Senate Report: Medicaid Contributing to Opioid Crisis

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Medicaid is contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis by establishing incentives that make it profitable to abuse and sell opioids, a report by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee concludes. The report notes that at least 1,072 people have been convicted or charged nationwide since 2010 for improperly using Medicaid to obtain prescription opioids, some of which were then resold on the nation’s streets. “The number of criminal defendants increased 18 percent in the four years after Medicaid expanded, 2014-2017, compared to the four years prior to Medicaid expansion,” the report states. The committee’s top Democrat, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, said Medicaid expansion is not to blame for the opioid epidemic, USA Today reports. “This idea that Medicaid expansion is fueling the rise in opioid deaths is total hogwash,” McCaskill said. “It is not supported by the facts. And I am concerned that this committee is...
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Republican Proposed Medicaid Cuts Endanger Addiction Treatment

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Cuts to Medicaid proposed by Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate jeopardize addiction treatment, NPR reports. In Pennsylvania, more than 124,000 residents depend on Medicaid for addiction treatment. The state’s Medicaid program currently pays for addiction treatment with Vivitrol, a monthly injection that costs about $1,000 a dose. A person receiving the shots also has weekly therapy sessions and visits with a recovery coach, also paid for by Medicaid. Pennsylvania, which expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, pays no more than 10 percent of costs for patients who gained coverage under the expansion. The federal government funds the rest. The Republican health care bill that passed the House and is being considered by the Senate would cut Medicaid spending by more than $800 billion across 10 years nationwide, the article notes. If the federal government cuts Medicaid funding, states either would have to come up with the rest...
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Many Opioid Addiction Programs Don’t Accept Medicaid

Many Opioid Addiction Programs Don’t Accept Medicaid
A new study finds many opioid addiction programs, especially those in the Southeast, don’t accept Medicaid. The study of 1,150 opioid addiction treatment programs found fewer than 750 accept Medicaid. States in the Southeast and Great Plains states were the least likely to accept Medicaid, HealthDay reports. “I think the take-home message is really that, in the middle of an opioid epidemic, across the country, that many people, low income Americans, in particular, those on Medicaid, don’t have access to treatment for opioid use disorder,” lead author Amanda Abraham of the University of Georgia said in a news release. “And that’s a major problem because the Medicaid population has been disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic. They’re more likely to be prescribed opioids. And they’re also at higher risk for death from opioid overdose.” The study was published in Health Services Research .
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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