Medicaid Contributing to Opioid Crisis: Senate Report

Medicaid dollar bill money

Medicaid is contributing to the nation’s opioid crisis by establishing incentives that make it profitable to abuse and sell opioids, a report by Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee concludes.

The report notes that at least 1,072 people have been convicted or charged nationwide since 2010 for improperly using Medicaid to obtain prescription opioids, some of which were then resold on the nation’s streets. “The number of criminal defendants increased 18 percent in the four years after Medicaid expanded, 2014-2017, compared to the four years prior to Medicaid expansion,” the report states.

The committee’s top Democrat, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, said Medicaid expansion is not to blame for the opioid epidemic, USA Today reports. “This idea that Medicaid expansion is fueling the rise in opioid deaths is total hogwash,” McCaskill said. “It is not supported by the facts. And I am concerned that this committee is using taxpayer dollars to push out this misinformation to advance a political agenda.”

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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    Susan Kime

    April 17, 2019 at 2:00 PM

    I agree with Senator McCaskill because I have seen and heard way too much on it is everybody else’s fault with things going on in our country. There is a lack of taking responsibility for one’s own actions in this country that I find deplorable. from top leadership on down.

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    Debbie Smith

    January 19, 2018 at 1:43 PM

    I agree with Senator McCaskill too. This idea is rediculous! I was a heroin + opiate addict for 22 years + have been clean 27. I never saw my use of drugs or prescription drugs go up or down due to whether I had Medicaid, insurance or bought it myself. Other factors were very much at play but getting on or off Medicaid did not affect my using or cause me to relapse.

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    January 18, 2018 at 8:13 PM

    That statement is single-handedly the most egregious and illogical contribution toward this debilitating epidemic. It’s beyond reaching. Shifting blame & responsibility to a lesser socioeconomic demographic. Further, in such an indirect and suppressive manner.

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    January 18, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    I agree with Senator McCaskill. Total Hogwash. That is as bad as the Governor of KY (Bevin) saying that giving people Medicaid benefits doesn’t improve health outcomes. Where do they get this nonsense.

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