Addiction Experts Warn Republican Health Care Plan Will Deepen Opioid Crisis

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The Republican health care plan, which would roll back the Affordable Care Act and reduce or terminate health coverage for millions of Americans, will deepen the nation’s opioid crisis, addiction experts tell the Los Angeles Times . “It would essentially write off a generation,” said Dr. Shawn Ryan, President of BrightView Health, a network of drug treatment clinics in Cincinnati. “It would be catastrophic.” The House health care plan passed in April cut more than $800 billion in federal aid to state Medicaid programs, which cover many Americans with substance use disorders. The Senate plan also includes major Medicaid cutbacks, the article notes. The White House budget calls for an additional $600 billion in Medicaid cuts over the next decade.
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Federal Government Will Provide $485 Million for Opioid Prevention, Treatment

Federal Government Will Provide $485 Million for Opioid Prevention, Treatment
The Trump Administration will soon provide $485 million in grant money to states for prevention and treatment programs aimed at addressing the nation’s opioid crisis, t he Associated Press reports. The funding is the first of two rounds provided for in the 21st Century Cures Act, signed by President Obama in December. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price said another half-billion dollars in state grants will follow in 2018. According to a HHS news release, “Funding will support a comprehensive array of prevention, treatment, and recovery services depending on the needs of recipients. States and territories were awarded funds based on rates of overdose deaths and unmet need for opioid addiction treatment.” To view a breakdown of first year funding by states and territories, click here
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Repealing ACA Would Hurt Efforts to Combat Opioid Crisis: Botticelli

Repealing ACA Would Hurt Efforts to Combat Opioid Crisis: Botticelli
Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would roll back any progress made against combating the nation’s opioid crisis, according to Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) under President Obama. While he headed ONDCP, Botticelli argued that the opioid epidemic should be dealt with through treatment, not arrests, The Huffington Post reports. “I think there is a tremendous amount of fear that we are going to retreat from all of the science and evidence that we know to be true about addiction,” Botticelli told The Huffington Post shortly before his last day at ONDCP. “Our response to this opioid epidemic has largely been focusing on ‘How do we narrow that treatment gap?’” he said. “And certainly one of the biggest contributors to narrowing that treatment gap is making sure that people get insurance coverage and have adequate insurance coverage for substance use disorders......
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