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July 5, 2017

$45 Billion to Fight Opioid Abuse? That’s Much Too Little, Experts Say

  • Government
  • Elected Body
  • Neuroscience

The New York Times – The Senate leadership’s efforts to salvage the Republican health care bill have focused in part on adding $45 billion for states to spend on opioid addiction treatment.

That is a big pot of money. But addiction specialists said it was drastically short of what would be needed to make up for the legislation’s deep cuts to Medicaid, which has provided treatment for hundreds of thousands of people caught up in a national epidemic of opioid abuse.

The new money would most likely flow to states in the form of grants over 10 years, averaging out to $4.5 billion per year. With hundreds of people dying every week from overdoses of heroin, fentanyl and opioid painkillers, some specialists say a fixed amount of grant money is simply inadequate compared with the open-ended funding stream that Medicaid provides to treat all who qualify for the coverage.

Read more at The New York Times.

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