Addiction experts say GOP proposal to replace Medicaid spending won’t help

STAT – Addiction experts have warned that Republican proposals to dramatically cut Medicaid funding could worsen the nation’s growing opioid crisis. So a pair of GOP senators is pushing for a solution: a massive influx of money for treatment to help stave off those effects.

But that makeshift effort may also fall flat, advocates in the recovery community say.

Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, whose states have been devastated by the nation’s opioid epidemic, have suggested in recent interviews they hope to add into the Republican package to repeal and replace Obamacare as much as $4.5 billion each year for the next 10 years in new funding for addiction treatment.

It’s a substantial sum, even within the mammoth reform package. It dwarfs the $1 billion that legislators included in last year’s 21st Century Cures Act for two years of funding for state efforts to address opioid abuse. One reluctant House moderate was won over with $8 billion in extra funding aimed at helping people with preexisting conditions. The ask from Portman and Capito is more than five times larger.

Read more at STAT.