is eliminating the training program that's responsible for many of the professionals now working in the Los Angeles area. We hear from the State, County and others.

Kathy Gaither, California Department of Mental Health
Marvin Southard, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
Randall Hagar, California Psychiatric Association

Reporter's Notebook LA Times Top Editor Quits while Paper Plans More Cuts 6 MIN, 7 SEC

The Los Angeles Times has lost its fourth editor since the paper was sold to the Tribune Company. Russ Stanton took the job in 2008, and presided over a massive staff reduction, from 900 down to 550. Stanton resigned this week, amid reports that a new round of cuts is in store. Lucas Shaw is media reporter for The Wrap.com.

Lucas Shaw, The Wrap (@Lucas_Shaw)

Main Topic A Divided Congress Gets to Work before Winter Break 24 MIN, 35 SEC

A Divided Congress Gets to Work before Winter BreakAnother holiday means another deadline for important legislation in Congress, and opportunities for each political party to embarrass the other. Last night, the Republican House passed a bill extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance. An hour later, the Senate's Democratic Leader, Harry Reid, called it "dead on arrival." What's at stake for the latest example of dysfunctional government?

Jonathan Allen, Sidewire / Roll Call (@jonallendc)
Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (@econjared)
Doug Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum (@djheakin)
Sarah Binder, Brookings Institution (@bindersab)
Massimo Calabresi, Time

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