Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would eliminate a requirement that Medicaid cover basic addiction and mental health services in states that expanded the government healthcare program, The Washington Post reports.
Almost 1.3 million people receive treatment for addiction and mental health disorders under Medicaid expansion.
Under the proposed plan, states that expanded Medicaid would be allowed to decide whether to include addiction and mental health services starting in 2020. Many states that could eliminate these services include ones hardest hit by the opioid crisis, including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, the article notes.
“Taken as a whole, it is a major retreat from the effort to save lives in the opiate epidemic,” said Joshua Sharfstein, Associate Dean at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
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