Press Release: Medicaid Expansion is Key for Combatting the Opioid Crisis

For Immediate Release: Monday, September 17, 2018
Contact: Becca Rose becca.rose@berlinrosen.com 202-290-2302

Medicaid Expansion is Key for Combatting the Opioid Crisis

Washington, DC – In response to the Senate’s vote on the opioid response package, Health Care for America Now Executive Director Margarida Jorge released the following statement:

“While the opioid response package is a rare bipartisan feat, and a step in the right direction, it falls short of providing the kind of access to the treatment and recovery services that millions of Americans need. The opioid crisis cannot be solved with a one-and-done vote, and it cannot be solved as long as Republicans and President Trump continue to attack the ACA and undermine Medicaid, the leading payer of mental health and addiction services in the nation.

“Medicaid expansion can help combat the opioid crisis by expanding access to addiction treatment, yet the GOP repeatedly pushes for less funding for Medicaid and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) including Medicaid expansion. Instead of furthering Medicaid expansion and strengthening the ACA, Republicans are cobbling together small funding and marginal adjustments in this opioid package to address a vast epidemic while rewarding prescription drug companies that under the new tax law.

“If Congress is serious about addressing opioid addiction in America, they should approach ending the opioid epidemic with the same commitment and enthusiasm they have shown when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations. After passing a tax law last year that gave over $2 trillion in tax breaks to the rich and corporations partially paid for with ACA cuts, the GOP is doubling down this year with follow up bill that costs even more and will lead to bigger health care cuts. It’s clear where the GOP’s priorities lie.”

 

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Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is the national grassroots coalition that ran a $60 million five-and-a-half year campaign from 2008-2013 to pass, protect, and promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protect Medicare and Medicaid. HCAN has come back together to fight the Republicans’ all-out effort to take away America’s health care and put people at the mercy of the health insurance companies again.