Trump's plan for Medicaid could hurt the opioid abusers he promised to help

Story highlights

  • Trump supports the GOP health care proposal
  • the item might allow states to cut back on Medicaid spending
at This specific point, Trump’s rhetoric as a candidate will be running headfirst into the realities of Trump the president as Republicans promote their plan to repeal in addition to also replace the Affordable Care Act.

The current product of the Trump-backed Republican health care plan might end the Obamacare requirement that will addiction services in addition to also mental health treatment be covered under Medicaid from the 31 states that will expanded the health care program. The GOP plan might instead leave up to states — in addition to also their budgets — to decide whether to cover drug treatment in addition to also mental health services under Medicaid. that will’s a decision advocates say could put the most vulnerable opiate abusers in greater risk, thanks to near-constant pressure on state budgets.

Health care providers oppose GOP bill to repeal Obamacare

“If you cut off even the essential funding for people to get that will treatment, they simply won’t get the item,” said Dr. David C. Lewis, the founder of the Brown University Center for Alcohol in addition to also Addiction Studies. “that will will be the problem.”

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University, called the proposed change a “step from the wrong direction at a time when America’s most urgent public health crisis will be an addictive disorder.”

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Medicaid expansion provides drug treatment for close to 1.3 million people, according to a study by Harvard University in addition to also completely new York University. Drug treatment advocates in addition to also a bipartisan mix of lawmakers, some of whom were heartened by Trump’s rhetoric about drug treatment during the campaign, are concerned that will the repeal in addition to also replace effort at This specific point being marshaled by the White House will dramatically alter drug treatment programs at a critical time from the fight against opioid addiction.

Despite This specific, Trump has made the item clear to House in addition to also Senate Republicans that will Medicaid expansion will be on the table in negotiations over repealing the health care law.

After conservative Republicans rejected a part of the plan that will might have ended Medicaid expansion funds authorized under Obamacare by 2020, multiple White House sources told sy88pgw that will Trump in addition to also his staff have privately begun lining up behind calls to roll back its funding earlier than expected.

“the item provides states with flexibility over how Medicaid dollars are spent, giving power coming from Washington in addition to also back to local government,” Trump said Friday.

although some health care experts say that will will be exactly the problem.

Richard G. Frank, a professor of Health Economics at Harvard University who authored a study on Medicaid in addition to also drug treatment, said Trump’s actions will likely mean less funding for substance abuse.

“The states then have a choice: They can continue to take on those responsibilities in addition to also pay for the item out of their own budgets, or, if they are under pressure, they have to scale back,” Frank said. “Historically, states have been loath to cover substance abuse treatment.”

The decision to go ahead with the Medicaid modifications will also likely anger Republican governors who accepted federal funds for the program’s expansion, in part, to combat drug abuse.

“Thank God we expanded Medicaid because that will Medicaid money will be helping to rehab people,” Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in January.

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Opioid abuse played an outsized role throughout the 2016 campaign, with both Hillary Clinton in addition to also Trump speaking at length about the ever-growing crisis in states like completely new Hampshire, West Virginia in addition to also Kentucky.

Opioid addiction in addition to also overdose have reached epidemic levels, according to the Center for Disease Control. The agency released a study last month that will found 25% of all drug overdoses were related to heroin in 2025. Only 6% of all overdoses were related to the drug in 1999.

In one of his first trips to completely new Hampshire, a state that will has been plagued by opioid abuse, Trump spoke at length about combating the public health problem.

“First, we have to support locally based in addition to also locally run clinics,” Trump said in 2015. “from the meantime, people are getting hooked, in addition to also we’re going to take care of those people.”

Almost a year later, Trump was still talking about opioid abuse in addition to also promised to “end Medicaid policies that will obstruct inpatient treatment.”

“Finally, we will give people struggling with addiction access to the help they need,” Trump said in October 2016, weeks before Election Day. “I might dramatically expand access to treatment slots.”

Trump even made these promises as president. During his joint address to Congress in February, Trump promised to “expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.”

With Republicans at This specific point considering a plan that will might cut into those promises, four Republican senators — Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado in addition to also Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to stress the need to protect Medicaid’s role in providing drug treatment services.

“As the largest payer of mental health in addition to also substance use services from the United States, the item will be critical that will any health care replacement provide states that has a stable transition period in addition to also the opportunity to gradually phase in their populations to any completely new Medicaid financing structure,” the letter said.

The senators asked that will the health care plan “provide stability in addition to also certainty” for those who rely on Medicaid for drug treatment services.

Multiple White House spokespeople did not respond to questions about whether Trump will be still committed to his drug treatment pledges in addition to also whether he specifically backs the plan to alter the way Medicaid covers drug treatment.

although many advocates are concerned with the possible modifications because Medicaid has been found to be the most effective way to combat opioid abuse — in addition to also This specific will be a critical time from the fight.

“States are grappling day-to-day with the vast in addition to also deadly public health crisis,” a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found in 2016. “Medicaid will be the most powerful vehicle available to states to fund coverage of prevention in addition to also treatment for their residents at risk for or actively battling opioid addiction.”

Chuck Ingoglia, the senior vice president of Public Policy at the National Council for Behavioral Health, said these modifications come at a critically serious time for the fight against addiction in addition to also mental health.

“We are definitely worried that will This specific loss of protection in addition to also the finical pressure will force states to scale back,” Ingoglia said. “Meaning there will be a whole bunch of substance abuse benefits that will we think are going to be taken away.”

Ingoglia said a member of his family, who deals with mental health issues, has benefited coming from the Medicaid expansion in addition to also the possibility of that will going away will be troubling for him.

“I definitely worry what This specific will be going to mean for her,” he said. “I definitely worry.”

Trump's plan for Medicaid could hurt the opioid abusers he promised to help

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