U.S. Healthcare Reform Could Strip Opioid Addicts of Treatment


The proposed reform on healthcare, and specifically the rollback of Medicaid expansion across states that opted in, could have a profound negative impact on the ability of opioid addicts to receive treatment.

According to data gathered by The Associated Press, 61% of total Medicaid expansion spending went towards substance abuse treatment in Kentucky, 47% in West Virginia, 56% in Michigan, 59% in Maryland, and 31% in Rhode Island.

These numbers are very important as opioid addiction has become something of a scourge that has plagued communities across the U.S.

Those states that accepted the Medicaid expansion in the Obama healthcare reform are also some of the hardest hit places in the U.S. when it comes to the opioid addiction epidemic. Of the 52,000 overdose deaths nationwide in 2015, six in 10 were a result of opioids, combining deaths both from prescription pain relievers like oxycodone to street drugs like heroin. The growing damage of the epidemic will now have to make do with less should the healthcare reform be enacted and restrict Medicaid expansion.


This is one of the many different issues surrounding the comprehensive healthcare reform that President Donald Trump has proposed. The American Health Care Act, or AHCA, has drawn ire from many, making their voices heard in angry recordings of town halls across the country. The bill is also under attack from statisticians and economists, with one recent study claiming that close to a million jobs will be eliminated in 10 years should the AHCA pass.

While the AHCA passed the House floor in quick order, the Senate is currently reviewing the bill and has yet to vote the proposal into law.
Between the AHCA, government coverage rollbacks, and other attacks on the current healthcare system, we’re witnessing one of the strongest battles so far in the White House since Trump assumed power. Or at least, one of the tensest legislative battles.
The U.S. has long struggled with the way it provides health services. It is one of the few developed countries that does not provide universal healthcare. It also spends an inordinate amount of money on its health systems despite a great many folk not receiving coverage.
Trump’s bill will also likely remove millions from the current healthcare system, should the Senate pass it into law.

Proposed cutbacks in Medicaid pose threat to opioid treatment,” The Journal Gazette, June 21, 2017.


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