Republican Proposed Medicaid Cuts Endanger Addiction Treatment: Experts

Cuts to Medicaid proposed by Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate jeopardize addiction treatment, NPR reports.

In Pennsylvania, more than 124,000 residents depend on Medicaid for addiction treatment. The state’s Medicaid program currently pays for addiction treatment with Vivitrol, a monthly injection that costs about $1,000 a dose. A person receiving the shots also has weekly therapy sessions and visits with a recovery coach, also paid for by Medicaid. Pennsylvania, which expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, pays no more than 10 percent of costs for patients who gained coverage under the expansion. The federal government funds the rest.

Full story of proposed Medicaid cuts and addiction treatment at drugfree.org

Attorneys General Tell Trump Health Law Replacement Must Fund Drug Treatment

The attorneys general of 19 states have told President Trump and Republican leaders of Congress that any replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must adequately fund drug treatment, the Associated Press reports.

In a letter, the attorneys general said the initial ACA replacement plan, which was pulled from consideration in the House last month, eventually could have cut more than $13 billion annually in treatment funding through a combination of direct cuts and caps on Medicaid.

Full story of Trump Health Law and drug treatment at drugfree.org

More Americans with Substance Use Disorders, Mental Illness Got Insurance Under ACA

More people with substance use disorders and mental illness had insurance coverage in 2014 because of the expansion of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new study finds. Many barriers to treatment remain, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The study found there were no significant increases in use of services to treat substance use disorders or mental illness, HealthDay reports.

Full story of mental illness with insurance under ACA at Science Daily

Advocates Aim to Protect Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment advocates are trying to convince Republican legislators in states greatly impacted by the opioid epidemic to protect insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed.

Repealing the ACA without having a plan in place to preserve coverage would weaken efforts to address the opioid crisis, according to Gary Mendell, founder of Shatterproof, a nonprofit that advocates for legislation to fight addiction. Shatterproof is working with the National Council for Behavioral Health, which represents 2,800 providers of mental health and addiction treatment, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Full story of advocates trying to protect coverage for addiction treatment at drugfree.org