U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) held a press conference on June 27, 2017, to assert that the Senate Republican healthcare bill would have a devastating impact on curbing the opioid epidemic, according to Fox News.
The bill would cut an estimated $772 billion through 2026 from Medicaid. Considering the need for extra services and the fast growth of the opioid problem, Dr. Richard Frank, a Harvard University health economics professor, said roughly $190 billion over 10 years is needed, commenting in the Washington Post about proposals to appropriate funds outside of Medicaid for addiction treatment. A $45 billion proposal was floated by Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (W VA) Rob Portman (OH) to make up for drug-treatment services that would be lost. The Senate bill proposed $2 billion.
Approximately 34 percent of the estimated 2.66 million Americans with an opiate-use disorder are currently covered by Medicaid, Frank estimates. This estimate includes 99,000 people who gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion.
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