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Medicaid Expansion Isn’t Fueling the Opioid Crisis

by Countable | Updated on 10.10.18

new study pours even more cold water — and there's already been a lot of cold water here — on the idea that the Medicaid expansion has fueled the opioid epidemic.

The details: The study, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, shows that the rate of overdose deaths in Medicaid expansion states is lower, not higher, than in non-expansion states.

  • It looks at three states that expanded Medicaid before the Affordable Care Act: Arizona, Maine and New York. (The authors say that’s because the opioid epidemic was already underway when the ACA’s Medicaid expansion began.)
  • It found that opioid deaths rose more slowly in those states than in nearby states that didn’t expand Medicaid, as well as in all non-expansion states.

The bottom line: A lot of the “Medicaid is bad for opioids” argument is built on the idea that Medicaid expansion gives people more access to opioids. But multiple studies have questioned that theory, and Medicaid expansion is also a critical avenue to expand treatment for addiction.

-Sam Baker

Countable

Written by Countable

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(15)
  • burrkitty
    10/10/2018
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    Because that was always a lie told by conservatives who want to destroy public healthcare. Expanding access to healthcare helps people, not profit. So of course the greedy gop tells more lies.

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  • Peyman
    10/11/2018
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    Healthcare for ALL should be a basic human right subsidized by ALL tax payers through the government

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  • ConservativeGuy
    10/11/2018
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    I have never heard anybody make this argument. I do have an observation, however. Why did they look at the period before Obamacare passed as opposed to looking at the period after it passed? Could it be that those numbers show a different story?

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  • ConservativeGuy
    10/11/2018
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    Is there a correlation between amounts of opioids coming over the border from Mexico and OD deaths?

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  • Dicr
    10/10/2018
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    Doctors and drug companies are the cause of the opioid epidemic. Anyone who tells you anything different is lying.

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  • John
    10/11/2018
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    The propaganda wars continue. I actually hadn’t heard Medicaid was fueling the opioid epidemic but it sounds like typical bullcrap,

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  • Emily
    10/11/2018
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    Expand Medicaid

    Like (3)
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  • Linda
    10/11/2018
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    This is good, just because a state used Medicare doesn't mean they have a high addiction. But less. The republicans keep dropping or trying to, all that is good without having something replace it (with something better).

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  • Frances
    10/11/2018
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    No, it isn't--what ruled the Opiod Crisis is Big Pharma pressuring doctors to prescribe opioids! And now they came up with a drug to get people off of the opioids they got them hooked upon and will make even more billions of dollars! And, of course, the Republicans always side with them, because Big Pharma always gives them such huge campaign donations to do their bidding! That's how we got Medicare's Part D "doughnut hole," so that most senior citizens cannot afford their medications while they are in it, and many of them die because of it! But to Republicans, that just means they can't get the Social Security and Medicare that they paid for all of their lives, so that's just fine with the Republicans! How so many senior citizens can be so stupid as to continue to vote Republican, I just cannot comprehend! Republicans only care about billionaire senior citizens who give them money!

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  • Christopher
    10/11/2018
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    Stop trying to spin the false narrative that Medicare and Universal Healthcare is detrimental to the country. Opium addiction is a Global Healthcare issue made worse by the proliferation of an unregulated pharmaceutical industry. This is self inflicted in this country, so stop address the symptoms and fight the disease.

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  • Azrael
    10/11/2018
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    That’s correct It isnt

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  • Linda
    10/11/2018
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    No medicaid is not adding to the drug problem. Stop trying to attack our health care. Everyone should have affordable health care. And not the stupid ideas that bthe GOP has come up with that will knock millions of people off of their health care, & they don't cover anything. Leading to huge out of pocket expense.

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  • Andrea
    10/10/2018
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    Give me a break. Drugs did get all over through Medicaid?!?!?

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  • Robert j.
    10/10/2018
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    According to the book “Dreamland” which covers the three decade crisis of opioid abuse, it was disability that sparked the pill access that became an open market.

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  • ConservativeGuy
    10/11/2018
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    Is there a correlation between amounts of opioids coming over the border from Mexico and OD deaths?

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