Opioid cash to sweeten Senate health bill for moderates

POLITICO – The one near-certainty in GOP efforts to patch up their failed Obamacare repeal bill over the July Fourth break is that they will add more money to combat the opioid crisis — at least $45 billion, by all accounts.

That may entice some moderate lawmakers to support the bill. But it will do little to fulfill Donald Trump’s campaign promise to address the crisis devastating so many communities. And it certainly won’t make up for the Medicaid cuts that many members of his own opioid commission oppose because tens of thousands of people who are addicted to the drugs would lose regular health coverage.

Addiction experts and others across the political spectrum say that boosting the current bill’s $2 billion for substance abuse services is like applying a Band-Aid to a gunshot wound. Throwing a one-time pile of cash at addiction won’t make it go away, say critics. It's a complex, lifelong, medical problem that requires regular health care.

"That’s like spitting in the ocean,” Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich said of spending money on opioids without giving people ongoing health care.

Read more at POLITICO.

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Michael Vadon, CC BY 2.0