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Protect Our Care Blasts Senator Johnson’s Farce Medicaid Opioids Hearing

By January 17, 2018January 19th, 2018No Comments

Ahead of this morning’s farce Senate hearing on Medicaid and the opioid crisis, Protect Our Care Campaign Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“In American communities hit hard by the deadly opioid epidemic, Medicaid is a lifeline that connects those struggling with addiction with needed care. Today’s outrageous stunt hearing from Senator Johnson ignores that reality by blaming Medicaid for the opioid crisis that was inflamed by Big Pharma, when in fact Medicaid is one of our most important tools to curb the epidemic. As Republicans train their sights on Medicaid as the latest front in their war on our health care, Americans must reject insidious untruths like those being pushed at today’s hearing.”

BACKGROUND

PolitiFact, 10/23/17“No evidence to prove Medicaid expansion is fueling the opioid crisis.”

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/5/17“Expansion states have reduced the unmet need for the treatment of substance use disorders by 18 percent. All states’ Medicaid programs cover at least one medically assisted treatment medication, and the Medicaid expansion has granted health coverage to an estimated 99,000 people with an opioid use disorder.”

Health Affairs, 8/23/17“The opioid epidemic started decades before Medicaid expanded … Expansion states did have relatively more drug deaths than non-expansion states in 2015, but the upward trend in deaths in expansion states started in 2010, four years before the Medicaid expansion began. The results are the same if we exclude the six early expansion states. By the simplest criterion for causality, that causes must precede effects, these results cannot be taken as evidence of Medicaid expansion causing these deaths.”

Kaiser Family Foundation, 7/14/17“Medicaid plays an important role in addressing the epidemic, covering 3 in 10 people with opioid addiction in 2015. Medicaid facilitates access to a number of addiction treatment services, including medications delivered as part of medication-assisted treatment, and it allows many people with opioid addiction to obtain treatment for other health conditions.”

State Health Reform Assistance Network, 7/16“Medicaid is the most powerful vehicle available to states to fund coverage of prevention and treatment for their residents at risk for or actively battling opioid addiction….The greatest opportunity to address this crisis is in those states that have elected to expand Medicaid, given the greater reach of the program, additional tools available, and the increased availability of federal funds.”